Role Of A Husband
It is unfortunate to know that some men think that the only role they can play in pregnancy is by providing the sperm and once fertilization has taken place, their work is over. Well, that in itself gives one a title-FATHER! But he has got to act like one and indeed be one.
Once your wife becomes pregnant, you are not pregnant yourself and you should not despise what she says she feels. You should understand that there is so much that she cannot be in control of that is happening in her body. This is because of hormonal changes.
Both of you are equally responsible for the child you decided to bring into the world. Just that she got the duty of housing your child as it grows. There is so much you can do for her to show appreciation and your involvement in the pregnancy.
Your wife may be doing the heavy lifting or carrying for the next nine months, but she’ll need a lot of support from your husband. While pregnancy and giving birth is Mom’s job, there are several ways that you, as her partner, can share the workload. It’s a lot more fun that way. After all, it took two to start this journey!
Not just a partner in reproduction.
Here are some ways you can make the difference that she’ll really notice and appreciate.
When The Pregnancy Test Is Positive
Right from this moment, you as a husband should be involved in everything else that follows. You may not have experienced a pregnant woman before. In this case, it is not just another pregnant woman, it is your wife and more so, carrying your baby! You may need to start attending childbirth classes. These classes will help you understand her and also know what to do when certain emergencies happen. A greater deal will it help when she is in labour instead of staying all green as your wife goes through the pregnancy.
You will need to show up for some of the prenatal appointments. At least you may not afford to miss out on the most important ones like the one on the child’s first heartbeat and ultrasounds.
Listen And Talk
Pregnancy and childbirth can be very stressful. So make sure your partner knows what he can get out of it about all those small (and big!) Changes that are happening now: feelings of the upcoming process, worrying about what kind of mother she will be, annoying with her swollen feet. Even if you think her concerns are outsized or unreasonable, keep the thought to yourself. Don’t tell her to “stop worrying” or “calm down.” Instead, listen to her. Offer to help her find information or take an afternoon break so you can have fun together. And as a team don’t hold back from sharing your fears, either. Remember, it is normal when the ride does not feel as cheerful as usual: Talk, and things will go well for both of you.
It is just as important for dads as it is for moms to be emotionally ready when having a baby. Nine months gives time for dads to read about babies and what to expect, particularly if being around young children will be a new experience. Engage in all parts of the pregnancy including accompanying your partner on doctor’s visits; shopping for baby items; helping to paint or decorate the baby’s room; setting up the crib; talking about names, etc. The more engaged you are in the process, the more a part of things you will feel.
Sometimes the best-laid plans for equality in relationships go by the wayside. This is a good time to re-evaluate the division of labour in your household. Even when both adults work outside the home, surveys show that the majority of household work is still done by females. Adding a baby to your home will mean a significant increase in responsibilities (as well as joys). Take some time during pregnancy to discuss with your partner how you think things will change and talk about how you might meet those new expectations. In some cases, you’ll need to adjust responsibilities more quickly to help during pregnancy. While many pregnant women feel great, some experience challenges that may limit what they can physically do and may require them to take on more before the baby’s birth.
Check Your Employees Benefits
Many companies offer paternity leave for new dads. Is this a benefit to your company? If so, how long is it? What are the policies around time off for prenatal visits? Fully research your options.
Talk About Your Worries
We think of pregnancy as a happy time, but many dads find that it brings on concerns about finances (particularly if you are moving from two paychecks to one); about the baby’s and mother’s health; about how you will handle the new responsibilities and on and on. Talk with your partner about your worries. You may also want to talk to other new dads about any tips about having a baby. Reaching out for help and support is a sign of strength.
You can support the health of your pregnant partner and your baby-to-be by cooking and eating healthy meals together and exercising together (take walks or do yoga, etc. per the doctor’s recommendations) throughout the pregnancy.
Because the physical demands fall on moms, your partner may especially appreciate it if you are proactive in offering help around your home or any help related to the pregnancy or with preparing for the baby. Don’t wait to be asked, and look for places you can make a difference.
Planning for the birth
There’s a lot to consider about birth itself. Will your baby be born in a hospital or birth centre or birthing room? Who will be present? What role will you play? Attending childbirth classes together does a lot to help answer your questions and feel more ready for the big day.
So sometimes your physical and emotional presence is all that is needed to help share the pregnancy.
Give A Hand
While some women are still strong to perform some household tasks even as late as their eighth month of pregnancy, the husband should come in. It does no harm when you help wash dishes or even fix the evening meal. If anything, it makes the wife happier. Providing breakfast in bed would also be a good surprise for the morning.
