The general assumption is that when a couple gets pregnant, it is really just the woman who needs to do all the work. There are actually a ton of things that a woman’s partner could be doing to help her prepare for the baby. Not only is a woman’s body going through a lot of changes once she conceives, but her emotional and mental state also change tremendously throughout the entire nine months.
While I’m not doubting that most of the heavy lifting falls on her end naturally, the guys shouldn’t have it so easy. This can be a lot to deal with on your own and so it’s important for your man to step up and support you through everything that you are going through and all the changes that you feel.
Another aspect of pregnancy is simply preparing everything for the baby. There is a lot to buy and a lot to plan. Of course, this process can be overwhelming and scary for some new parents, but that’s all the more reason to conquer it together as a couple. However, men often feel left in the dark and don’t even know the first place to start when it comes to preparing for a newborn.
This needs to change and it can be easily fixed by simply getting informed and staying involved in every step of the pregnancy process. Here are 15 things that dads didn’t know they needed to be informed on during a pregnancy.
15 His Bank Account Will Get Tighter
Nobody argues with the fact that raising a child is expensive. Sometimes this little shocker sneaks up on the expecting fathers a little too quickly. From strollers, diapers, high chairs, changing tables, and a crib, the simple necessities required to prepare for a baby can really do a number on your bank account.
Oftentimes, the mothers-to-be have been online researching products or strolling the aisles of Target trying to find the cutest baby outfits, and so they are away from the price range. The men always seem to be surprised when all the money in their bank account has gone to that future baby.
According to Time, “Understanding your budget is probably the best way to gauge whether you are ready for the next child.” The cost of raising a single child is around $14,000 a year or $250,000 over 18 years. And, that isn’t even including the price of pregnancy or college. Unfortunately, 2 out of every 5 families don’t budget for their child which is why all these crazy expenses can really throw some of them for a loop. So, couples should make sure to sit down and discuss if they can truly afford everything that a pregnancy will cost them.
14 He Will Gain Right Along With Her
It’s a long-running joke that new dads have to lose the pregnancy weight too. They’ve indulged in every random craving and every midnight snack right along with their wife or partner for nine long months and they are feeling the extra weight. The funny thing is, most men don’t go into a pregnancy thinking that they will gain a bunch of weight.
It is something that almost seems to trick them every time. If the men could be aware of this trend and stay on top of it, they might be able to limit the amount of weight they gain.
According to Fatherly, this idea of “sympathy weight” is no myth. A study found that men gained an average of 14 pounds during their partner’s pregnancy. This is due to a combination of eating out more often, new and random snack options in the house, bigger portion sizes to match her “eating for two” mentality, and an overwhelming sense of desire to make their partner feel better about their weight gain.
While all of these reasons may sound very valid, being aware of them can help the men stay as healthy as possible as they prepare for fatherhood.
13 When Are The Doctor’s Appointments?
Sometimes it seems like all the doctor's appointments are really only for the women. The doctors are just monitoring her health and the baby’s health and it really doesn’t involve the man. Right? Wrong! These doctors appointments are where all the information about your growing baby will come from. By prioritizing these doctors appointments and remembering when they are and what they are for, guys can make their partners feel like they are not alone in all of this.
They will feel like their partner is just as involved and interested in growing this baby as she is.
It’s honestly not fair for the guys to just assume that all the doctor's appointments and the information are only necessary for their partner to hear. By prioritizing these things, men are on the same page.
According to Romper, grown men should be able to attend every single doctor's appointment that their partner doesn’t feel comfortable going to alone. For some couples, this may just be the first appointment. For other couples, it may be the gender reveal appointment. Either way, it is important for men to show their support and ability to be present in the pregnancy process. This includes going to doctors appointments because it’s not fair for the woman to carry all the information she learns there by herself.
