HELPFUL FIRST TIME DAD TIPS DURING PREGNANCY
Becoming a father can be one of the most significant life-changing events. While a good amount of parenting will be trusting your intuition and learning as you go, there are still plenty of ways to develop a parenting plan before the baby comes. Are you looking for info on what a new father needs to know? These seven tips can get you started.
1. HIT THE BOOKS
It’s a great idea for first-time dads to engage in some research. Educate yourself on the physical and emotional changes that your pregnant partner will be experiencing. Learn more about the different types of birth and what to expect during delivery. There are plenty of informative books out there to check out. Also, consider signing up for a parenting-focused newsletter or join a social media group.
2. DEVELOP YOUR PARENTING PLAN
Spend time communicating with your co-parent about what type of parent you both want to be. Some topics to think about and discuss are:
Cloth diapers vs. disposable
Keep in mind that adjusting your plans after your bundle-of-joy comes home is natural–and probably to be expected. However, having some framework before delivery is a solid way to get on the same page.
3. NOURISH YOUR BODY
We all know that it’s vital for pregnant women to take care of their bodies before and after childbirth. The same is true for fathers. Having a healthy lifestyle will help you keep up with the task of parenting and encourage your kiddo to adopt positive habits as they grow. If you smoke, now is the time to quit. Create an exercise plan and monitor your eating habits.
Don’t forget to schedule a physical exam at one of our primary care clinics in Portland to assess your current health.
4. PRIORITIZE MENTAL HEALTH
It may surprise you to know that new fathers can experience depression after the little one, or ones, are born. In fact, studies show that male postpartum depression exists. However, men are more likely to withdraw or shut down than seek help. How do new dads cope with feelings of extreme depression or hopelessness? Getting help is essential to manage your mental health. Treatments vary, so it’s best to consult with your physician. They may recommend an antidepressant and therapy.
5. GET SOME SLEEP
It’s no secret that caring for a newborn can mean some sleepless nights. However, it’s necessary to keep in mind that everyone in your family needs rest to replenish and stay healthy. There are various sleep methods to try, but the key is to make sure that both parents catch some much-needed ZZZs.
6. REACH OUT TO FELLOW DADS
You may have heard the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” There is some sound advice in that saying. Having a community of parents can help be a support system, both emotionally and for caregiving help. Form bonds with other fathers. Having a network will help you share in both the good times and the trying times. Plus, it will allow you to talk about with fellow dads the unique dynamics of fatherhood.
7. GO TO MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS WITH YOUR CO-PARENT
We all know that schedules are hard to juggle, but making time for prenatal appointments is a fantastic way to learn more about your child’s development. Moreover, it’s exciting to see the ultrasound and track the baby’s progress visually. This is also an excellent opportunity to ask any questions that might be on your mind.