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MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information
The Third Trimester - What To Expect

The last three months of pregnancy have begun. Within 90 days (estimated time of arrival) your baby will join you and your partner on the "outside." Your partner's body is making the final adjustments in getting ready for labor and your baby is beginning to mature in preparation for birth. You may have finally adjusted to "being pregnant" when a new flood of feelings arise within you as you get ready to welcome your baby to the world.

offering labor support

You have probably begun to wonder what you will be like as a father. What are the expectations of this new role as a parent? Reflecting on your father as a model may not fit how you see yourself as a dad. Fatherhood from generation to generation has changed significantly. The social and societal expectations for fathers, even twenty years ago, are quite different than today. Fathering and parenthood are not fixed roles. Dads roles are influenced by the society in the time when they live and the needs of each individual family.

Thinking about your own father and his parenting is a good place to start. What did you most enjoy about your father? What will you do different? Do you see any of your friends or family members who you feel are fathering the way you would like to? This last trimester is a good time to re-examine your relationship with work and think about how you may want to make adjustments both before and after the birth. Remember to allow yourself flexibility in your planning. No one can anticipate exactly what it will be like when their baby arrives, and the best made plans often need to adjust to circumstances and feelings you cannot be aware of before the baby has arrived.

Being involved in a prenatal class is a way to prepare yourself for the birth. More important, when you take a prenatal class with your partner you can begin prepare as a couple to share the birth experience. What will be your role doing birth? What are your partners expectations? Can you allow yourself to think about what you may need? Classes will give you the understanding of the stages of birth process and what to expect during labor and delivery.

The physical changes your partner has been going through will intensify during the last trimester. These physical changes will also have an effect on her psychological state. As men, there is nothing parallel for us as to the body hormonal changes a woman undergoes during pregnancy. The enthusiasm she may have experienced in the second trimester as the pregnancy was beginning "to show" does not guarantee she will feel the same way in the last month, when she has the full weight of the baby inside her. Expectant mothers can feel out of control of their bodies and this can be a very frightening experience.

You may feel some distress at your partners needs for increased help during the final month. No matter how much a couple can do in preparing for the birth of their baby, or getting their home ready for its arrival; there are always a few things that feel incomplete. Be patient with each other. Remember to keep the channels of communication open, neither of you can know exactly what birth and parenthood will be like. If you feel overwhelmed between work and getting ready for the baby, it would be wise to talk about this with your partner. Discuss your concerns and issues with the midwife when she comes to visit your partner at a prenatal. This is a good time to reach out for support. Other dads have gone through what you are experiencing. Friends, family, the dads in your prenatal class, other dads whom you may work with can all be sources of support for you.

Shoulder and neck massage to promote relaxation during transitional labor contractions

Here are here are a few practical tips that pregnant dads have shared with me about the third trimester of pregnancy.

  • Get "the nest" ready together if possible. Work together getting things for your baby, such as baby furniture, getting the house ready, preparing extra meals.

  • Find out how you can view at least two birth films together. Ask your midwife if she has any birth tapes you can borrow or if she knows where you can obtain them. Another option would be to watch some of the Birth TV shows on networks. Check your local TV listings.

  • Let her know that you want to know what you can do to "be there" for her at the birth. Decide what level of participation you would like in the birth. If you are planning a birth at home, discuss your options and desires with your midwife. Most midwives are happy to allow you to "catch" or assisting her in "catching" or if simply want to be labor support and cut the cord afterwards.

  • Help your partner to plan out healthy meals during the last part of her pregnancy and after the birth when she is breastfeeding the baby.

  • Spend some special quality time with your partner before the baby arrives. Take her out for a romantic dinner and let her know how much you love her and appreciate her for everything she does and is going through during this special time. Keep those romantic fires burning brightly.

  • If you are planning a homebirth, help her to gather supplies and prepare the home for the birth. If you are planning on a birth center or hospital delivery, go on a tour of where your baby will born.

father assisting with birth

  • Begin to plan for the birth. Check and see how flexible your work will be both about time off for birth and after.

  • Ask two new fathers about the their experience of their baby's births.

  • Reach out to the men in your childbirth preparation class; see if you can have a dads-to-be night out.

  • Find an exercise program that you feel you could continue after the baby is born. Make it one that your partner can join in with you after the baby arrives. She will want to lose some of her "baby weight" she gained during her pregnancy to regain her former body shape. It is something you both can do together.

  • 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.

becoming a father... a new family happy dad


MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information Index
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Pregnancy Survival Tips & Links
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Childbirth - Preparing For Labor & Delivery
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Childbirth Classes - Are They Necessary?
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Childbirth Classes - Types & Comparison
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Doula Care
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Effleurage
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Labor & Delivery
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Labor Initiation - Getting It Started
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Labor - Stage 1 (Dilation & Effacement)
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Labor - Stage 2 (Pushing & Birth)
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Labor - Stage 3 (Delivery of the Placenta)
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Labor - Stage 4 (Immediate Postpartum)
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Postpartum Care Index

dad and newborn daughter bonding

Dad and newborn daughter bonding.


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 Entering as a husband, exiting as a father. 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 Birthing Drugs For Dads Daddy Dearest Hey Doc, Can I Cut The Cord? You know You're Ready to Be a Dad When... Parenting, Kids, and Marriage
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Pregnant Fathers - 2 Trimester
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Pregnant Fathers - 3 Trimester Prenatal Panic - One Father's View
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby


  • American Coalition for Fathers and Children (800) 978-3237
  • At-Home Dad (508) 685-7931
  • Bay Area Male Involvement Project
  • Center on Fathers, Families and Public Policy (312) 341-0900
  • Children's Rights Council (202) 547-6227
  • Families and Work Institute
  • Fatherhood: Meeting The Challenge
  • The Fatherhood Project/Families and Work Institute
  • Fatherhood USA Video Materials www.familiesand
  • HandsNet
  • Institute for Responsible Fatherhood & Family Revitalization
  • Men's Health Network
  • National Center for Fathering (913) 384-4661
  • National Center for Strategic Non-Profit Development & Community Leadership
  • National Center on Fathers & Families
  • National Fatherhood Initiative (717) 581-8860
  • National Fathers' Network (206) 747-4004
  • National Partnership for Women & Families
  • National Practitioners Network for Fathers & Families (800) 343-7633



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