A first time father! It is daunting to even think about becoming a new father. This experience is almost as terrifying for men as it is for women. It can be argued that women are the ones who actually go through the pain and effort of carrying and delivering the baby, not men. But it is a life changing experience for men too. Nothing is ever going to be the same once they are on their way to becoming a father
It is good for expectant fathers to talk to someone, a close friend or family member. They can clear their doubts and understand exactly what they need to do to make the journey memorable for both partners. Taking tips from someone who has gone through it recently is a good way to gear up!
Contrary to belief, men also go through emotional ups and downs when the wife is pregnant. They are equally scared and nervous about pregnancy and childbirth. It is stressful for them as well. But if they keep in mind a few simple tips,, it will be a comfortable experience. Here are a few of them:
Mental readiness: It is very important to be mentally ready to the fact that you are going to become a new father. Men should take time out and gear up for the experience. Life is going to change. Till now they were the centre of the woman’s life. Now they realise that they have to make way for someone else who is going to be the centre of attention of the wife. Mental readiness is like being halfway there already.
Supporting the wife: Men need to become the pillars of strength for their pregnant wife during this phase. She will go through nausea, mood swings, backaches, headaches, body pain and other emotional and physical changes. They have to be there to support her through it all. Men have to understand that in spite of being pregnant, she has to carry on with her routine housework. They can pitch in to lessen the load. It is imperative to keep her mentally and physically happy and comfortable. Small gestures, like bringing her a pillow, making her sit comfortably, massaging her feet etc can make a big difference to the woman’s well being.
Being positive: It is important that men stay positive and motivating throughout the woman’s pregnancy. There might be days when you don’t feel great, but it’s important for the sake of the wife, this low feeling should not reach her. Anything depressing can affect her mood and the well being of the child. It is crucial that any negative emotions are kept at bay. Women often fear that they start looking ugly as they start putting on weight. It is also important to reassure her that she is doing a great job and is looking fabulous in pregnancy.
Reading on pregnancy: There are lot of good books available on pregnancy and delivery of a child. It is good to buy one and read through as the pregnancy progresses. Being aware of exactly what it entails gives men confidence to get through the period.
Being a good listener: A pregnant woman goes through huge emotional upheaval. At times, she will be ecstatic and go on and on about the child though at others, she may feel depressed and want to vent out her frustrations. It is good to lend an ear at these times. Women feel good that there is someone they can talk to in these difficult and uncertain times. For all genuine concerns, it is good to talk to the doctor together.
Visiting the doctor together: Once the pregnancy test is confirmed, it is important to visit a good gynaecologist. It is advisable for a first time dad to accompany his wife, so that he can learn about the whole process and what to expect. This makes the woman feel secure, because she knows that the man is there to support her.
Stop smoking: This is a good time to kick the butt, as they say. Passive smoking is not good for the woman or the unborn child. It is good to realise this and give up the smoking habit.
Pregnancy and its experience matures not just a woman but a man as well. Men become conscious that they have an additional member coming in, who has to be cared for. The complete attitude changes to one of responsibility, attention to family and maturity. This can be a fabulous experience for a man as well. Three cheers to first time fathers!