While the expectant mum-to-be is preparing her mind and body for this new role, the dad-to-be has his hands full as well. These nine months will throw up some of the toughest ups and downs, challenges and moments of pure wonder. There are lots of ways an expectant dad can be involved in his partner’s pregnancy and his baby’s development right from the start.
Whatever said and done, watching a child grow and become a person in front of your eyes is worth the wait. While the dad may be anxious about his partner's labor and birth, she may be worrying about the practical implications of one more member being added to your family. Make sure to share your worries, feelings, and concerns, and you are sure to enjoy your pregnancy experience together.
While it may seem that a man has nothing to do more than get his wife pregnant and wait till the baby is born, he can actually bond with the baby while it is still in the mother's womb. Here are 20 ways to he can communicate with his unborn baby and create a strong bond that lasts forever.
20 Be Present During Pregnancy Scans
The first pregnancy scan, otherwise known as a dating scan happens between the 8th and the 14th week. This scan is done to determine the baby’s measurement, the due date, to find out if you are having twins, triplets or more. Along with a dating scan, you may be also advised to do a nuchal translucency test that has your partner tested as well. Without a doubt, your presence along with your partner during these milestones will pave the way in cementing the emotional bonding between yourselves which is so important in raising your newborn child.
For many partners, mainly dad’s, the reality of becoming a parent sets in after the dating scan, as listed out in babycentre.co.uk. You will be subjected through a whole lot of emotions and powerful feelings, and in some cases even panicm which is normal. While it can be tough to understand what your partner is going through because of the hormonal variations and changes in her body, you can show your solidarity and support by being sensitive to her feelings.
19 Ultrasound Art
Previous research shows that mothers and babies benefit with the active involvement and support of fathers during pregnancy. The pregnancy ultrasound and the fetal image helps the dad-to-be in accepting the reality of the upcoming delivery. Going through the images also prompted the men to think deeply about their role as fathers.
What else can you do with those cute little ultrasound pictures? The list is limitless, as everyone has that creative element in them and if it is rightly tapped. As listed out in pregnancy.thefuntimesguide.com, some of them include figuring out the gender of the child with friends and family using these pictures thereby getting dear and near ones involved. A great way to preserve your child’s first picture is by making it as a scrapbook - either your child’s or your scrapbook. A fun way to announce your pregnancy is to make copies of your baby’s ultrasound picture and send it to your dear ones. Posting your ultrasound pictures online enables you to initiate dialogues and share experiences with other mothers. Making baby shower invitations creatively is something innovative.
18 Talk To The Baby Inside
An expectant mother’s connection with her baby is a special and private one. But what is the scenario with the expectant dad? While it is a bit daunting, be rest assured, there can definitely be a connection with your baby even before they are born. There is so much of growth and development happening to your unborn baby at an alarming pace so much so that at around 23 weeks the baby will be able to hear its mother’s heartbeat and sounds from the outside world. This is the opportune moment that the dad-to-be has to make his move.
It is an added advantage if the dad has a good voice, all he needs to do is to talk or sing to his partner’s bump. It is important to note that your baby’s hearing will be quite sensitive at this stage and it is advised to keep the decibel levels low. Even the choice of music would be appreciated and the baby will be receptive. Talking / Singing or playing your favorite music should happen frequently as when they are born, they will recognize your voice easily. As listed in bounty.com, babies generally prefer soothing and classical music.
17 Sing to Mum’s Bump
The most significant voice a fetus hears when it is inside his mother’s womb perhaps is that of his mother. A baby is able to hear its mother’s heartbeat and sounds from the outside at around 23 to 27 weeks. Studies show us that when a fetus has reached around the seventh or the eighth month, its heart rate slows down drastically whenever the mother speaks. This indicates that there is a calming or a soothing effect whenever the fetus hears the mother’s sound and it can recognize that particular voice.
Babycentre.co.uk tells us that a baby recognizes high pitch sounds at around 29 to 33 weeks. You will notice that your baby will respond more by increased activity like moving or kicking more when it hears a sound that is pleasant to its ears. Soft and soothing music, classical music could be such examples. If dad-to-be has a great voice, it is encouraged that he sings to the bump whenever possible. This ensures that the baby is familiar with the dad’s voice.
16 Create an Ideal Playlist for your Forthcoming Kid
It is universally accepted that music plays a huge therapeutic role. Bedside musical care is consistent with holistic nursing practice and can play a vital role in pregnancy, childbirth, and neonatal care. Parent preferred lullabies, sung live, enhances the bond between the baby and the mother, thus decreasing the stress, parents associated with baby care.