12 Stocking Up On Parenting Books
The go-to book once a woman finds out she is pregnant is usually What To Expect When You’re Expecting. But just because the woman is the one carrying the baby doesn’t mean that the man is not expecting a child just as much. The idea of reading books and doing research about all the changes that your growing family will endure is super important and necessary if you want to be prepared.
But, again, this should not fall solely on the woman simply because she is the one physically carrying the child. Men should know what to expect throughout the next nine months. They should know how a woman will be feeling, how their moods will change, and what they could possibly do to help.
According to Alpha Mom, a woman explains her husband’s desire to “study up” on all things baby and pregnancy. This idea of studying, as if you were studying for a big exam, implies so much value and worth on the mother. Studying up shows that men care and want to be informed. Parenting is definitely a team effort and when the men put the initiative in to learn on their own, it really makes the couple feel like equals in the pregnancy process.
11 How Her Body Will Change
We all know women can be very particular about their bodies, and it is extremely normal to feel insecure when all of these uncontrollable changes start to occur. If the men are well prepared and already know what to expect when it comes to breast tenderness, wider hips, swollen feet, and weight gain, they can reassure their partner that those things are normal.
The scariest part about pregnancy is feeling like you are all alone in your journey. As a woman, you want to feel beautiful even while you are carrying your baby.
If you know that all these body changes are totally normal, it will help ease some of those insecurities.
According to NCBI.gov, most men completely understand that it can be dangerous for women to gain too little weight during pregnancy. However, most men are unaware that excessive weight gain is actually harmful to the woman and her baby. When women were asked about the recommended amount of weight gain during pregnancy, most of them suggested numbers much below the recommended levels.
This simply goes to show that women don’t like the idea of gaining a lot of weight and they didn’t think they should. That is why it is essential that men understand how a pregnant woman’s body is supposed to change so he can be a voice of reason.
10 What To Do When She’s In Pain
A lot of times, men feel completely helpless when the woman they love is in pain. They want to make the pain go away but they have no idea what to do to make things better.
According to Telegraph.co.uk,
men can actually suffer from ‘sympathy pains’ during pregnancy.
Researchers found that “fathers-to-be endure cramps, back pain, mood swings, food cravings, morning sickness, extreme tiredness, depression, irritability, fainting, and toothaches.”
Some men even complained of nausea during the early stages of their woman’s pregnancy.
While this might seem a little far-fetched, there is actually evidence to support these claims. It is pretty crazy to think about men feeling the pain of pregnancy simply because they feel sympathetic, but I think it’s safe to say their pain doesn’t actually come close to what women really go through during the nine months of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
When men fully understand all the parts of the body that will be hurting through her pregnancy, he can come up with ways to make her feel better, such as drawing a warm bath for her or even massaging her feet after a long day. The best thing men can do when she’s in pain is be there for her and be understanding.
9 How To Handle Her Water Breaking
The idea of a woman’s water breaking can be very scary for men. Nobody wants to feel like the woman they love is “breaking” something. Plus, with the stress and anxiety that comes with being new parents, the water breaking also signifies the beginning of a new journey in life. It can be a very overwhelming feeling that causes men to simply freeze and not know what to do. According to Self.com, many pregnant women don’t experience that sudden and random rush of liquid that signifies the start of labor.
The best way for men to be able to handle her water breaking is for them to fully understand what exactly is going on down three. First of all, this “water” we are talking about is not actually water. It’s primarily filled with the fetus’s urine. And, a woman’s water breaking is usually considered a good thing, unless it’s before 37 weeks which is considered a preterm rupture which can occur due to carrying multiples or an infection.
Many women seem to know all of these things because it’s her body and she’s been studying this stuff for nine months. Men need to know all of these things too if they want to be able to handle her water breaking. By knowing when the right time is or when it would be too early and understanding the consequences, a soon-to-be dad can prove to be a real help in a time of need.
8 What To Bring To The Hospital
It’s important to pack your hospital bag early because you never know when that water is going to bread when you will need to rush off to the hospital. Of course, it is important to bring a few necessities to the hospital when you are awaiting a new baby. So often, moms who are nine months pregnant end up packing their own hospital bag.
