Whether you are still in shock with the great news or you are in this situation of finally having this moment for years, discovering that you are going to be a father is one life-changing moment.
To be honest, it is difficult to be completely prepared for fatherhood. That is why, we have here 10 ways to help you as you wait for your child's birth, as well as to put into place the exciting yet exhausting months to follow.
1. Start your research
Not because you are not the one carrying the baby, does not mean that you are not part of the pregnancy and birth experience. There are a lot - and definitely - of ways for you to feel involved.
Read books about fatherhood. However, you can also sign up for pregnancy newsletters to learn more about pregnancy. Learning these things will help you better understand and support your co-parent in what they are feeling.
2. Find fellow dads
It is great to know that there are other dads where you can ask and inquire about parenthood. In this way, you will also have an outlet where you can vent, and share the experiences of being and becoming a father.
3. Talk about parenting with your co-parent
This is the right time for you to discuss what parents you plan to be. Your discussion may include questions like, how will you discipline your child, will both of you be working, and what are your plans for childcare, among others.
4. Start playing as a team
Know that both of you are in this together. Since you, your co-parent, and your child will be linked for a lifetime, even if your romantic relationship to one another discontinue.
Support your co-parent. Go to the appointments as much and whenever you can. Advocate for your partner, and share the responsibilities of parenthood.
5. Get healthy
If you are a smoker, learn to stop smoking as soon as possible. This is because secondhand smoking is bad for your baby. Research also shows that it increases the risk of congenital heart defects in newborns.
6. Acknowledge that your sex life will change
The moment you learn that your partner is pregnant, you might feel a range of emotions. From being intensely connected to them, craving sex, nervousness in doing anything that may affect the pregnancy, to being simply confused; another great time for open communication.
7. Celebrate milestones
The progress of pregnancy also concerns you, and a part of it too. Go shopping for baby items with your co-parent, keep a journal, take a lot of photos throughout the pregnancy, document the whole thing! This progress is just as important for you.
8. Embrace your place in the preparations
Look for ways to be involved in getting ready for your baby. Be it in creating a registry, preparing the nursery, researching for childcare, saving money, and others.
9. Act as the communicator
A new baby can bring the best and the worst in people. It is up to your team - you, your co-parent, and your new baby - to decide on who you will invite for your baby's occasions. As a communicator, you can be the one to tell others what you will, and what you will not be doing as a family.
10. Know that you are important to your baby
There will come a time where you feel less important in your child's life. However, remember that your presence is what you give them and yourself every day. After all, being a father, and fatherhood, is about being in it for the long run.
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