First Time Dad? Here’s How to Prepare

By on January 27, 2020

Whether planned or not, becoming a soon-to-be dad can bring about a lot of different emotions. What’s sure is that having a child will change your life in a lot of different ways, so it’s important to prepare yourself in the right ways so you can take care of your family and help make it a smooth transition. Although the focus will likely be on your partner, being a supportive and helpful teammate is integral to a successful and happy pregnancy— and long-term relationship. Here are some ways to prepare yourself for the job ahead and being the rock-solid father your baby will need.

Assess your fears

Pregnancy can bring about a lot of fears for both mothers and fathers alike. This is natural— it’s common to be worried about change, complications, and the responsibilities ahead. For many reasons, men can be blindsided by these feelings once their partner becomes pregnant since our culture tends to focus on what women go through during pregnancy, not men. What’s important is to get to the heart of your fears, stressors, and anxieties about welcoming your new child and communicating these with your partner. This can help you and your partner get to the root of behaviors and interactions that might arise from underlying fears and avoid unneeded conflict.

Learn what your partner expects and needs

It’s common for women to feel like their partner doesn’t do enough once the baby comes, even if fathers feel like they do plenty to help out. It’s extremely important to head this resentment off before it starts by being clear and honest with each other about the division of childcare and household work, as well as expectations. Find out what your partner expects from you from day to day and begin planning a system that will help you stick to it. If there’s tension about workload even before your partner gets pregnant, then make sure to work it out before there’s a baby in the picture!

Inform yourself

The reality is that, especially in high-risk pregnancies, you may be expected to make important medical decisions along with (or even in place of) your partner during pregnancy and childbirth. Your partner will likely be overwhelmed with information about pregnancy and going to different appointments, so it’s important that you keep up, if only to support your partner. If you can’t go to appointments with your partner, then make sure to read more about pregnancy, parenting, and the different things that your partner will be going through. Understanding the ins and outs of pregnancy and child-rearing can help you feel engaged with the process, especially when your partner gets lots of attention from those around her!

Expect to feel left-out (at least a little)

If there’s one universal experience for new fathers, it’s feeling left-out. It’s common for women to get wrapped up in taking care of the child, managing a household, and maybe even going back to work, resulting in their male partners feeling a little like they’re been replaced. Although this isn’t always intentional, it’s normal to begin experiencing less attention and affection from your partner once the baby comes. This is most common during the first couple years of baby-raising, so keep in mind that it’s most often short-term. Make sure to offset your partner’s stress by ensuring responsibilities are taken care of and that your partner feels supported so they have energy to devote to your relationship.

Schedule an Appointment

Pregnancy and parenthood is an exciting (but stressful) time. Many parents find that it can be overwhelming and interferes with their own relationships. Seeing a therapist or psychiatrist can be helpful in processing emotions and managing stress, so make sure to discuss your options with your partner.

Our award-winning team of maternal fetal medicine specialists can offer exceptional pregnancy care to expectant mothers and fathers during an appointment at our New York City office. To get started, we invite you to contact us by calling or filling out our online form.

Maternal Fetal Medicine blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!

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