Helpful Tips for Dads-To-Be

Research shows that new moms have a much better pregnancy experience when dads are actively involved. Here are 5 ways you can show your partner you two really are in this together.

1. Listen, listen, then listen some more.
Pregnancy and childbirth come with so many questions, worries and preparations. Sometimes it can all seem overwhelming — especially for first-timers. Make sure your partner knows she can express to you all the changes she’s going through, from her bulging belly to anxiety about what kind of mom she’ll be. You may not be able to match her level of enthusiasm, but your willingness to be there for her really counts. And remember: you’re a team, so let her know what you’re feeling, too.

2. Go the extra mile.
What will make a huge difference to your partner is pitching in more than you usually do with household chores. Is there anything you can take off her to-do list so she can put her feet up and take a much-needed rest? Hint: if you really want to score brownie points, offer a shoulder massage or neck rub.

3. Stay informed.
If you’re feeling a bit bowled over by the whole pregnancy thing, what can help is keeping up to speed with what’s going on with your wife’s body and your baby’s development. Go with her to her doctor visits when you can, attend childbirth classes together and check out the myriad of pregnancy websites available on the Internet. The more information you have, the more relaxed you’ll feel about your wife’s health, your baby’s progress and what you can do to help when the big day finally arrives.

4. Be prepared for her to take over the bed.
The bed the two of you share may get a lot less cozy as your partner gets larger and becomes more uncomfortable. She’ll also probably be making frequent trips to the bathroom in the night. You can help by patiently accommodating her and making room for her ever-growing size. You may even be sleeping alone for a while, as some pregnant women prefer to sleep in a reclining chair.

5. Get ready for an onslaught of stuff.
Even though babies are small, their stuff will soon take over your home. What used to be your living quarters will now contain a crib, changing table, nursing rocking chair, bassinet, swing, stroller and car seat…plus all the baby toys and gadgets you never knew existed but which you now must have. If you plan to set up a nursery, get ready to decorate. And since pregnant women should avoid paint fumes, consider yourself the new painter-on-call.

No matter what is asked of you these next 9 months, just keep telling yourself: It’s all worth it in the end!