Fatherhood 101: First Time Dad Tips
The days are gone when a new father was pacing in the waiting room on the maternity floor, probably chain-smoking while waiting for the birth of his first child. The soon to be father never saw the agony his wife went through to give birth to this child because the child was presented to him in the nursery at the window, all cleaned up and in a bundle of pink or blue. Then after becoming a father, he was allowed to see his wife after she was all cleaned up, had her make-up on and was holding the new baby.
The new father then realized, he became a dad and held his new child for the first time. Times have changed and so has fatherhood. Becoming a father has taken on new meaning and men are now in birthing suites or watching their wife give birth at home for the first time.
Soon to be dads are exploring dad advice by using social media, which was non-existent 30 years ago. The soon to be dad, for the first time, would barely talk about the birth of his child, but he would hand out cigars with a band in either pink or blue. Today’s modern dad does the same thing most likely with cigars, however, he is totally involved with the birth of his first child.
He’s still just as nervous as the father’s of long ago, but he has a smarter view on fatherhood because research has shown that children are happier with both parents involved in their lives. The father to be can still go to his father for some dad advice and learn the wisdom his father has gained throughout the years. The new father can also talk to his grandfather about the times when his grandpa became a father and what life was like for his father as a child.
This is how first fathers decide on their parenting style – by watching and learning as they grow up and then decide with their spouse how they will parent their child.
Here are some ideas for soon to be dads to think about while their wives or significant others are expecting.
Support the Expectant Mother
The most important thing a soon to be dad can do is to support the expectant wife and mother through the pregnancy. Remember your wife is going to be exhausted and her emotions are going to be changing drastically due to hormones. Some days, you might not even know this woman but cut her some slack because everything she is feeling is new to her as well.
Make sure you offer her your help in any way possible. This not only makes her happier but will benefit the relationship and your future child for years to come. If she has a craving for ice cream, pick some up on the way home. In addition, watch her cravings and surprise her with her favorite foods.
The Early Months of Pregnancy
When fathers first find out they are going to be a parent, this can be emotionally shocking for some dads and exhilarating experience for others. If you are very nervous, this is also normal. Most women will tell the soon to be the father that they don’t want to tell anyone until the first trimester is over, in case of a loss or miscarriage as it is called.
This is a good time for the soon to be a dad to start getting used to his new role in life and get some dad advice from someone you trust. Fathers also are going to be thinking about how their responsibilities in life are going to be changing and they have to figure out how to manage all of these new responsibilities and changes. This is a good time to start getting involved and go with your wife or partner to appointments or shopping for new items you will need for your new arrival.
This is also a good time for both of you to become more intimate and discuss your feelings and emotions together and how you are going to both handles this responsibility during the pregnancy. Soon to be dads also have to remember that their wives or spouse are going to be possibly nauseated on and off during the day, and have those unpredictable emotional mood swings.
This is a time where dads should remember, it’s not them that’s causing this so try and be supportive and positive to your wife or partner. If your wife or partner is ill, tell her to try eating less at mealtime. When she vomits too much and you become worried, don’t be afraid to call your doctor.
In addition, most soon to be dads are probably wondering if it’s ok to have a sexual relationship during the pregnancy with their wife or partner. It is very normal to keep having a sexual relationship as long as both of you are in the mood.
Some women tend to start bleeding during their pregnancy or have additional issues, so your doctor might not think sex is a good idea for a while. All you can do is support your spouse or partner and continue to be patient because there are many other ways you both can create some intimacy between the two of you.
The second trimester is usually the best trimester for pregnancy because a woman is used to the hormonal changes going on and the morning sickness has passed and she will welcome you, her spouse and father to be into her life with open arms. This is a good time to sit down with your wife or partner and start discussing a budget, relationship, and maybe some extra life insurance. A couple may also want to talk about a will for both of them because if something happens to one of them, the other spouse wants to be financially prepared to raise a child on their own.
Soon to be dads will also want to create an honest and open communication experience that you both will desperately need as new parents. If your wife or partner is smoking or drinking alcohol, try and be supportive and ask her to try and quit for the sake of the baby.
You both can join in some exercise classes together or go for a walk for a half-hour daily during the pregnancy so she is in good shape for delivery. Soon to be dads are also going to have to start eating more wholesome with their wives or partners during the pregnancy, so your child is healthy when he or she is born.