If men were included in this step and new what was needed at the hospital and why it would give him a better insight into the journey ahead that awaits him.
While women definitely feel most of the pain during childbirth, men are still stressed and anxious about the whole process. Sometimes it’s even worse because they have to watch the person they love go through all of this pain.
BabyCenter recommends two hospital bags. One for labor and delivery, and the other bag for after the baby is born. By knowing what needed to be packed and why men can better guess what their woman needs during the labor process.
For example, if she is in too much pain to even talk when you first arrive at the birthing center, he can pull out the birthing plans that were neatly packed inside one of the hospital bags. By the dad-to-be knowing where things like this are in the hospital bag, he can help make the entire process go more smoothly.
7 Her Breathing Techniques
Women are always taught specific breathing techniques for labor. According to Americanpregnancy.org, some women prefer deep breathing while other women prefer light breathing that just barely fills their chest. The goal is to find whichever breathing method provides the woman in labor with a calming and relaxing effect.
It is important that the breathing feels comfortable and does not make the woman in labor feel dizzy or lightheaded. The more someone learns about labor and birth, the more they will understand which breathing techniques will help to focus each contraction on a productive part of the birthing process.
This is why it is so important for the man to fully understand what the different breathing methods and techniques are and why they should be used. When my mom was in labor the first time, she said she was so distracted by everything going on that she completely forgot all about the breathing that she had been learning.
When she prioritized her breathing with her next child, she said it really helped to distract from the pain and make the birthing process more productive. When the father understands the benefits of his breathing and how it should be implemented, he can be a better reminder and support system once the woman goes into labor.
6 How Doing It Will Change
Doing it during pregnancy is not the same as the usual way of doing it. For most guys, they are actually pretty scared that they might hurt the baby or rupture something important down there. They are almost too timid to even though their partner for most of the nine-month pregnancy. On the other hand, there are some couples who are used to being very aggressive and wild. This dynamic might have to shift or change once a baby is on board. It’s important to talk to your doctor and make sure everything is okay before proceeding with your normal intimacy.
According to the Huffington Post, a lot of couples have many questions about doing it during pregnancy and doctors are not bringing it up. Women are usually divided into two camps when it comes to the second trimester of pregnancy. They are either extremely ready and excited to get in the bedroom all the time, or they don’t seem to have much enthusiasm for it at all.
This can leave many women with low self-esteem, feeling like they don’t have the proper drive and that they could be disappointing their partner.
This is why it is so important for the men in these relationships to understand the ins and outs of pregnancy hormones and doing it while pregnant. If their woman is not super into it for the time, be understanding and show her other methods of affection to make sure she still feels special.
5 What She Should Be Eating
Everyone knows that most women get pretty intense pregnancy cravings throughout their nine months. Whether you are like Kylie Jenner and crave In-N-Out all day long, or simply need ice cream at 2 in the morning, it’s important for the mother and father-to-be to be on the same page when it comes to what the woman should be eating.
Of course, it is fun and okay to indulge in some cravings every once in a while, but sticking to a solid diet helps to fuel that growing baby and provide it will all the nutrients necessary.
For men, they often feel like they have no control over the nutrients that baby gets because it’s not inside him. By knowing what his partner should be eating and supporting her in making those healthy decisions, he is also nourishing that baby.
Going on crazy diets can be hard for anyone, but on top of fighting those regular cravings, women also have to fight their pregnancy cravings. It makes this lifestyle so much easier if her man goes on this diet with her.
According to Marriage.com, the best thing men can do is be flexible. Some women will develop food aversions or even smell aversions. Other women will want to eat everything under the sun and they don’t want to feel judged for it. By showing your love and support for her and that growing baby, the man can really make a difference.
