Pregnancy and childbirth are such huge milestones in a person’s life. All of the emphasis is on the mother and baby, and sometimes the dads get left behind. So how do we involve dads in pregnancy so that they feel part of the journey.
I think it’s important to note that dads have feelings too, they feel anxious about the birth, they have sleepless nights and worry about how they can best support their partner.
Sometimes dads get a bit of a rough ride in pregnancy, they have to cope with the mood swings, spontaneous crying and the feeling of treading on egg shells.
Ways to involve dads in pregnancy:
As a pregnant woman learning to communicate how you are feeling and what you need from your partner is crucial. This is especially important in the postnatal period, by communicating well, it will dramatically reduce your chances of getting postnatal depression or anxiety. Your partner will know what you need from then without having to guess.
Involve your partner
During pregnancy and childbirth there will a lot of decisions to make and you need to do this as a team. It took the two of you to make this baby so you should both have a say. If your partner doesn’t seem particularly bothered about being involved then let them know how important it is to you.
Go to appointments together and classes
Ok so your partner might give you the ‘really’ face when you ask them to go to antenatal classes, but they are so important. By understanding what goes on in labour they will feel a lot more connected to you and feel more helpful.
I encouraged my partner to go to Hypnobirthing classes together and he found it a great way to support me through labour. He kept me going through a long labour by using massage and by physically supporting me in the birthing pool.
We also made great friendships at the antenatal classes as we were all going through the same thing, it was like a rite of passage.
Sex and intimacy can go either way in pregnancy, which can be very confusing for men. We are the ones who feel ‘like a whale’, and sometimes sex can be the last thing on your mind.
The easiest way to handle this is to talk openly about it. Let each other know how you are feeling about sex and find alternative ways to be intimate if you don’t feel comfortable having sex.
Ask for help
One thing I have learned is to ask for help. Giving your partner clear ideas on how they can help makes them feel useful. It’s a known fact that women need to talk things through and men like to fix things. So work together and come up with a plan.
As you can see it can be so easy and simple to involve dads in pregnancy, we just need to make a conscious effort. You will both reap the benefits if you can openly communicate and go through this amazing journey together.
Let your partner have a say in the big decisions and start your journey as a parent in a healthy way.