Posts Tagged ‘dad-to-be’

Waiting for your baby

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Here are 10 things you and your partner can do together while getting ready for your baby:

  • Take your partner with you to your prenatal care checkups. Going with your partner to your prenatal checkups will give him the opportunity to meet the professionals who will take care of you during your pregnancy. He can ask questions and also find out how he can help you during your pregnancy. And he’ll love seeing the baby in the ultrasound!
  • Go to childbirth classes together. These classes will teach both of you what to expect during labor and birth. You can ask your health care provider to recommend a class near you.
  • Work together to keep a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy foods. Do something active every day. Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. Be as healthy as you can be for your baby.
  • Talk about what it will be like to have a baby. What kind of parents do you want to be? How will having a baby affect your relationship?
  • Get your house and car ready for the baby. Where will the baby sleep? Do you have a car seat?
  • Learn about breastfeeding. Breastmilk is the best food for your baby’s growth and health. Breastfeeding also has lots of benefits for you. Your partner can support you by getting you situated and comfortable to feed. He can help by bringing extra pillows, a glass of water, a burping cloth for the baby, etc.
  • Decide who will care for the baby. Will you or your partner stay home with the baby? If you both work, do you need to hire a babysitter or find childcare for your baby? These are important questions that need to be thought of ahead of time.
  • Figure out your budget. Babies cost a lot of money! Do you have health insurance? If yes, does it cover the cost of your prenatal care and the baby’s birth? If no, go to insurekidsnow.gov to find out about health insurance from CHIP and Medicaid. Make a list of all the things you need for your baby, such as clothes, diapers and a crib. Put aside a small amount of money each week to help pay for these baby items.
  • Ask your partner for help when you need it. Tell him when you need to rest. Ask him to help around the house, shop for groceries, or make dinner.
  • Don’t forget about each other. There’s so much to think about and do to get ready for a baby. Make sure you save special time for your partner. Cuddle and be close. As long as your provider says it’s OK, it’s safe to have sex during pregnancy. Sex might feel different during pregnancy. You may need to try different positions to find one that’s comfortable.

Is your husband pregnant?

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Since you found out you were pregnant, has your partner been complaining about many of the same symptoms you have had?  Morning sickness, weight gain, bloating and mood swings?  There may be a good explanation.  Believe it or not, some men do share in more than the simply the joy of being an expectant parent—they actually develop the physical symptoms of pregnancy.  This phenomenon has a name—it is called Couvade syndrome, although many people know it as a sympathetic pregnancy.  Couvade comes from the French word that means “to hatch.”

Scientists aren’t sure whether Couvade syndrome is a physical or psychological phenomenon—or a little of both.  Men actually do experience hormonal changes throughout their partner’s pregnancy.  According to an article in Scientific American “prolactin is highest in men in the weeks just before the birth, testosterone is lowest in the days immediately after the birth, estradiol levels increase from before to after the birth, and cortisol peaks during the labor and delivery (although it remains an order of magnitude below the hormonal experience of the laboring mother).”  So it seems that many of the same hormones that affect women during pregnancy also affect men as well—who knew?

But as of right now, the hormonal basis of Couvade syndrome has not been proven.  There are many other events that occur during pregnancy and around the time of childbirth that could affect a man’s hormone levels.  Stressors such as concerns about becoming a father, extended family coming in for possibly extended stays, and financial worries could also be contributing factors.  And, not all men experience pregnancy-like symptoms when their partner is expecting.  It is hard to know exactly how many men actually experience Couvade syndrome, but depending on who you ask, the estimates range from 20-80%.  Was your husband one of them?

Being an expectant parent is an exciting time for both moms and dads but it can also be stressful.  Becoming a dad, just like becoming a mom, begins before delivery.  If your partner is experiencing any pregnancy symptoms, just remember that they will go away soon—once your little one arrives, his symptoms will disappear.  And then you both will forget any of those unpleasant pregnancy symptoms and be entirely focused on the new little bundle of joy in your world!

Dads: Getting ready for baby

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

dad-and-bellyWhen I first learned about our baby-to-be, I was thrilled! I’d already started living a healthier lifestyle before getting pregnant, like getting to a healthy weight and taking a multivitamin with folic acid. But now more than ever, I’m very cautious about what I eat, my environment and my activities. I want to be sure I’m doing everything I can so that baby is healthy and safe during the pregnancy.

Interestingly, my dear husband is going through his own daddy-to-be phase. In the last few weeks, I’ve noticed him getting around to those household projects that were always on the bottom of his list, like cleaning out the air filters, fixing the floor molding, even helping out with daily chores like the laundry and dishes. We only have one car; a little two-seater convertible that’s been the envy of our friends for years. But, with the baby coming, my husband has thrown himself into issue after issue of Motor Trend and Consumer Reports magazines to identify the safest, most efficient family vehicle. You’d think he’s writing his Ph.D. dissertation with all of the research and notes he’s taking! But all of it is very cute to see 🙂 .