4 What Exercises Are Safe For Her
Exercise is very important even before a woman becomes pregnant in order to make sure her body is in the best shape possible to support a growing baby. However, many women feel like they can’t or shouldn’t exercise once they get that positive pregnancy test back. They are worried that too much exertion will hurt the baby or that they might do something dangerous.
While this could be true to a point, moderate exercise is never a bad thing during a healthy pregnancy. It helps to keep unnecessary extra baby weight off and it ensures a strong and healthy mama.
Sometimes, men are actually more overprotective about their pregnant partner than the women are of themselves. While watching your man be caring and concerned about the well-being of you and your child, it is important that he knows what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
According to American Pregnancy, exercise can actually relieve pregnancy discomfort and prepare your body for labor and delivery. It’s important for men to know what exercise is good and what is bad so that they can properly support their partner through her pregnancy. They can encourage her to do the workouts they know are safe and even join them.
3 Mom’s Birthing Classes Are For Dad Too
For many women, even if it’s not their first child, the idea of labor and delivery can bring a lot of stress and anxiety into her life. The idea of going through all that pain is overwhelming, and according to Americanpregnancy.org, many men and women attend birthing classes to gain information and lessen their anxiety. While it might seem like birthing classes are just for the women, men also have a lot of fear and anxiety when it comes to watching their partner go through labor.
They usually feel pretty bad that they will be in all this pain and they want to do what they can to make it all better.
That is why men attending these birthing classes is essential for a well-prepared delivery. Child birthing classes allow both the man and the woman to discuss their fears about labor and delivery and properly prepare for the birth. Your partner will learn all about childbirth and how to support you on the big day. There is a lot of great information that couples together can receive at birthing classes and it’s becoming more and more expectant that the guys attend with the women. While of course, women can go by themselves, the support of their partner really does make a huge difference.
2 How The Baby Is Developing Day-By-Day
Once women find out they are pregnant, they usually download a little app and start tracking the growth and development of their new little baby. You may have heard women say that their baby is the size of a kidney bean today, or their baby is the size of a grapefruit.
Why are women always the ones doing this?
How amazing would it feel to have your man come into the room and announce how big the baby inside of you is today. It shows that they care enough to monitor the daily growth. It shows that they are excited about the baby and love being involved in every aspect of the process.
According to Parents.com, your baby starts rapidly developing almost immediately after conception. Once the fertilized egg implants itself, your baby is making milestone develops every week and just about every day. This is an exciting time and many excited couples don’t want to miss any information and yet, the guys often feel like they have to ask their girl what is going on.
They feel a little removed since that growing baby isn’t inside of them. But, this is not the case at all. Men can completely track every day and week of fetal development simply after the first doctor's appointment and with an accurate due date.
1 Her Emotional State
Pregnancy emotions are intense and very common. They can make women feel absolutely crazy and like they aren’t even themselves anymore. According to Parents.com, there is a relationship between “hormone levels and the brain's neurotransmitters.” Apparently, there are certain women who are more sensitive to those shifting and changing emotions.
It is actually very rare for a woman to sail through pregnancy without experiencing any of those crazy emotions that can feel like a rollercoaster ride.
Since women who are pregnant will inevitably feel stressed and out of control, it’s so important for her partner in understanding these changing hormone levels so he can properly support her. For the men, it can feel like they are living with a completely different person for nine months. When they learn the science behind everything that is happening and how there is very little control over it all, it will be easier for the men to be more patient and understanding.
This is important because it will reduce the number of possible fights and prioritize communication. Communication was key to a healthy relationship in the first place and that shouldn’t stop once a baby is on board. Men should encourage their women to fully explain how they are feeling even if they don’t know why. It will create a safe space for your relationship to remain healthy during this special time.
References: Time.com, Fatherly, Romper.com, Alphamom.com, NCBI.gov, telegraph.co.uk, Self.com, BabyCenter.com, Americanpregnancy.org, Huffingtonpost, Marriage.com, Americanpregnancy.org, Parents.com, Parents.com