MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information
The First Trimester - What To Expect
Congratulations to both of you about your pregnancy. Your baby is beginning its life inside the womb. All the care and nurturing your baby needs is happening in your partner's tummy! The transition to parenthood and becoming a father is slowly starting to take hold of you. You are going to be a dad. This will be a new, exciting, and gratifying experience in your life.
Most men have a positive reactions to finding out about the pregnancy, but they may also have doubts and confusion. Sometimes, much more so than their partners. An unplanned pregnancy can begin with feelings of ambivalence. For expectant fathers pregnancy seems to stimulate feelings of both fear and hope. Understanding your feelings during this time can help you begin to see how your role from "man to dad" is developing.
Common anxieties in the first trimester are fears about your partner's health, worries about money, and concerns about what type of father you will be. This is normal and to be expected. I have found more fathers anxious and fearing the experience of birth than their partners. As you partner decides who she wants as a maternity care giver (midwife or health care provider) and where she will want to give birth (at home, a birthing center, or hospital), please support her with her decision. Discussion about options are always encouraged, but keep an open mind if she chooses alternatives to a hospital birth, such as birthing in the comfort, safety, and security of her home without medications and interventions and using a homebirth midwife. She is choosing what feels most comfortable and appropriate for her and your baby. Homebirth midwives are open and willing to include you in the prenatal visits and will answer your questions and help resolve worries and concerns through discussion and support. Keep in mind, birth is a normal function of the female body and the baby and your partner are meant to work together to maintain the pregnancy and go through the birthing process together. A healthy pregnancy and birth is not meant to managed or controlled. It will be important to her for you to be supportive, loving, caring, and involved in your pregnancy.
In the first few months, as your partner's body adjusts to the pregnancy she may experience morning sickness, sleeplessness, mood swings, fatigue and changes in eating habits. Although these symptoms are normal, you may not be accustomed to seeing your partner this uncomfortable. You may wonder what can you do to help?
Many expectant dads start to look ahead and feel worried about how having a baby will affect their finances. If both you and your partner have been working, you may begin to think about how you will be effected by the change in income if your partner will be off work for a while. Concerns about the need for a larger house, a new car or how to anticipate what new expenses you will have once the baby has arrived are common anxieties in the early stages of pregnancy.
Finally, many expectant fathers are concerned about what type of father they will be. You may begin to think about what it was like for your father when you were born. How prepared was your dad when he became a father? What opportunities do you feel you have as an expectant dad that your father did not?
All these new "anxieties" are the normal feelings that are "stirred-up" by finding out that you will be a father in less than a year.
In our society we make very few accommodations for expectant dads. We are not sure what they need and what their role should be during pregnancy. It has been my experience that the sooner expectant dads can be involved, the more included they will feel in their new "family." Being with your partner during the midwife's prenatal visits, talking with other fathers, beginning to look at a few of the new books on parenting are all ways to begin your transition to parenthood.
Here are a few practical tips that pregnant dads have shared with me during the 1st trimester of pregnancy.
FOR YOUR WIFE / PARTNER:
- Talk with her about the hopes and dreams, fears and anxieties, of having a child together. Discussion is a good way of working out things and feelings between both of you. She is also experiencing these feelings and concerns.
- Make time to regularly spend time alone such as going on walks together. Work on building a stronger relationship bond between you and your expectant partner. Enjoy each other's company. Once the baby arrives, this one-on-one time will be less frequent and at times a bit hectic, so appreciate it now.
- Talk about how your lives can slow down, how you can both do less in the coming months and enjoy the pregnancy.
- Discuss with her about the birth plans she wants and your participation during the birth of your baby. If you want to do only labor support, cut the baby's cord, or if you want to help your midwife "catch" the baby, share this with her and discuss it with your midwife. Help her design her birth plan to include what you want from the birth experience.
- Choose the friends and family you want to share the news about "being pregnant" with. Avoid discussing your birth plans with non-supporting individuals.
- Go to a bookstore and look through the books on parenting, choose one for yourself. Talk with your midwife about recommended books or visual aids that may help you to learn about the process of birth and support the plans you and your partner have made about where and who you plan on assisting with the birth.
- Take time alone to reflect on your feelings about becoming a father. Share these feelings with your partner when alone and with your midwife.
