Pregnancy is never boring.
It does give you time to prepare for fatherhood, though!
Sure, it is tiresome sometimes, but it is not dull. So what are the things a dad should know about pregnancy?
I will give you 10 things I wish I knew about pregnancy when my son was cooking in the womb.
Like most things in life, preparation is vital. This is very true for pregnancy too. Speaking of preparation, make sure you have your hospital survival kit ready towards the end! You will need that for the delivery room (more tips here for that).
When mom is pregnant, it can be a wonderful time for your family, but there are also times when dad’s knowledge may be called upon.
10 Things A Dad Should Know About Pregnancy
Is this a conclusive list of things a Dad should know about pregnancy?
No, definitely not. There would be so many words on this page; you probably wouldn’t read them all; no, this is advice for new dads during pregnancy.
These are 10 things that I wished I knew when my wife was pregnant.
My biggest tip is for you to learn what could go wrong during pregnancy. You REALLY need to know the most common issues that could spell trouble for you all.
Have a read through this page on pregnancy warning signs and please, if you are not sure about a symptom, it is essential to get mom checked out by a medical professional.
Things A Dad Should Know About Pregnancy
Here are the 10 that expecting dads should know! Enjoy!
Know the pregnancy stages
This is the first thing dad needs to know about pregnancy, and it is a very, very large subject. I have written a complete article about the stages of pregnancy, and it is well worth a read.
I will give you a basic rundown, though. the pregnancy is broken down into 3 trimesters:
- 1st trimester – 0-12 weeks
- 2nd trimester 12-28 weeks
- 3rd trimester 29-40 weeks
Each of the trimesters will give you new challenges and a set of tasks to do.
Read my stages of pregnancy article to break down what you should expect your baby to be doing and what you expect your wife to be doing.
It is always best to know what you are up against.
What your partner will physically need
If you are looking for info on what expectant fathers should know, this is a biggie; you need to know what your partner will need from a physical point of view.
So many things. Honestly, so many! But, I have a small list of things below that helped my wife during pregnancy:
- A pregnancy pillow – trust me, dad will also get more sleep.
- Eye mask – to help with sleeping during the day.
- Dad to clean up after himself – do it, man.
- Dad takes care of *stuff* around the house.
- Hot water bottle – because they make you feel better!
During pregnancy, dad’s job is to make mom content, confident, happy, and ready for childbirth.
What your partner will mentally need.
So here is a list of things that a mom will mentally need during pregnancy.
- Getting out of the house during the later stages – stops cabin fever.
- You to understand – try not to argue back, and understand that hormones drive every single one of her moods, good or bad.
- To relax – hosting a baby must be tiring work. Talk to her about her concerns, and address them.
- Talking about how she is getting on shows an interest and increases the feeling that you are in this together.
- You to answer questions and increase your knowledge – she isn’t going to know everything during pregnancy. Take the lead and learn what is happening and what is going to happen. If she asks you a question and you have the answer, her confidence builds knowing you are around.
Number 5 was a biggie for me. If you are looking into what fathers need to know about pregnancy, I suggest that you learn about pregnancy as much as you can. Understand what is happening to the baby and know what will happen during childbirth. Be the font of all knowledge!
I am sure you know that pregnancy comes with a sudden rush of hormones, not just once either!
During pregnancy, dad needs to keep mom’s mental health right at the forefront of his consciousness. It is vital that mom feels she can talk to dad about anything, at all times.
Her sense of smell is like a dog
Make sure you have regular showers. Don’t go overboard on the scent, and try not to cook food that will cause the entire house to smell for days.
Get some relaxing candles that women love; they release a subtle fragrance as they burn, which will mask many smells.
The important thing here is that when you clean the house, make sure you cover everything. If you miss even a bit of the cleaning, her hound nose will pick it up in no time at all!
While I am on the subject, mom will go through a stage of pregnancy they call ‘nesting.’ Nesting is where mom’s instincts will kick in, and she will want to prepare the house for the baby’s arrival. Then, when the nesting stage begins, you need to move out of mom’s way; she has everything covered.
Always be ready for some instructions, and always keep an eye on mom if she is trying to move heavy objects!
Do not worry about having sex
Don’t worry about it. It probably isn’t going to happen. It might happen once or twice.
During the 1st trimester, things are a little fraught, and her body is just not going to feel up to it, so you need to respect that.
A mixture of worry and a massive boost in hormones will take over, and sex will probably be one of the last things on her mind.
Women tend to go into overdrive during the 2nd trimester when your chances are likely to arrive. But, when it does, don’t worry about hurting the baby; it just isn’t going to happen, man.
If anything, the good hormones released during sex will make the baby happier in the womb. Try to use that line when you can!
