How dads can help

From March of Dimes Foundation

Finding out that you are going to be a father can be an exciting and confusing time. You may be asking yourself:
  • How will having a baby change my life?
  • How will I pay for all the things our baby will need?
  • How can I be a good dad?
  • What can I do to help during pregnancy?
While it’s true that she’s having the baby and she’s the one whose belly is growing, there are lots for Dad to do during this exciting and sometimes confusing time. What you can do:
  • Be involved. Go with your partner to her preconception and prenatal visits.
     
  • Watch, listen, browse and read. Watch videotapes, listen to audiotapes, check out the Internet, or read books about pregnancy, childbirth and being a parent.
     
  • Help plan for the baby. Talk to your partner about what you both want for the baby. Decide where the baby will sleep, and make that part of your home colorful and welcoming for the baby. Go shopping for baby things. Look together at your finances.
     
  • Learn. Go to childbirth education classes with your partner. Note: PeaceHealth and Childrens Home Society offers a Dads 101: New Dads Workshop.
     
  • Help your partner stay healthy during pregnancy. Help her eat healthy foods, exercise, quit smoking, stay away from alcohol and illegal drugs and avoid dangerous workplace and household hazards (such as paint thinner and weed killers). Quit smoking yourself. Secondhand smoke is bad for pregnant women and babies.
     
  • Continue to have sex if you and your partner wish to do so. In most cases, it’s safe for a couple to have sex during pregnancy. Check with your partner’s health care provider. To avoid sexually transmitted infections, have sex with only one person who doesn’t have any other sexual partners and/or use a condom when having sex. Discuss HIV testing for you and your partner with your health care provider.
     
  • Be supportive. If your partner chooses to breastfeed, support her decision.