When talking about pregnancy, many people focus on the mum-to-be, but there are two people expecting a baby and you’re in it together. Here’s a guide to help dads through pregnancy.
While your partner is pregnant, you might go through many different reactions and emotions. Some can be harder to deal with than others.
Feeling left out or unimportant is a pretty common feeling for dads during pregnancy. You might even feel that your partner is giving more of her attention to the pregnancy than to your relationship. But having a baby growing inside you is an amazing thing, and it’s normal for a woman to feel absorbed by the experience. She isn’t rejecting you; she just has a lot to focus on and lots of emotions – aside from hormonal changes, your partner is also seeing their body change and they may not feel overly attractive when this happens. Try to be sensitive to these changes and remember how overwhelming this may be for her, rather than feeling like the changes in your relationship are your fault.
Many dads will also be experiencing varying ranges of emotions throughout pregnancy. As well as trying to support your partner and their feelings, you will most likely have a whirlwind of things running through your mind – from how your life is going to change, to how you’ll be able to support your family. You will undoubtedly also feel very scared at times, and this is perfectly normal. No one really knows what they’re doing or what to expect when they bring a child into the world. You’re not alone in feeling this way, and there is no shame in feeling uncertain or emotional.
It’s a good idea to talk to your partner about your feelings, it’s incredibly important to be open and transparent with each other especially in a time that puts both of you under a lot of stress such as pregnancy. But sometimes it can also be beneficial to seek out support from others, other fathers or men who may have felt the same way you are feeling now. If your own father is still around then perhaps have a conversation with him, or maybe a brother, cousin or close friend who is a parent. Reaching out to others for support and a shoulder to lean on can help a lot – you should never feel like you’re struggling with your troubles alone.
There are also lots of online support networks for dads – a quick Google and you could well find a group or page that will help you with worries and any questions you have.