The final trimester has arrived and this might be the time that soon to be dads start getting nervous. Reality starts to hit and your wife or partner is going to the doctor weekly now. Try and go along with her so you are able to see a picture of what your child looks like and hear the heartbeat.
This also is a time that can be a great learning experience when becoming a new dad, and this time helps you understand what will happen next. The end of the third trimester is very uncomfortable for your spouse or partner. Your wife or partner is going to be having problems sleeping, going to the bathroom more often and sex is going to start feeling very uncomfortable for her.
She probably will start nesting and cleaning constantly so the house is spotless when your new child arrives home for the first time. There won’t be much time for either of you to get much done, once your new baby comes home. This is the time that baby can listen and hear, so it’s a great time for you to start letting your child hear your voice so they recognize you at birth.
It’s amazing what newborns can figure out and most likely they will look for one of their parents by the sound of their voice. Try singing to your child as well because this is the way to start the bonding process with your new baby for the new father.
Soon to be fathers should try and become as best prepared as possible when the birth of their child happens. This will make life much easier and comfortable with your new child when becoming a father. You can talk to your dad, family members, friends and other men in support groups that are already fathers.
You can join a class, watch some videos on youtube, read as much as possible because there is a lot of reading material on childbirth for soon to be dads. You and your wife or partner can also take some classes together when expecting your first child for the new dad to be. This is a good way for both of you to understand one another and find out what both of your roles during delivery will be.
Most parents should have a plan and rehearse the first time before it’s time to go to the hospital. Everything doesn’t always go the way as planned if your partner or wife delivers fast, but it’s always a good idea to take a class on delivering a baby as you wait for EMT’s to respond. You both can figure out the quickest way to the hospital together and have her pack that suitcase with everything she will need when she is at the hospital.
Of course, be flexible because she might forget something small and then it’s the dad’s job to go and pick up what she needs for the child or herself.
When she goes into labor, your role changes into her support person, although she most likely will have a coach nurse for delivery. You can help by rubbing her back, talking softly to her, helping her through the worst parts of the delivery and telling her to breathe through the contractions. She most likely will change the game plan because face it dads, childbirth can be uncomfortable even though this is the most beautiful event in the world.
In addition, if she chose a midwife or doctor, they will be talking to you as well in regards to helping with the birth of your child. The main thing for a soon to be dads is to try and not show your wife or partner that you want to run down the hall screaming. Be patient and calm and breathe deeply yourself because most likely, you might get a bit sick to your tummy yourself at times.
Some soon to be dads do faint, so bend over after you sit down, and place your head between the knees and breathe slow. Most dads cut the umbilical cord and this might be something you might regret if you don’t participate. This is one of the first ways to bond with baby and you might be the first one to hold him or her!
Don’t back away when your wife or partner goes into labor and is ready for delivery. Just because you might have felt left out during this pregnancy, doesn’t mean your wife doesn’t want you there. You might have done this to yourself, after a bout of jealousy because she is getting all the attention during her pregnancy.
If you are feeling like this, get some help during the first trimester because your wife and partner want you involved as much as possible. This is a time for joy and the ability to bond and have a better relationship for the sake of your growing little family. Face it, all pregnant women are going to have more attention than you are for nine months, so be a good friend and support your wife and partner.
If you feel like you are left out, go talk to a friend or spend some time with your dad. Sometimes a night away can make all the difference in the world and get some dad advice.
Do Soon to be Dads have Pregnancy Symptoms?
Everyone knows moms become different during pregnancy, but what about soon to be dads? Do expectant fathers really understand that they can have pregnancy symptoms just like their partners?
Anyone that is going to be a father in the near future can find a few things that seem to confuse them about their partner’s pregnancy. One of these is food cravings. Is your partner craving something you would not eat, and you share in the partner’s craving suddenly?
The reason behind this is soon to be dads are sharing some of their partner’s cravings, which are considered symptoms. This happens to the majority of soon to be dads and they start sharing symptoms with their partners which is completely normal. It’s not only your partner that is expecting, but you both are also expecting together.
Do your fathers ever become dumbfounded and think about who’s the person really carrying your child?
Here are a few symptoms that you dads will find that you are sharing with your partner.
Does the Expectant Father Feel Anxious?
