Five Things Dads Should Do Before Childbirth
You could interpret the title of this article as meaning you, the father, will be giving birth. But don’t worry – you won’t. And, if you were worried, you really should have listened in school.
You may think that your part in the whole reproduction process is over, that you’ve done your five minutes; but, in reality, it’s just beginning. There are a number of things you need to do in preparation for the birth of your child – and here are just five of them.
Recognise the signs of labour
It seems obvious, but it’s a good idea to get yourself acquainted with the signs that labour has begun. No doubt your partner has done this herself, but when the pains begin she will be too busy concentrating to worry about timing the gap between contractions. It sounds quite disgusting, but become familiar with terms like ‘mucous plug’ and ‘breaking water’. Babycenter have a useful ‘cheat sheet’ which will help you.
Work out how to fit the car seat and assemble the pram
Us men don’t like to admit we’re wrong, which is why we do whatever we can to avoid asking for help when we’re struggling. It could also mean that mum and newborn are left waiting as we curse and swear, trying to work out how the car seat is secured. Figure it all out beforehand, so that when the time comes you can fit the seat in a personal best of 11 seconds. Not only will you avoid swearing in front of your newborn baby, you’ll look like a pro in front of your partner.
Buy your partner a gift
Your role during the birth is quite limited, and even the most resolute of men will struggle to disagree that the mother does most of the work. It’s therefore a good idea (and a nice sentiment) to buy your partner a gift to recognise her hard work and commemorate the birth of your baby. Avoid flowers – she’ll get enough of them, and they don’t last. Push the boat out and buy a nice piece of jewellery.
Know the signs of Post Natal Depression
Post Natal Depression affects 10 to 15 in every 100 women having a baby, and turn parenthood from a joyous experience to a time of worry and uncertainty. Recognising the early signs of PND will ensure that you provide support and help as soon as possible. For signs of PND, and what to do, visit the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ website.
Be prepared to ditch your macho side
That’s right. Now you’re a dad you’ll find yourself an emotional wreck, crying at films you previously wouldn’t have blinked at. You’ll spend more time in playgroups than you did in the pub. Every day you will be knuckle-deep in a dirty nappy, and the majority of your conversation now will consist of baby-related talk: cracked nipples, poo consistency, and the like. Embrace the new you – it’s here to stay.