The 3rd trimester is unlikely to bring you any sexy time. For a start, she is going to be huge. You have to remember that she may not look huge, but in her mind, she is HUGE.
There is a fable that sex brings on labor, it isn’t true, but it is well worth suggesting. It might be your last chance for a while.
A friend once gave me this advice.
When you first meet a girl, put some money IN a jar each time you have sex. After childbirth, take money OUT of the jar each time you have sex. You will soon realize that the jar will never be empty.
Moods change at the drop of a hat.
Picture this; you are having a conversation with your wife. She is laughing, crying, angry, and then laughing again in that same conversation. It doesn’t follow the same pattern, and it is very sporadic. Try to keep up.
Do as much as you can to ensure your partner is not going to get too angry, or sad.
Respect that a sudden rush of hormones is driving these moods. Do not get drawn into pointless disagreements for the sake of it.
During my wife’s pregnancy, arguments were rare (I don’t tend to argue anyway, life is too short), so I got away with it. Some dads paint an entirely different picture, though.
Know how to make your baby move
During pregnancy, one of the things a dad needs to know is how to make his baby move.
There will be times when the baby’s activity slows down, and there will be times when it will not quit moving around.
You need to ask mom regularly if she has felt the baby move recently, just to make sure everything is cool.
If mom hasn’t felt the baby move for a few hours, there are some things you can do to wake the baby up:
- Run a bath for mom
- Get mom up and walking around
- Put something cold on the baby bump
I remember one time when I had just gotten back home from work. My wife looked concerned, and after asking what was wrong, I got an answer (which makes a change!). She had not felt my son move that day.
I told my wife to lay down and close her eyes. I grabbed a packet of frozen vegetables, and without her knowing, I stuck it on the baby bump.
It shocked my wife and more importantly, made my son give a belting kick from the inside!
Mom was happy, although she asked me to try something less surprising next time.
As far as I was concerned, it was a job well done.
Learn pregnancy danger signs
Please learn the danger signs to look out for during pregnancy!
It is essential to know what can go wrong during pregnancy to deal with it swiftly and effectively. That means calling a medical professional, by the way.
Prepare for the worst is the best approach. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be aware of the danger signs.
Just read as much as you can, and when you have finished reading about the danger signs, read some more!
Understand what happens during childbirth
I have a post that helps you understand what happens during pregnancy, have a read of that post and familiarize yourself with what you should be expecting.
Within the post, I run through what happens to the baby and, more importantly, what you can expect your wife to be doing during pregnancy.
When you stroll into the hospital knowing what to expect, it will give mom some confidence, which means less stress for her! Less stress is best, especially when you are about to go through the tremendous pain of childbirth!
Even after soaking up a vast amount of knowledge from books, friends, and medical experts, I was still not fully prepared for childbirth.
This is because somebody can’t know everything that could happen during childbirth.
As long as dad learns what is common for childbirth then he is as prepared as he can be!
Understand what you will both need for the hospital
Ultimately, you will need to have 4 things sorted before you even leave for the hospital, which means preparing months in advance.
- Get the car ready for the journey and prepping the car to have a baby on board.
- Prepare your dad’s hospital survival kit. That post will show you everything I needed during the hospital stay, and it was a stay too!
- Mom’s hospital bag.
- Get the house ready to host a newborn baby.
Get them sorted now, and your future self will thank you!
Why dads need to know about pregnancy
All of the tips above are genuinely things a dad needs to know about pregnancy, but why does he need to know?
Pregnancy can be a magical time for both parents, but it can also be when tensions are very high. This is especially true if it is mom’s first pregnancy. Dad needs to be the person to turn to for advice and support.
A dad needs to know about pregnancy because, like all things in life, preparation is key to success.
When my wife was pregnant, I went above and beyond when learning everything that I needed to know. I did this because I wanted to answer questions, and I wanted to be able to offer support when it mattered most. Most of all, I WANTED to know the process.
I wanted to know what to expect, and that thirst for knowledge meant that I could be ‘the rock’ when my wife had concerns.
Unfortunately, our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, which was the driving force behind me learning the vital warning signs that mean you need medical assistance.
When I was writing this post, the question wasn’t so much ‘What are the things a dad should know about pregnancy?’ it was more ‘What did I wish I knew about pregnancy when my wife was pregnant?’ Anyone prepping for fatherhood needs to know this stuff.
The rest was pretty easy!
Above all else, and this is good advice for pregnancy and being a new dad, preparation will stop you from getting into trouble. If you do not prepare, you do not know what to expect, and it will cause much annoyance!
I prefer the easy life, so I get on it before I need to.
If you can think of anything else that a dad will need to know about pregnancy, please get in touch. Either leave a comment below or use the contact us page.