The mum-to-be will be certain to pass a grin when she hears something like ‘I want to break free’ by Queen, ‘I’m coming out’ by Diana Ross, ‘Push it’ by Salt-N-Pepa, ‘The circle of life’ by Elton John and the likes. There’s nothing like it when these songs are chosen at the right moment by the expectant dad. She’ll feel that her partner is also trying to do his part to get involved in the birthing process. If the dad is musically inclined, he’ll realize that music is the best therapy for his expectant partner that can ease anxiety and help her relax. Compiling a birthing playlist is a great way for dads to get involved says motherandbaby.co.uk
15 Read to the Unborn Baby
Becoming a parent, especially for a first-time parent, it is an emotional experience. The bonding between your partner and you get cemented by the way she is cared for and looked after during this time when she is going through a lot of changes mentally, physically and emotionally. Studies have shown that babies start recognizing his mother’s heartbeat between the 23rd to the 27th weeks. The high pitch sounds get noticed by the baby sometime between the 29th to the 33rd week.
Experts advise that this is the time the dad’s to be to introduce their sounds to the baby by talking or singing to the bump. By doing this, the baby recognizes the dad’s voice when it arrives. Experts in babycentre.com strongly advise reading to your newborn is a must. While your baby will not understand your words, hearing your voice will stimulate an interest in sounds and it also brings an interest in listening.
14 Read Up On Pregnancy/Baby Stuff
Watching your baby make an entry into this world is beyond doubt the most emotionally satisfying experience one can have. Just because the woman is the one being pregnant and undergoes through the labor process, it doesn't mean that the pregnancy has no impact on the dad. With the arrival of a new baby, comes new responsibilities, for both parents alike.
Expectant couples are advised in pregnancybirthbaby.org.au to attend antenatal classes together so that both of them understands their roles and responsibilities. They can also read up on this subject together if they are unable to attend the classes. This also explains the importance of would be dads to know what their partners go through at each stage of pregnancy, at delivery and post-delivery, thereby offering all the practical support that is required from him. There may be a lot of changes that the dad may be required to do, like stop smoking, ie if he is a smoker, have a more balanced and organized lifestyle. Doing things together during this precious time ensures that the family bonding stays solid.
13 Be a Team with Mum-to-Be
Congratulations for all those soon-to-be-dads on your big bundle of joy that is to arrive soon. While it is the woman who carries the child in her for nine months, a father's role is an important one too. Their responsibility in preparing for fatherhood and the new baby is of supreme importance. During this critical period, it is extremely important to keep your focus and maintain a healthy and understanding rapport with your partner. After all, it is a team game and it took both of you to start this journey. She will feel a lot relieved when you assure your support for caring for your child and not just a partner in reproduction.
It is normal for most dads to feel alienated and clueless on their role. For a start, begin to enjoy your new role of an expectant father. Communication is the key to tide over this scenario. Some of the things you can chip in as a dad include accompanying your wife to all medical appointments including ultrasound and scans and this provides the emotional strength the mother badly requires. Marriage.com also advises the couple to attend prenatal preparation classes together besides reading up as much as you can on this subject. Some of the other things which you may be required to do jointly include shopping for baby items, choosing a name, participating in household chores, creating a birth plan and so on.
12 Feed the Mom-to-be Well
It is common knowledge that what a woman eats and drinks while she is pregnant is her baby’s main source of nourishment. Therefore choosing the right kind of food paves way for the growth and development of the baby. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends that a pregnant woman needs more of folic acid, calcium, iron, and protein in her diet, as these ingredients are crucial in preventing issues the baby, helps in the development of baby’s bones and teeth, increased oxygen supply in the blood, and development of the important organs, respectively. If these elements are not found in the regular food supply, it is best advised to take supplements to meet the daily requirement.
It is essential that both the partners be present while consulting a dietician thereby ensuring that both the couples are involved in drafting out a plan. Remember, the would-be mom has to consume for two people. There are foods to be limited like caffeine and some types of fish and some foods to be avoided. Then there are issues like morning sickness and food cravings to deal with. This can be achieved with the involvement of the ‘tag team’ or both the partners.
11 Think About What They Will be Like
The husband’s involvement in a pregnancy is something that an expectant mother notices and appreciates. With the complex changes happening inside her, she is going to be emotionally vulnerable and a nervous wreck at this stage. There will be a lot of mood swings and frustrations she may want to vent out and in all probability, it will be him who will be at the receiving end. He has to be understanding and accommodative during this time. If you can learn to support each other now, your relationship will be at its peak when the baby arrives.
