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Men and Pregnancy: Five To-Do’s for Dads

August 17, 2012

During pregnancy, the to-do list for moms-to-be gets longer each week. There are maternity clothes to buy, doctor’s visits to attend, and countless decisions to make. Dads, by contrast, are sometimes in merely a supporting role. But there are a few simple ways to make sure dads-to-be are as present and helpful as possible during what is really a transformative experience for both of you!

  1. Stay healthy. Someone’s got to put together the crib, lift the heavy items, and make last minute grocery runs. Dads can really pitch in by making sure they get enough sleep, eat well, and take their vitamins. And they need to be sure to wash their hands frequently and get their flu shots along with their pregnant wives. A tired or sick husband is not a helpful husband.
  1. Dads, we know that nursery décor and shopping for baby clothes are not as thrilling for you as for your wives, but, frankly, we’re going to need you to show some enthusiasm. This is your baby’s room and it’s your house. These are the clothes you’ll be pulling over your baby’s legs in just a few months. Get excited!
  1. Make some plans. In your final few months as a twosome, enjoy your time together by going on a few dates or maybe even a short vacation or a weekend away. Arranging a fun and comfortable getaway or a few romantic dates is a great way to get out of planning mode and to have some fun together.
  1. Talk about maternity leave, paternity leave, and childcare. While women stress about how much maternity leave to take and what kind of childcare arrangements will work with their schedules, men need to be sure to do more than just chime in. Talk about how much paternity leave you can take and how much you’ll be able to contribute in terms of childcare after the baby is born. It’s not just your wife who will be performing a juggling act when the baby arrives. Make sure you’re a part of the process of determining how each of you will shoulder the new challenges that parenting will bring.
  1. Finally, learn about your wife’s childbirth options and preferences, and attend her childbirth classes with her. While you can’t trade bodies with your wife, you can be 100% aware of the birth plan, the other options that may come into play, and the best ways of supporting your wife and baby while in the hospital. This is a great way to make your wife feel more confident and less scared during such an exciting time!

Do any of you have husbands at home who are winning awards in terms of support and helpfulness? What have they been contributing that’s been really valuable? Or what do you wish your husband would do a bit more of? Let us know in the comments!

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