advice

happy family:
pregnancy tips for dads

Pregnancy can be a stressful time for any relationship. Fortunately, there's plenty a doting dad-to-be can do to ease the path to parenthood. Here’s what to do when your partner is expecting.

be supportive

One of the most important pregnancy tips for dads. From being sick and exhausted in the early weeks, to feeling bored and lonely in the last, you might find your pregnant wife or partner is not quite herself at the moment. To make things a bit less stressful, read up about the different stages of pregnancy so you know what’s going on. Remembering to regularly ask how she’s feeling can encourage your partner to open up and keep you in the loop. As always, a bit of understanding and patience will go a long way.

take things at her pace

Many women feel so tired during pregnancy that sex may slip down the agenda. Others can feel sexier than they did before, but chances are that your partner will want flattery, cuddles, even intimacy, but maybe not sex. Try to let things take their natural course. If you’re concerned about possibly hurting the baby, there’s no need to worry as sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe. Babies can even benefit from those 'feel-good' hormones if you do get intimate.

getting ready for baby

The baby should sleep in your room for the first six months but at some point they're going to need a space of their own. If you have a room you’d like to use as a nursery, you could start stripping the wallpaper so your partner can spend happy nesting hours kitting it out. This way, when the countdown to birth begins, everything will be in place. Try and get involved with the decisions on major purchases like pushchairs and car seats too. With the right research, you’re sure to find the things that you both like.

decide on some baby names

Drawing up your list of favourite names and asking your partner to draw up hers is a great way to feel involved in the pregnancy. You can then discuss which ones you like best and whittle it down to a joint top ten. The chances are you won't know which name is best until the little one makes an appearance anyway, but the research process can help you feel prepared mentally. If you’re struggling for ideas, download the mothercare Baby Name App for some extra inspiration.

go along to antenatal classes

Antenatal classes are a good way for you to learn a bit about what the birth is going to be like. They’ll give you ideas for a birth plan, so you’re both prepared to discuss the different options with the midwife on the day. All this means you'll be more on top of things when the time comes. An added bonus is you might get to meet some other dads to chat to as well.

prepare for the big day

Amazingly your baby will be able to hear your voice from inside the womb. This means that if you regularly talk and sing to them, you’ll already be part of their world. From about mid-pregnancy onwards, you may be able to feel them moving. As the birth approaches, it’s best to have your route planned to the hospital. Pack your own bag for the labour too – you'll need snacks to keep your energy up and perhaps a change of clothes. You’ll also need the phone, charger and a camera to document the big day.