When parents announce that they are expecting, after the initial congratulations, the father is usually no longer the object of attention or affection. Moms get all of the love and support and fathers seem to fade into the background. However, fathers do play a major part in a child’s life during pregnancy and until the child is grown.
How Can Fathers Help During Pregnancy and Parenting?
During pregnancy, the father’s role is mainly to support the mother so that she has a stress-free pregnancy. Hormones will change and so will appetites and cravings. Being a partner who understands and supports the mother during these emotional and physical changes is a very important role.
If the mother decides to attend lamaze, parenting, or childbirth classes, the father’s attendance is equally important as he learns how to help out during labor, as well as what to do once the baby arrives. During the first year of a child’s life, they learn who to trust and create bonds. It’s important for fathers to be present and active to build a healthy relationship with their child, in addition to helping out the mother.
Helpful Tips for Father’s
- Prepare baths for your pregnant partner
- Read books to “the belly.”
- Help pack the hospital bag before the due date.
- Check in with your pregnant partner often to see if she needs anything.
- Change diapers.
- Feed the baby, unless breastfed, then support mom.
- Give the baby a bath.
- Spend time playing with the baby, especially during tummy time.
- Read to the child, during pregnancy and after.
- Take turns getting up at night.
- Take child to daycare/ school.
- Give mom a day off and take the kids to the park.
- Spend one-on-one time with each child.
- Attend sporting events and dance recitals.
- Talk to your child.
- Be active and involved.
- Say I am proud of you and I love you.
Unlike in era’s past, fathers are more hands on these days, which increases their bonding with the child. Having a supportive dad can allow a child to feel secure and safe, and have higher self-confidence. An involved father is also supporting the mother while teaching the children how to show love and respect.
Having trouble conceiving? Read Hospitality Health ER’s blog post Health Advice For Want-to-Be Fathers, or like our Facebook page for automatic updates on blogs.