Participate in every aspect of the pregnancy, including going with your partner to the doctor’s appointments, shopping for baby items, helping to paint or decorate the baby’s room, setting up the crib, talking about names, and any other activities that may arise. You will experience a greater sense of belonging in relation to the situation to the extent that you are actively involved in the process.
Our dads’ guide to pregnancy will be with you every step of the way, from the moment you decide to have a baby to the day you hold your little one in your arms for the very first time.
Find out how your baby is developing, get advice on how to support your partner, and learn everything you need to know as a father-to-be with this comprehe
Obviously, pregnancy for partners won’t be the same as it will be for moms-to-be, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a joint venture.
You may not be experiencing morning-noon-and-night sickness, but you can help your partner out by bringing her a soothing smoothie. You won’t have an aching back and feet, but you can perfect the art of the foot and back rub to ease her pain. And you won’t be giving birth, but you can be at her side, cheering and reassuring her along the way.
Tips For Dads During Pregnancy
First time dads: tips and tricks
- Speak to friends who’ve had babies for support. Hearing their experiences can be really helpful.
- Help your partner with the practical stuff. …
- Sign up to antenatal classes. …
- Stay close to your partner – not physically (she’ll probably want a little space) but emotionally.
https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.578.0_en.html#goog_236889397Top Stories00:2400:366 Surprising Pregnancy Symptoms -for Partners!
In other words, you’re an essential part of this baby-growing adventure. Here’s what partners can expect every step of the way, week by week, for all three trimesters (and all the days beyond those, too).
First trimester advice for partners
Weeks 1 and 2
No, there’s no baby yet, but these next two weeks your partner is gearing up for ovulation — the moment the egg destined to turn into your child breaks out of one of the ovaries and makes its way down the fallopian tube and ultimately to her uterus.
On the way, it’ll be met by the sperm that fertilizes it. It’s a miraculous moment — whether it takes place inside her body or outside in a petri dish. Now’s also the time to get romantic — snuggle, cuddle, have sex and relive the early days of your relationship as you await the moment your baby is conceived.
Congratulations! Sperm has met egg and that single cell is now rapidly dividing into a microscopic ball of cells that will, in about nine months (give or take) emerge as your baby.
Of course, neither of you realize this yet, so instead of wondering what is happening, see if you can take your minds off this moment and let nature have its way. Now is a good time to find a TV show you both can get lost in (or laugh over).
More Tips for Dads and Partners
While you both wait for her to take a pregnancy test, maybe give any not-so-great habits an overhaul. Some advice for women and men during pregnancy: Quit if you’re a smoker — second-hand smoke is bad for the health of mamas- and babies-to-be. Swap them out for better habits, like walks around the neighborhood after a meal. You’ll both be in better shape for the next 36 weeks ahead.
Now’s the time to break out a pregnancy test. The baby is the size of an orange seed now, and your partner may be showing early signs, too — like achy, tender breasts and bone-crushing fatigue. One chore you can officially take over? Cleaning the litter box if you have a cat. Cat poop can contain parasites, and can transmit a disease called toxoplasmosis, which, while rare, could harm unborn babies.
Nausea can kick in right about now, but the term “morning sickness” is misleading — many moms-to-be feel queasy the whole darn day. An empty stomach can up the nausea, so make sure she has a healthy snack (trail mix, a granola bar) stashed on the nightstand to nibble on when she wakes up.
If she’s struggling to eat full meals, keep quick, easy-to-digest foods on hand, such as whole grain toast and peanut butter or hard cheese and crackers. Or become a pro at whipping up smoothies, which are also easy on the stomach.
Your partner’s sense of smell can rival a bloodhound’s at this point, which means any offending odor can send her running to the bathroom. Now’s the time to ditch the cologne or perfume and take her word for it if she says your sneakers smell when you kick them off. (Just put them away without a peep.)
Your partner may be experiencing more food aversions these days. If she can’t stomach broccoli or lettuce, switch them out for yellow veggies like bell peppers or fruits like mango, berries and melons, all of which are high in baby-building vitamins.
Her breasts and nipples are growing, but they’re also probably super tender. You may have to go easy in the bedroom as even the slightest and gentlest touch may be too much now.
She’ll be going to the doctor regularly for prenatal checkups right up until labor. If you’re able, you’ll want to go with her on some (if not all) of these appointments. Being there for her will give you much-needed insight into the miraculous changes going on in her body.