You truly realize the importance of teamwork during crucial milestones in married life like a delivery. You suddenly realize that you are entirely responsible for a new life that is entrusted to you and that’s when panic sets in. In moments like this, it is always better to plan in advance on how you will handle your child in different stages. If planned out well with your spouse, there is nothing like it. She would definitely like to discuss with him on how the child’s gender and appearance would be and how they intend to raise him/her up. There are limitless possibilities for healthy discussion which eventually make your bonds stronger.
10 Planning the Baby Nursery
Your life is never going to be the same again once your pregnancy indicator tests positive. For most of the expectant couples, the feeling from being excited to getting into a panicky mode won't take long. The silver lining is that with proper teamwork and advance planning, you will be equipped to handle it all and make this into the most memorable and joyous experience.
Parents.com tells us that as a new parent, you want to shower your baby with the best. One thing your spouse and you could discuss is on designing a room for your special baby. If a nursery plan is on the cards, it had to be ready around the 35th week, considering the normal delivery to be around the 36th week. The usual checklists have to be discussed and finalized, the color theme, the lighting, the toy basket, the furnishings as listed out in popular site bump.com can be considered according to the taste of the would be parents.
9 Painting the Baby's Nursery
Getting ready for your baby can be exciting. This is also a time when the would-be parents require each other’s support more than ever before. If your partner is anxious, encourage her to talk about it. It may take a while before she opens up, the key for you is to be patient and be supportive, rest assured, your relationship will be stronger when the baby arrives.
Amongst the many things you have to plan and incorporate is a nursery for your new arrival. Depending on the budget levels of the parents, it can vary in comfort, size and shape, and luxury. What is the color I should use for my child’s nursery? While there is still a lot of scientific debate on how colors affect babies, there is enough evidence of colors on adults. The fact is your baby may not perceive colors for a while. As a general color theory; serene or pastel green is a great gender-neutral color for nurseries. Pale shades of Lavender and Lilacs go well for baby girls whereas the classic baby blue is a great shade for a baby boy. It is also a well-known fact that warm colors do match similar feelings as pointed out in impressiveinteriordesign.com.
8 Plant a Tree to Honor the Childbirth
A sustainable living gift is an excellent and memorable way to mark the birth of a special child and to honor it. A ‘baby tree gift’ that is of course chosen by your partner and you in honor of your child is a great and unique baby gift idea. As compared to toys, booties, mittens, and blankets, a tree that represents you is definitely a rarity. Imagine the various possibilities, the bonds that can be shared between your child, the tree and even you that could last a lifetime.
In fact, planting trees to honor the birth of a child is traditional and done in all parts of the globe as shown in tree2mydoor.com. Choosing the trees varies with each country. Here, however, it can be left to the imagination and reasoning out of the would-be parents. This unique gift can open up many avenues for your child to be engaged. If it is a fruit-bearing tree, it can be used as a great tool to educate your child whereas if it is a sturdier oak tree, this can be used as a cool tree house. The possibilities are endless, it lasts for a lifetime and the child is sure to fondly thank his parents for choosing such a precious and a rare ‘living’ gift.
7 Craft Something For Your Baby
You are about to welcome your new bundle of joy into this world, so why not create something that is memorable and meaningful sign of love? And when your bundle of joy finally does arrive, what better way to welcome it to the world than with sweet homemade baby gifts. These new baby craft ideas are not only great for baby showers, birthdays, celebrating milestones etc, but this is also going to be a guaranteed gift that's going to be both meaningful and unique.
If both the parents are gifted creatively, the newborn is sure to be showered with loads of craftwork. There are numerous sites that assist you with some spectacular craft ideas like favecrafts.com and pinterest.com – handmade baby shower invites, baby shower favor tags, baby shower train, decorative new baby card, baby shower decorations, baby booties, baby blankets, and the list goes on. Even if you are not craft savvy, the artwork that is done by you will have a great story behind its creation that could be told to your child when he/she is at an age to understand things.
6 Instill a Love For Arts
Parents need to be aware that children learn a lot more now from the graphic sources than in the past says Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University. Learning to create and appreciate visual arts may be more important than before for the development of our children as they grow up.
As explained in bebrainfit.com, creating art is beneficial throughout all stages of life. It can help children be better students and improve living standards for older people. Art provides a sense of accomplishment, improves self-esteem, relieves stress and helps to think creatively. Overall, it can make you a better and a happier person.
