The mom-to-be might be carrying the load, but that doesn’t mean dad can't provide support. Expectant fathers can connect with their unborn baby in a variety of ways. The more a father can bond with baby and mom now, the closer he'll feel when the day arrives.
Accompany your partner to her prenatal visits. In the first trimester, you will be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat during an ultrasound. The second trimester will have an ultrasound where you can see the baby’s profile, arms, legs, fingers and maybe even find out what sex the child is. If you feel uncomfortable with joining her in the exam room for the routine checkups, you can always stay in the waiting room and be there to support her before and after the exam.
Keep up-to-date on your baby’s current development. The internet and numerous books can give you this information. Week-by-week, you can read about how big your baby is and what new developments are taking place around that time. This also opens up some bonding conversations with your partner.
Communicate With Baby
Even if you feel weird about it or think it’s a one-sided conversation, try communicating with the baby. Around week 23, your baby starts to hear. Take this opportunity to talk to the baby. You can sing, chat or read a book to the baby bump. You might feel silly, but he can hear you and will start to distinguish your voice from random sounds. Put on some music and sing along, it if you want. When the baby starts to kick, place your hand in that area of your partner’s belly. You can lightly tap the area too to see whether he will kick back. Gently massaging the belly is a way to connect with your partner and your baby.
Staying connected with your partner is critical. Preparing for baby can be stressful for both of you. Speak honestly about your fears, excitement and any other emotions you are feeling about this new phase of your life. Having a happy and comfortable mom-to-be is the best environment for your baby to grow. Provide a loving atmosphere for your baby before he joins the two of you in the outside world.
Take a childbirth class with your partner. This information will come in handy when that special day arrives. Many classes will also teach helpful parenting tips, such as how to change a diaper, feed the baby, burp him, hold him properly, put him to sleep safely and proper installation of a car seat. This is all valuable information to know. Plus it takes some of the “I don’t know what to do” anxiety away and helps you get excited about the baby.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Child Welfare Information Gateway: Sixteen Things Fathers Can Do to Support Their Pregnant Partners
- WebMD: Advice for Expectant Fathers
- Kids Health: Becoming a Father
- Birth.com: Communicating with Your Unborn Baby: How to Bond with Your Bump
- Birth.com: Dad to Be - Moods, Excitement, Anxiety, Relationship
- Pregnancy Magazine: Five Tips for Early Baby-Bonding for the Dad-to-Be
- American Pregnancy Association: Fetal Development
- Ask Dr. Sears: 7 Ways to Bond with Your Preborn Baby
- Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images