Fatherhood is a wonderful, rewarding blessing. Enjoy it, embrace and treasure the experience.
MEN & FATHERHOOD
My Favorite Internet Fatherhood Pictures
It takes more than a Man to be a Father! It takes love, commitment, sharing, duty to family, support (both financial and emotional), caring, discipline, and so much more! Love and take care of your children... they are the future and may someday have to take care of you.
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Circumcision Decision
PregnancyToday.com: Entering as a husband, exiting as a father.
PregnancyToday.com: How I knew I was a Dad
Fathering Magazine: Helpful Information About Fatherhood
National Fatherhood Initiative
The Fatherhood Project: A National Research & Education Program
About Fatherhood: Helpful Information About Fatherhood
ParentingHumor.com: Birthing Drugs For Dads
ParentingHumor.com: Daddy Dearest
Fatherville.com: Hey Doc, Can I Cut The Cord?
ParentingHumor.com: You know You're Ready to Be a Dad When...
ParentingHumor.com: Parenting, Kids, and Marriage
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Pregnant Fathers - 2 Trimester
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Pregnant Fathers - 3 Trimester
PregnancyToday.com: Prenatal Panic - One Father's View
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
American Coalition for Fathers and Children (800) 978-3237 www.acfc.org At-Home Dad (508) 685-7931 AtHomeDad@aol.com Bay Area Male Involvement Project www.bamin.org Center on Fathers, Families and Public Policy (312) 341-0900 Children's Rights Council (202) 547-6227 www.crckids.org Families and Work Institute www.familiesandwork.org Fatherhood: Meeting The Challenge fatherhood.hhs.gov/guidance01/ch5.htm The Fatherhood Project/Families and Work Institute www.fatherhoodproject.org Fatherhood USA Video Materials www.familiesand work.org HandsNet www.handsnet.org Institute for Responsible Fatherhood & Family Revitalization www.responsiblefatherhood.org Men's Health Network www.menshealthnetwork.org National Center for Fathering (913) 384-4661 www.fathers.com National Center for Strategic Non-Profit Development & Community Leadership www.npcl.org National Center on Fathers & Families www.ncoff.gse.upenn.edu National Fatherhood Initiative (717) 581-8860 www.fatherhood.org National Fathers' Network (206) 747-4004 www.fathersnetwork.org National Partnership for Women & Families www.nationalpartnership.org National Practitioners Network for Fathers & Families (800) 343-7633 www.npcl.org
FATHERHOOD READING, HUMOR, & EDUCATION
NUTRITION DURING PREGNANCY
MoonDragon's Nutritional Guidelines Index
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Pregnancy Diet
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Folic Acid Facts
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index - Vitamins, Minerals & Supplement Information
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Anemia During Pregnancy
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Anemia - Folic Acid Deficiency
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Anemia - Iron Deficiency
ARTICLES TO READ
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Calculating Your Due Date
Hand Held Calculator
Common Pregnancy Symptoms
Morning Sickness, Homeopathic Tips
Hyperemesis Gravidarum - Conventional Treatment
Dizziness In Pregnancy
Breast Enlargement During Pregnancy
Pregnancy & Urinary Tract Infections
Pregnancy & Asthma
Pregnancy & Seizures
Pregnancy & Headaches
HEALTH & FITNESS
Nutrition During Pregnancy
Folic Acid During Pregnancy
Fatigue In Pregnancy
Getting Ready For Another Baby
Things To Avoid During Pregnancy
Dentistry During Pregnancy
Smoking During Pregnancy
Drugs During Pregnancy
Medications During Pregnancy
Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Pregnancy & Chronic Health Problems
Skin Care Tips During Pregnancy
INSPIRATION & FUN
Traveling During Pregnancy & With Kids
What Is A Midwife?
Living With A Pregnant Person
When Baby Makes Three
Male Bonding by Kellie Head
Things I Wish I knew Before Parenthood
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Calendar Index
Photos obtained from A Child Is Born by Lennart Nilsson
and Pregnancy - in anatomical illustrations by the Carnation Company
PREGNANCY RELATED LINKS
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information & Survival Tips
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information Index
MoonDragon's Pediatric Information Index
MoonDragon's Parenting Information Index
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
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Using Essential Oils
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