Even my own dad, a soon-to-be grandpa, is making lifestyle changes. He’s started to eat healthier and get more exercise so that he’ll be in great shape to play with his new grandbaby this winter.

USA Today had an article about the new dad phase, specifically about dads being more cautious and sensible as they get ready for baby. Did anyone else see a similar change with the dad-to-be in their life?

Colic in babies linked to depression in dads

Friday, July 10th, 2009

colic-baby-and-dadAccording to my mother in law, my husband was quite a crier as a newborn. She says that the only one who could comfort my colic hubby was his dad. I’m glad my father in law was able to soothe his crying baby. But since my hubby and I plan on having a baby one day, I hope our little one doesn’t have colic like her dad once did! Even though lots of babies may have colic, researchers still aren’t totally sure why some babies have it, and others don’t. Some babies may cry a lot because of gas or allergic reactions, but others have colic for no clear reason.

Interestingly, a large study from the Netherlands found that dads who were depressed during their baby’s time in the womb were more likely to have babies with colic. In the past, studies have found a link between mothers with depression during pregnancy and newborns with colic. But this is one of the first studies to see if there’s a relationship between a dad’s depression and his colic baby.

The study, published in this month’s Pediatrics journal, shows that the researchers made sure to find out if dads were depressed before the baby was born. This way, the researchers would know that dad’s depression wasn’t caused by baby’s excessive crying.  But it did show that if a dad was depressed before the baby was born, he was more likely to have a baby with colic. The researchers aren’t sure exactly why this is, but it’s interesting that there’s a relationship.

How did you manage a colic baby?

Guest Post: Growing Into “Dad”

Friday, June 19th, 2009

james-soohoo-and-babyMy name is James and I am the host of the March of Dimes community for NICU parents (www.share.marchofdimes.org).

In honor of Father’s Day, I have a confession. Very few people know this, but I didn’t have that BIG moment when my son took his first breaths. The nurse whisked him away quickly to clean him up. When she was done, she tried to hand him to me and I backed up a little and said “no thank you.”

Later that night when my wife finally had her room, they wheeled his little…well, I’m not sure what it was (it looked a little like a hamster cage) over to us. She picked him up and held him. It was probably a beautiful moment that I wasn’t paying attention to. Instead I looked at my watch, wondering how to gauge the appropriate length of time I needed to stay in the room without calling attention to myself. I figured 20 minutes. I lasted 17.

The next day wasn’t much better. I could have been back at the hospital by 8:30 am. I was up and ready to go, but managed to find things to do at home. I arrived at 2pm and that was because my mother-in-law doesn’t have a car and needed me to drive.

When I got there, I was terrified and ambivalent. I knew my life had changed. “Dad” was a word that I didn’t know how to wear. It was like trying on my father’s clothing. Not only that, but it was clothing that was too big for me.

I would like to, of course, report that when I did finally walk through the doorway…that it was instantly better. It would get much better as the days passed and I can say that I absolutely adore my sons and love being a father and wouldn’t go back for all of the money in the world.

That day…well, my wife handed him to me and I instantly felt weak and needed to sit. My brother took a quick picture and I briefly managed a half smile but what I was thinking was “what is the appropriate length of time I need to sit here, holding him, without causing attention to myself.” I lasted 45 seconds.

Dads-to-be gaining pregnancy weight, too?

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

dad-and-bellyWhen I first moved in with my husband years ago, I began to notice that my clothes were feeling a little tighter and I was jiggling in places that I hadn’t really jiggled before. I was happy to be living with the man I loved, but the weight I gained was a little too much to be “happy” pounds. I quickly realized that being around him and his cheeseburger-and-french-fries and kung-pow-chicken take out dinner orders weren’t helping me to keep a healthy diet. And it was hard to be satisfied with a grilled chicken salad when a juicy New York Strip steak was staring at me from across the table. Since then, I’ve managed to introduce new healthy foods in both of our diets. But the experience made me wonder: how much does one partner’s eating habits affect the other’s?

A couple weeks ago, the New York Times Motherload blog mentioned a British poll that found some men in Britain gain an average of about 14 pounds during their partner’s pregnancy. The respondents attributed the weight gain to a number of reasons: 1) eating out more often; 2) more “pregnancy” snacks around the house; and 3) eating more food and in larger portions so mommy-to-be won’t feel so bad for eating a big meal. Pretty interesting, right?

Pregnancy weight gain is just one of the sympathy pains I’ve heard that some fathers-to-be can experience. Alongside pregnant moms, some dads may also experience nausea, back pain, fatigue and food cravings.

Mommies, did your partner experience sympathy pains during your pregnancy? Daddies, what “pregnancy pains” did you find yourself having?