Backed with so much of positives, it is only imperative that the would-be parents do something artistically for their soon to arrive baby. Baby impression kits make sure you capture those precious early days, belly art helps both the mother and the baby to reflect on those precious moments they had, baby art offers several types of prints, frames, and sculptures, imaginary paintings from the baby’s perspective are a few of the areas that can be tapped artistically.
5 Practice Breathing Exercises with Mom-to-Be
It is common knowledge that an average human can live without water for 3 days, without food for 3 weeks, but cannot survive for more than 3 minutes without air. In pregnant ladies, it is normal for your breathing to be labored because of the increase in progesterone that causes you to breathe deeply. Another reason is that her enlarging uterus takes up more space which results in pressing against her diaphragm. She has to effectively breathe for herself and her baby. Breathing effectively calms the nervous system and induces a feeling of well being.
For a healthy pregnancy, it is advised that the husband actively participates and supports his partner in everything. Likewise, breathing is one exercise that both of them can indulge in to bring out the best results. He can effectively point out flaws that may result while doing this exercise which is best listed out in parenting.firstcry.com.
Maintain the right posture before the exercise by sitting in a folded blanket or yoga mat. You can either sit on the floor cross-legged or in a chair with your spine in an upright position. It is advised to wait three hours after a main meal. The different techniques include breathing from the stomach, chest, shallow breathing and so on.
4 Take Her on a Colour Walk
Every parent dreams to have a healthy and intelligent baby and for that, the mother’s diet, genes, and emotions play an important part. The right lifestyle choices also help ensure those genes are programmed in the womb. Walking is an activity that suits pregnant women of all stripes.
The color run is a unique paint race that celebrates health happiness and individuality. If the doctor allows, it is the pregnant lady’s decision to participate in a color run. Thecolorrun.com states that the powders that are used are certified non-toxic. There are a lot of pregnant runners participating in the race and they are the cutest ones out there. Since it is a physical activity intended for fun, it will be incomplete without her partner’s participation. It is yet another opportunity for the couple to bond better.
3 Get Down and Boogie
Juggling between your aching back, nausea and the ever-present exhaustion, your pregnancy seems to be the perfect excuse to skip your routine workout. But experts recommend that if you are in a healthy pregnancy, a bit of regular exercise does pay off. There’s more... If you have an inclination towards dancing, what’s stopping you? Exercise during your pregnancy may not be a good idea if you are dealing with preeclampsia, preterm labor, or other similar conditions.
Experts in healthline.com state that a dance option like Zumba may be a good option for a pregnant woman as she can set her own pace. She has to take a few precautions like avoid jumping and leaping, placing one foot on the ground at all times and avoiding sudden twists and turns. You are advised to take breaks to drink water and to catch your breath whenever it is needed. The goal is to feel good, therefore get your partner also involved as he can monitor everything that is happening.
2 Write Letters to Your Baby
Connecting with your unborn child can have a more solid bond between the expectant couple and the baby. One of the best ways you can bond with your baby is by having an ultrasound says Clinical Instructor Thomas Ivester. MD, at the University of Tennessee Health Centre in Memphis. This gives the mom a positive sense of responsibility which in turn translates to the baby. The feeling increases when you actually see the baby in the ultrasound.
Likewise, another great way to connect is to write to your unborn baby, as informed in thenewwifestyle.com. Experts recommend this to be a combined exercise by both the couples. However unprepared you are, this is sure to be a powerful and a moving experience. This gives both the parents an opportunity to pen down their thoughts, their hopes and aspirations they have about their unborn baby. After the initial hiccup, the words are sure to start flowing. A lot of couples who have done this exercise strongly recommend other expectant couples to follow suit.
1 Be There to Receive the Baby into the Real World
Your baby’s world changes forever in the moments following birth. His transition from a warm, dark and confined environment to a space full of lights, shapes, and movements are sudden. Although his ears are filled with fluid, he is completely aware of the different and new sounds that are present. Welcome to your new world, sweetheart!
He is startled at the sudden change of environment and lets out a wail or birth cry announcing his arrival to this world. This also clears his airways and initiates respiration. Somewhere around this time, he recognizes something familiar; the smell, the touch, the warmth of his mother, and lo, he is calm once again. Holding his body close to your skin and actually making physical contact soon after birth warms him and stimulates his sense of touch. This contact also helps in regulating his breathing and heartbeat which in turn encouraged him to latch on to breastfeeding when his mom holds him later on. These magical moments are best described in psycologydictionary.org