The story goes that the men that are the most laid back can still suffer from lack of sleep like their partners. They also get heartburn and are tired just like their partners during their pregnancy. There is some reasoning behind these symptoms and the men that are more in tune with their relationship and their partner happen to share the same issues than men that aren’t in sync with their partner’s feelings.
Men that grew up and stayed in touch more with their parents are less stressed with their partner during their pregnancy together. There is always the in-between area, where some dads begin worrying more and become more anxious.
There are ways for dads to get back some of their peaceful feelings and that is why they need to get some dad advice for themselves to help calm their stress.
Yes, Soon to be Dads Become Nauseated.
Dads that are expecting suffer from a different kind of nausea than their parents and this is non-hormonal nausea. Nausea comes more from the changes in the food they are eating and the extra anxiety they are experiencing. The best thing to stop this symptom is to start exercising to relieve extra stress.
Talk to some friends, family or a support group of men if something is bothering you about your wife, partner or mate. Eat healthily and stay away from drinking alcohol.
Do Expectant Fathers Actually have Mood Swings?
Fathers-to-be have to understand that their partner is going to be on an emotional roller coaster daily. This can continue to the end of the first trimester. The last 4 weeks of the first trimester have women on a hormonal tornado, where your partner will use every emotion she has without knowing it.
This can cause soon to be dads to start using all their emotions as well. The good news is for dads this isn’t hormones, it’s just their nerves on edge. Dads also should realize that most likely their new baby will arrive in the middle of the night, and this is really a major life change for both of them.
Dads should be prepared for big life changes, and this is starting now, and this is why fathers to be are experiencing sleeping problems and uncontrollable emotional issues. This is all normal and be patient and toot your own horn once in a while. Becoming a dad takes practice and remember no one is perfect, so face the facts now and enjoy your new child when they arrive!
Yes, Soon to be Dads, the Sex is Different Now.
Dads, you can never tell what is going to happen to your partner’s sex drive during pregnancy. Some women enjoy having sex more while others cool down for a while. Women go through a period where they experience fatigue, they have poor self-esteem due to body image or they are just plain uncomfortable to be performing in sex life.
Males can also start to feel different towards their partner and actually find their wives very appealing, and some soon to be dads become sadly overwhelmed because the thought of all the added responsibilities starts driving expectant fathers bats. Some dads feel exhilarated, while others are extremely fatigued from worry. Then there are those parents that believe they will harm the child if they have sex which is something to discuss with the doctor.
There usually is nothing to worry about when your partner is pregnant in regards to sexual relations. There are still other ways a couple can practice intimacy. Sex is a small amount of the intimate relationship a couple can have.
There is talking, eating a romantic dinner, cuddling, bathing together, etc. Just remember that communication is the key to any good relationship.
Do Soon to be Dads Gain Extra Weight too?
Dads to be all know that their partners are going to have a bulging tummy for 9 months, but on the contrary, men can also gain as much as 15 pounds during the pregnancy they are experiencing together. Some think food is the problem, but it’s actually a hormone called cortisol which is responsible for stress. Insulin and the body’s blood sugar levels are controlled by cortisol.
This is why people feel hungry when they really aren’t and in addition, believe it or not, cortisol is also responsible for directing your extra weight into the places you don’t want it. That place goes right to your gut soon to be dads. You can avoid this by eating healthy and exercising to help your stress level and pick up your endorphins.
Dads Also Suffer from Phantom Aches and Pains
There are some men who feel the exact same pain as their partners and suffer from aches and pains and this is usually brought on by stress. They call these phantom pains and an example are toothaches, back problems, headaches, cramps in the legs, and other issues in regards to men suffering from sympathy pains towards their partner’s pregnancy. There really is no explanation when men get the same pains at the same time in the same areas as their partners.
Some researchers suggest soon to be dads could be feeling competitive about being a parent and not carrying the child. The best thing to do if dads to be are experiencing these symptoms is to talk to a profession and keep an open line of communication with your partner.
Becoming a father is one of the greatest moments in life that all dads will experience. Be open and supportive to your partner because you are both in this together. There is no need to compete with your partner because your child will feel emotions a lot more than you realize. You and your partner should enjoy the experience of watching the birth of your child together. This little person is around for life now and this is your family dads so make the best of it and enjoy!