It’s common for dads to feel superfluous when their partner is pregnant but it doesn’t have to be this way. Dads who involve themselves in the whole nine months tend to bond more quickly with their newborn, not to mention enriching the relationship with their partner.
So, how can dads-in-waiting feel involved in pregnancy and start the bonding process?
- Attend scans and key appointments (it is okay to give routine checks a miss unless your partner is particularly nervous).
- Take a genuine interest in your baby’s development. Read about its growth and marvel in each miraculous stage.
- Be aware of important dates and milestones over the nine months. For example, the foetus can hear voices outside the womb from around 23-weeks and will recognise its parents’ vocals at birth. Talking to your unborn baby and knowing he can hear you is an amazing bonding exercise.
- Stroke and kiss your partner’s tummy – but only when she is in the mood!
- Enjoy your partner’s changing body, remembering to tell her she is beautiful and sexy. Some women feel unattractive and uncomfortable, others bloom and have an increased appetite for sex. Be sensitive to this and respond accordingly.
- Make your partner feel special and pampered. Take on more on the domestic front. Load and unload washing, do a bit more food shopping or prepare some lovely meals.
- Your sex life is likely to change. In the early months women often go off sex because they feel tired or may be experiencing morning sickness which, despite its name, often lasts all day. The second trimester (months four to six) are usually the most sexually active for couples. Your partner will hopefully be feeling confident in her pregnancy and is not so swollen-bellied that intercourse becomes a physical challenge. Follow her cues and remember, intercourse cannot damage your baby.
- Talk to other new dads about how they cared for their partner and pick up any tips for prenatal bonding – we’d love to hear them too!
Find out more about bonding once your baby arrives
Now tell us what worked for you…
How did your partner bond with your bump?