Expectant Dads: What to Expect From Pregnancy and Birth

Today, somewhere in the world, something momentous happened to someone. This person – let’s call him Mike – was just handed a little plastic stick by his partner that told him that his life was going to change forever.

He has just found out that he is becoming a father for the first time, and although his head is spinning from the news, one thought is clear: he is going to be the best father he can be.

But how is he going to do that? Well, luckily Mike knows that being a great father starts the moment you discover that a baby is on the way, so he immediately starts doing the following:

Get real
Mike takes some time to acknowledge what he is thinking and feeling. Becoming a father is big deal and can be a scary thing to face at first. He makes sure to deal with these feelings early on, before it becomes a real problem.

Research and read
Mike isn’t the biggest of readers, but he knows he can’t leave it all to his partner. He wants to understand what is happening during the pregnancy, during the delivery, and definitely during those first exciting months with baby.

He chooses, amongst others, these books:

  • Keeping the Baby Alive till Your Wife Gets Home by Walter Roark
  • Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden
  • Don’t Just Stand There: How to Be Helpful, Clued-In, Supportive, Engaged & Relevant in the Delivery Room by Jon Lichtenstein and Elissa Stein

He also makes sure that he attends as many pre-natal classes as possible and researches what to expect from pregnancy, trimester by trimester

Pay attention

Mike knows that his partner’s body is going through some big (and difficult) changes. He acknowledges the exciting ones (“our baby is growing so fast!”) and also the tough ones (“that must be killing your back”).

He also makes sure to feel the baby kick a few months down the line, but even before that, he is reading, singing and talking to her or him as often as he can.

Know the plan

Mike and his partner make a point of sitting down and talking about their birth plan well before the baby is due. Questions like “Which hospital will we use?” “Should we hire a doula?” “Are we okay with a natural birth, or do we want a C-Section?” all get answered at this time. They read through Preparing for Labour and Complications During Childbirth, just to be prepared. Mike listens to his partner’s choices, and backs her decisions.

Be ready

As the big day approaches, Mike has mapped out the best routes to the hospital and has made sure that his wife’s hospital bag and the new baby’s bag have all the essentials and are ready to go. When the day arrives, Mike takes everything he has learned from his classes and books and puts it to good use. He supports his partner through all of it, and doesn’t get flustered at all.

Good job, Mike!

Written by Terence Mentor of AfroDaddy