In short, it is entirely normal to experience a whole range of emotions.
This article from Healthline lists some practical ways you can prepare for the birth of your little one. Sometimes, having a plan or taking action can help to settle those nerves.
1. Be as involved as you can
It can be easy to be slightly removed from the pregnancy as you are not the one carrying the baby, but as the father your support and involvement is critical. Researching topics such as pregnancy, labour, hypnobirthing or caring for a newborn will help you to understand what your partner is going through and realise how much she requires your involvement. Attending all the appointments you can will help you to feel more connected to the process and let you experience the baby’s growth firsthand. At the appointments, be empowered to ask questions because this is your child.
After the birth of the child, your partner may have less energy or even experience postnatal depression. You can proactively do tasks that your partner usually does, take care of the baby so she can rest or be the one who limits the number of visitors who come to see her and the baby.
2. Think about the father and parent you would like to be
Before the baby arrives is a great time to consider what kind of father you would like to be (you’re not likely to have much quiet time after the baby arrives!). You could draw from your own experiences growing up, or gain inspiration from other father figures you admire. It is also a good idea to speak with your co-parent about the types of parents you would like to be, from practical details such as who will do the night shift, or figure out your philosophical approach to disciplining your child. Children are unpredictable and you may need to adjust these plans after their birth, but having these discussions is good mental preparation.
3. Build a community of dads
Everything is easier when you have someone to help you. After the birth of a child, mothers are often connected into mother’s groups, but fathers often do not have an automatic support structure. Try to seek out dads you know and share your journey – you may find that you taking the initiative will encourage them to open up and create a support system for the both of you. Alternatively, there are many online communities you can join, so know you are not alone.
4. Keep your sense of humour and embrace the journey
There’s no amount of desktop research that can prepare you for actual fatherhood. However, one thing to remember is that there will be many fun, exciting and rewarding moments. You will make mistakes, but choosing to laugh at them and reminding yourself that this is a new journey will help to carry you through the challenges.
If you would like to learn more about pregnancy from professionals, doulas or midwives are well-equipped to help. Your pregnant partner may also be supported through any feelings of stress or discomfort by therapies such as pregnancy yoga or lymphatic drainage. To find out more, click on the image below to book a free consultation call with our qualified complementary health practitioners.
Preparing for Fatherhood: 16 Ways to Get Ready to Become a Dad | Healthline
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