Best of all, it’s a chance to experience those momentous milestones with her. Your life will change forever when you hear those first heartbeats. If her practitioner has restrictions on the number of people who can be in the office, see if you can video call during the appointment so you can understand the doctor’s instructions and ask your own questions.
Chances are, she has to go all the time now. thanks to the hormones triggering a more frequent urine flow and more efficient kidneys. You’ll be keenly aware of this at night, when she gets up two or three times to pee.
Keep her safe by adding nightlights in the bathroom and hallway and clearing her path to the toilet so she doesn’t trip on any obstacles (her bag, your shoes, clothing).
Some mamas-to-be find that pregnancy fatigue, nausea and bloat put them off sex for a while. If your partner falls into this category, reconnect in other ways. Instead of going out, climb into bed with a movie and some snacks. You can surprise her with an assortment of sweet and savory treats.
It’s normal for partners to occasionally feel left out of the pregnancy process. At the close of the first trimester, your partner has a lot on her mind (and a lot to get off her chest), and if she’s talking about the new baby more with her friends and family than with you, it’s up to you to get yourself in the game. She may not even realize she’s leaving you out, or she may be hesitant to “burn out” the topic early on in the pregnancy. Set her at ease by bringing it up yourself.
Second trimester advice for partners
Something some partners experience during pregnancy? Symptoms that mimic the mom-to-be’s. It’s called couvade syndrome (or sympathetic pregnancy), and about half of all fathers get them.
That means you might feel like heaving at the sight of a medium rare steak or find yourself craving nachos at 3 a.m. So, no, you’re not acting weird. And if you don’t have them, don’t worry either.
Agonizing over all the choices as you brainstorm baby names? Consider these tips: Go through the alphabet a few dozen times (or more) as you try on names for size. Throw around as many realistic possibilities as you can. Or get creative with the way you use family names and contemplate combining them: Her mom’s name is Amy, your mom’s maiden name was Rae — welcome little Amy Rae!
If all else fails, look to your new family member for help. Parents-to-be who can’t decide on a name might simply want to wait until their baby is born.
Are your moods going up and down, too? No wonder — you’re probably feeling conflicting emotions, from excitement (“I can’t wait to meet him!”) to self-doubt (“I don’t know anything about babies!”).
Talk out all those fears and anxieties. Share them with your partner, but also make friends with fellow parents who can give you the lowdown on what it’s really like. Don’t know any new parents? Social media is a great place to connect with some, as is the What to Expect community.
Who knew? Pregnancy hormones are stuffing up your partner’s nose and snoring while snoozing can be one of the side effects. (Don’t worry, it’s temporary.)
If it’s keeping you up at night, try putting a humidifier in the bedroom to clear out her nostrils (as a bonus, you can also use it in the baby’s nursery in a few months). Or invest in some extra pillows so she can elevate her head as she sleeps.
You’re being the best partner you know how to be, and one of the things you’re doing to earn that position is to play chef more than usual. (If you don’t like to cook, bringing in takeout qualifies, too.)
During pregnancy, what’s on the menu is as important as what’s off. For the time being, forget about rare burgers, Caesar salad, sushi made from raw fish or seared fish, all of which are no-nos. To avoid heartburn, steer clear, too, of anything that’s overly spicy or greasy.
Because she may be eating five times a day, dinner can be super-simple. Think quick, easy and digestible. And if she’s been super tired or is dealing with heartburn, an earlier dinner time may also be appreciated.
Getting misty-eyed at the sight of baby onesies? Blame your hormones. Yes, you can experience a lower level of estrogen and a drop in testosterone during a partner’s pregnancy. It’s nature’s way of keeping you close to home and getting you in a nurturing mood so you can care for your baby.
What can you do about it? Nothing. Just know that your hormone levels will probably return to normal about six months after the baby is born. For now, just go along for the ride.
This week is the level 2 ultrasound, also known as the 20-week anatomy scan. This much-more-detailed ultrasound shows your partner’s practitioner (and the two parents-to-be) how your baby is developing. Hopefully, you also get to take home a picture that you can share with friends and family.
Your partner may soon start feeling those first wiggles, kicks and flutters that signal there’s an actual little being in there. It’s about one of the most thrilling pregnancy milestones there is.
A few ways to get your little one kicking so she can feel it: Have your partner snack on something healthy like cheese and crackers (the blood sugar will up the chances for movement) or lie down (when mamas rest, babies often get active). You’ll be able to feel fetal movement too later on in the second trimester.
