Women usually have their mother’s to supply them with support and advice once they a pregnant, but men who are sometimes find it difficult to talk about things and don’t know how best to support their partner. Here are a few things to think about and which might help you and your partner:
Go to Birthing Classes
Support your partner and go with her to the birthing classes. They are normally offered at your local hospital. You will be taught about the signs of labour, timing the contractions, birthing positions and pain control. The classes will give you a chance to practice relaxation techniques and you will know what to expect when the time comes.
Read a book or magazines about pregnancy and childbirth
Learn about the stages of pregnancy and what is happening. It is something you and your partner can be involved with together. You will get to know when your partner needs to have her scans and how the baby is developing. Most magazines have a section of ideas for baby names and you can both look at suggestions for the nursery too.
Sign Up for Parenting Classes
If you are a nervous first time dad, you can sign up for parenting classes with your partner. There might be classes at the hospital where you will give birth. If not, have a look on the internet for classes near your home. You will be given a lot of help and advice and taught about topics such as:
- Changing diapers
Get the Nursery Ready
Don’t leave it until the last minute, because the baby might arrive early. Find out about equipment from friends and family. You might be lucky and get the bigger things you need as presents from parents, or second hand from friends. Shop around and read the internet forums for reviews and opinions.
Read your Partner’s birth plan
If your partner has made a birth plan and wants her birth a certain way, make sure you have read the plan and you know what she wants. Obviously if there are complications, it might not be possible to keep to the plan. For instance you might want a natural birth, but end up having a caesarean section.
Learn to put in the car seat
Buy a car seat before the birth and make sure you know how to put the baby in it safely. It is not a good idea to buy a second hand car seat as there might be damage caused by wear and tear. Ask your friends what seat they use and talk to the sales staff at your local baby centre or at a department store.
Prepare your own hospital bag
Although everyone recommends a bag for your pregnant partner, you should also pack one for yourself. Don’t forget things like your cell phone charger, or a phone card, in case cell phones aren’t allowed. Something to snack on. If you have a camera or camcorder make sure it is charged up or that you have enough batteries. Bring a toothbrush and toothpaste, so that you can freshen up and maybe a change of shirt. Headache pills are also a good idea, if you’re feeling stressed it may bring on a headache. If you wear glasses bring a spare pair, it would be shame to break the pair you are wearing and then not be able to see what’s happening.
Help once you get home
Try to take the baby as much as you can in the first few weeks. Your partner will be tired and need extra sleep, especially if they are getting up more than once during the night. Change diapers and bath baby. As well as helping your partner these things will help you bond with your baby.
Even though being a new dad might be overwhelming, if you are organised you can relax and enjoy the experience.