Spend Time Together
Some men are ashamed of walking beside their wives when in their late months of pregnancy. I do not understand why this should be the case. They should instead be happy that they are just about to be called daddy. Take her out for a stroll and probably jog together back home. Do not forget that she is still your sweetheart and deserves special treatment. Take her out for dinner!
Feel The Baby
Try resting your hand on her belly while watching TV or while relaxing in bed. It gives a feeling of concern and suggests saying. ‘If only I could help carry the baby’ and it brings you almost to the same level.
You should ask every often how the mother and the baby are doing. When she suggests you go out shopping, avail yourself unless you are very committed somewhere else. Suggest baby names too. Let it not look like she is the only one too obsessed with that.
When It Is Baby Time
Here, if you took the childbirth classes, you will be better placed as you know how to handle the situation. Before labour, you would talk with your partner and agree to what you would want him to do for you. You should be present as your wife delivers. It gives a feeling of oneness. Husbands who have been present during the delivery of their kids have an interesting story to tell and they term it as the best experience in the world. It is good to be there to feel with her. Some men say that they cannot stand the process. How then do they expect their wives to go through it? Gone are the days that husbands used to pace up and down the waiting room of hospitals waiting for the doctor to announce “it’s a baby girl” or “it’s a baby boy”. Today, they can get into where the delivery is taking place.
The husband needs to be around:
To provide encouragement-while it may not be welcome during tough labour, it is good for him to be there. At least a word of encouragement from him will take the wife miles.
Help relieve pain: with massage, acupressure or any other means or relieving pain, he should walk with her as many steps through the pain as he can.
Advice To Husbands
Help your wife in her emotions -she may be scared as you would also apparently be. She needs support and she should draw it from you. You need to encourage her as her and that she is doing a good thing for the family.
Ensure skin to skin contact as much as possible
make sure your body is touching her skin whenever possible. This helps in soothing her and she feels safe. Many partners remove their shirts or all of their clothing and cradle their partners as they are moving through contractions and pushing.
There are very many other roles that a husband can play when their wives are pregnant. Even as simple as rubbing her feet! You do not need to go to a school to do that! You simply have to listen to your instincts and be natural. So husbands should not just sit and watch for nine months until the baby comes. Make the most of the opportunity!
Things To Be Taken In The Hospital by Father
- Pen and paper for taking notes
- Your birth plan (multiple copies so you can give it to your practitioner plus the various nurses and other staff on all shifts).
- Your insurance card.
- Any other hospital paperwork you’ve filled out
- Your phone.
- Your favourite pillow
- Hair clips or hair ties to keep your hair out of your face
- Sugarless candies or lollipops to keep your mouth moist.
Snacks to eat during labour (your own snacks will be limited and must be approved by your practitioner; your partner should pack sandwiches and nutritious nibbles so he or she doesn’t have to leave your side to find something to eat).
Diversions for long labour: books, music, puzzles, magazines, a deck of cards, a laptop, handheld electronic games.
A camera or video camera, if you have one — even if you don’t want to capture your labour and delivery experience, you’ll definitely want to capture your first family portrait.
Any mementoes you’ll want with you, such as family photos.
Your “who to call” list and possibly a prepaid calling card if the hospital doesn’t allow cellphones (check with your doctor or the hospital).
Stopwatch to time contractions (this is optional but can come in handy if you can’t use the timer on your phone).
Massage oils or lotions if you have any you really want with you and a tennis ball or plastic rolling pin (both make excellent back rub tools) or an actual massager if you can fit it and want to bring it.
A small basket of goodies for the staff to give along with the birth plan if you’d like.
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and mouth wash.
- You’re main essential toiletry items (don’t forget moisturizer)
- Extra-absorbent maxi pads (the hospital will provide some, but you might want to use the brand you’re most comfortable with).
- Snacks for after delivery — don’t count on the hospital or birthing centre to provide them in the middle of the night
- Shampoo, conditioner, face wash, soap or shower gel, makeup and whatever else it takes to make you feel human again after delivery (the hospital often provides these, but if you have your favourites, you can bring some of them)
Clothing for you and your baby
- Extra pairs of underwear suitable for wearing with maxi pads and a nursing bra.
- Going-home outfit for baby (don’t forget socks or booties and a receiving blanket, plus extra layers if it’s cold). Bring along a few diapers, although the hospital will probably provide them.
- Nightgown or PJs, socks and slippers.
- Comfortable outfit to head home in (remember you’ll still look 6 months pregnant, so plan accordingly). 24