Afraid of hurting the baby when you’re having sex? Don’t worry. As long as your partner’s practitioner has given her the green light, go ahead and have fun. Your baby is protected in the womb and can’t see or feel what’s going on. You might have to explore positions that work around her belly, but that’s all good — you may find a new way to show your love.
If your partner is having trouble nodding off, show some solidarity. Surprise her with a full body pillow so she can get comfy and snooze. Engage in some pillow talk, and if it leads to sex, so much the better. That may bring on the Zzz’s!
Your baby-to-be is the size of a pomegranate now. And those little ears can now pick up the sounds of the outside world.
Want to bond with your baby? Put on your favorite soothing songs and keep playing them every so often. After your baby is born, you might just be able to calm the cries by playing those same songs.
Your partner has probably been able to feel fetal movement for a few weeks now, but by week 25 or 26, you might be able to feel your little one from the outside, too. Get in the action by putting your hand on her belly (after she’s given the okay) so you can try to feel your baby’s kicks and flips.
As the second trimester draws to a close, you might start to wonder how you’ll do during labor and delivery. But if you know what to expect, the whole process will be less scary.
So read up on it now, take the tour (either in-person or virtual) of the hospital (so you’ll know where to go on labor day) and enroll in a childbirth class. And talk to other partners who’ve recently become parents. They’re your great source of information too.
As your partner’s bump gets bigger, the skin stretches and becomes dryer and itchier. Scratching won’t give her any relief (and can make things worse). So take over and rub shea butter or moisturizer all over her belly. It’s an oh-so-soothing way to pamper your partner.
Third trimester advice for partners
Bottle or breast? By the third trimester, your partner may already have made up her mind, or she may really appreciate talking it through with you.
Whichever feeding method she chooses, skin-to-skin, eye-to-eye contact is linked to optimal brain development and can help you both bond with your baby.
Your partner’s not the only one having trouble falling asleep. You may be tossing and turning too as you think about all the things you two won’t be able to do once the baby arrives — hopping in the car to go hiking, taking up inline skating or even just going out at night whenever the urge hits.
Instead of thinking of what you won’t have in your life any more (or won’t have as many opportunities for), start thinking of what you will have in your life: A very special little person to share it with. Will your life be different (your favorite hobby becomes blowing raspberries on that chubby little belly; your late nights involve rocking instead of dancing)? Absolutely. Will it be better? Immeasurably.
With ten weeks left, give or take, childbirth might be on her mind a lot more now. If you haven’t signed up for a childbirth class, contact the hospital where your partner will deliver and enroll in one.
You might also want to discuss a birth plan — does she want an epidural, what positions does she want to labor in, who will cut the cord? (Remember, she’s the boss, though if she wants you to weigh in, do so diplomatically.)
After she’s drawn one up, print out several copies. Keep a couple to take to the hospital, and have her give one to her practitioner to put in her chart.
Your baby’s the size of a coconut this week, putting more of a strain on your partner’s body. To accommodate that growing belly, she has to shift her posture, and that might make her more clumsy. The brain fog of pregnancy doesn’t help either).
Now’s the time to roll up area rugs (or tape them down) and install a handle on the bathroom wall so she can get in and out of the shower easily.
Quick! When’s the last time you saw your primary care practitioner? If you can’t remember, it’s time to schedule an appointment or at least call to see if your immunizations are up to date.
Here’s why: Once the baby comes, you need to protect your bundle from illnesses like the flu and whooping cough (also known as pertussis), which can be serious for infants. Another fact: Most infants catch whooping cough from their family members.
You probably got a Tdap shot when you were a kid, but you need a booster now. And it’s always very important to get your yearly flu shot, which is usually available in September. So schedule a visit and roll up your sleeve. Your baby will thank you.
While you’re scheduling your own doctor visit, it’s time for the two of you to go shopping for your baby’s doctor. Tap into your network of new parents (or those-soon-to-be) who live in the area to see if there are local pediatricians they’d recommend. Google doctors nearby and read their reviews. Or ask your providers to share some names.
Check to see if they take your insurance, and then come up with a list of questions. You’ll want to ask about their care philosophy, how long they’ve been practicing, what their hours are and whether you can call during off-hours, for example.
