When a woman becomes pregnant, all the attention tends to focus on her. This is normal because she will be the one who will experience the different changes and will have an intrinsic connection with the baby who was part of her body for several months.
On the other hand, the partner or father will also go through a unique experience before, during and after the birth of the baby. First-time fathers need to learn about the transition including his responsibilities and roles. He also needs to find a way to deal with his feelings including that of excitement, anxiety and fear.
The couple should work together to prepare for childbirth. It is the responsibility of each person in the relationship to help the other cope and deal with the different issues. For expecting mothers, it is very important to understand that your significant other needs preparation, communication, and understanding.
Since the gathering and processing of information in regards to pregnancy is usually through health care providers, it would be best to visit them together. There are also other sources of information like articles on the internet and books that both should read.
The problem is that men are not always available for prenatal appointments and are unlikely to talk about pregnancy with their peers. Thus, it is the responsibility of the woman to update her partner and discuss whatever was mentioned by the health care provider. This is important because the more prepared the father is, the better he will be able to support and encourage his partner before, during and after childbirth.
In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the different steps that can be taken to prepare the father for childbirth in order to make the experience a whole lot better.
8 Encourage Him to Attend Prenatal Appointments
It may not be possible to attend all prenatal appointments together, but you should try to do so as much as possible. This will help your significant other learn more about prenatal care including his duties. It is also an amazing opportunity to experience exciting things like listening to the heartbeat of the baby and looking at the baby through an ultrasound for pregnancy. This will also enable him to ask questions to the health care provider.
7 Attend Childbirth Classes Together
Just like prenatal appointments, this is an important part of childbirth preparation for both the mother and father. Actually, childbirth classes are designed for both mothers and fathers. The classes are ideal for expecting fathers who usually don’t read up on birth and for expecting mothers who tend to take in too much information from different sources that can be confusing.
There are in-person, interactive classes that cover all the important parts of birth including the different coping strategies that can be used. Lamaze class educators are now trained to engage expecting fathers and partners using different techniques like targeted questioning.
6 Create a Birth Plan Together
If you want to have your personal advocate to ensure that labor and birth will be as safe as possible, you don’t need to spend a lot of money and hire someone. As long as your significant other is willing, he can play the vital role and help make the birth process easier and safer.
You can start by making sure that both of you are on the same page. This can be done by creating a birth plan together as a couple. Of course, you should get advice from your health care providers and Lamaze educators.
5 Keep Communication Lines Open
You need to talk to your significant other about everything including what you want, your fears and what you expect from him before, during and after pregnancy. The problem with most couples is that they don’t talk about it and just expect things to happen the way they want to.
This is usually where problems begin. Make the time to communicate with each other and be sure to ask open-ended questions. Do not be afraid to tell your partner about your thoughts including your anxieties and fears. Together, you can both make the childbirth process smoother and easier.
4 Prepare for Everything
Some couples panic and only start the childbirth education process when the woman is near labor. This is a huge mistake since there are plenty of things both the expecting father and mother need to know. Preparation is the key just like with almost anything else. Read up on books, use the internet to learn about the important things and talk to your health care provider.
This is another reason prenatal classes are very important and both the woman and her partner should attend. Surprises are common so you should also be prepared for the unexpected. This includes labor complications and other issues.
3 Ask About His Feelings and Preferences
Men tend to hold whatever they are thinking in, but you should encourage them to talk about it. Ask him about how he feels regarding the pregnancy. He may be scared and uncertain so you need to assure him that everything will be fine as long as you are both prepared.
Again, this stresses the importance of attending prenatal appointments and childbirth classes together. Religion, personal feelings, and tradition may prevent him from being there for you during childbirth. If this is so, then you just need to respect it and work together to come up with a solution.
2 Talk About the Option of Having Another Birth Partner
If the father is unable to provide support during pregnancy, labor, and childbirth, there are alternative options like getting a doula. This person provides non-medical support during birth for a fee. You can also ask a friend or a family member to be your birth partner.
1 Prepare to Welcome the Baby Into the World
The recovery process after birth is another important part that requires full participation of the partner. Of course, you need to prepare the baby’s room and other things he/she will need a crib, clothes, and diapers.
Since the mother after childbirth will be recovering, the partner should help out in taking care of the baby and with household chores. The partner will also be in charge of scheduling visiting hours of family members and friends. All of these should be included when you are creating a birth plan with your partner.
Ella James is an aspiring author who is pursuing Health Services Administration degree from St. Petersburg College. She is an active contributor to Consumer Health Digest, which is a leading Health News Website. Her interests include reading and writing about Pregnancy, Parenting, Health, Fitness, Beauty, and Skin Care. In recent years, she had the opportunity to review top skin care products.Get connected with her on Facebook and Twitter.