It’s time to pack the overnight bag for the hospital together. She no doubt knows what she needs, but she’s easy to forget something considering all of the excitement and anxiety you both may feel. Talk about what personal items she wants included, and double-check that everything is in the suitcase.
If you’ll be staying in the hospital or birthing center for more than 24 hours, it’s smart to pack a change of clothes for yourself and any toiletries you might need. Don’t forget snacks and your phone charger — and maybe a tablet loaded with games and movies in case her labor takes a long time and you both need distractions.
By now, it may have crossed your mind that your baby’s birth could be one of those dramatic roadside deliveries in the backseat, attended by a traffic cop, covered by the 11 o’clock news. Prepare for that possibility (as remote as it is), but also know that you can take steps to minimize the chance it happens.
Make sure there’s gas in the car and that you’ve saved the various routes to the hospital or birthing center on your phone. It’s not a bad idea to do a trial run, either, given the unpredictability of traffic flow or pop-up construction crews. And just in case, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep a blanket in the backseat, a gallon of bottled water and some towels.
If your baby decided to pop out this week, she would be considered early. So if you haven’t done so already, here is some great pregnancy advice for partners: Have a convo with your boss. You might mention you need to stick close to home for a while if you normally travel for work. And you’d like the flexibility of having to run out without much warning if your partner goes into labor during work hours.
Chances are, your boss will be understanding and can relate to the unpredictability of it all. And if you haven’t already, now is the time to put in for any family leave you want to take.
Funny, that overstuffed closet never bothered you before, but now you just have to organize it. And that cabinet over there really needs clearing out. Not to mention the basement … Congratulations, your nesting instinct (yes, non-pregnant partners can experience it too) has kicked in.
Don’t be surprised to suddenly find the energy for compulsive cleaning, painting and organizing. Run (and dust) with it — it’s nature’s way of assuring that you’ll have a comfy, clean nest for your baby when you all come home. Plus, at this stage, it keeps your mind off your pre-delivery jitters.
Your partner may be in nesting overdrive, too, but don’t let her overdo it. Alternatively, fatigue may be her overriding instinct right now.
You both may be in the mood for sex, but wondering whether it might bring on labor. If her practitioner hasn’t specifically nixed the idea, then go for it. You can do the deed up to the very end.
You’re in the final stretch! To get your minds off next week’s due date (which may just come and go without a baby) and take advantage before your family grows, seize these moments to do things you enjoy as a couple.
Even if you still have to fix the nursery or buy more gear, it’s good to take time for a picnic in the park (or your living room). Or stream a movie, take a leisurely stroll or have a (non-alcoholic) cocktail together. Or do all three.
About a third of expectant women reach full term and go 40 weeks and beyond, so your partner might fall into this group. If so, stay cool and calm yourself so you can help her relax.
You might also want to text friends and family to head off those pesky calls to see if there’s any news. Tell them you’ll be in touch first thing when your baby starts to announce her arrival.
Other ways you can help: Install the car seat if you haven’t already, hang the mobile and those night lights in the nursery, and wash and fold all of the adorable baby togs. You can also cook some easy-to-freeze dishes (turkey meatballs, vegetarian chili, chicken soups, muffins) that will make your lives easier once the baby arrives.
Research shows that when dads are supportive of breastfeeding, 96 percent of moms are willing to give it a try (compared to 26 percent when dads aren’t that into it). After the baby is born and before you leave the hospital, be your partner’s advocate and ask for a nurse or lactation consultant to stop by and give a few pointers if she’s decided to breastfeed.
Once you’re at home, bring the baby to her for feedings and then make sure she’s got some snacks and water nearby. Breastfeeding is hard work!
You might think your baby is overdue, but due dates are estimates and can be off by a week or two. So your baby is probably fine, but your partner’s practitioner is monitoring everything to make sure everything is still all right in there.
Take advantage of this extra week to stock up on pantry-and-fridge essentials, from paper goods to easy-to-serve snacks (like cheese sticks, fruit and yogurts). And while you’re at it, pick up essentials for your new bundle, like diapers. Once you’ve done all that, relax and look forward to the big day. It won’t be long now.
What First Time Dads Need To Know About Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is unpredictable and it is different each time, regardless of how many children you’ve had.
- Cravings. Cravings are real. …
- Baby Weight. Women will typically gain 25-35 pounds during their pregnancy. …
- Tired. …
- Frequent Urination. …
- Lots Of Pillows. …
- Aches And Pains. …
- Senses are heightened. …