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5 Things a Father-to-be Should Do During Her Pregnancy

5 Fail-Safe Methods for the Expectant Father to Survive Her Pregnancy!

We all know the phrase, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” I suspect the fathers-to-be out there are suddenly getting a crash course in this reality. Don’t worry guys, we’re here to help you get through this pregnancy with your manhood intact!

First things first, we women are extra sensitive during pregnancy. We cry, we argue, we cry, we laugh, and then we cry again. We experience every possible emotion all at once, and no matter how good we look or feel we’re a tangled web of emotions inside. That being said, here are 5 things you can do to maneuver your way through her minefield of emotions:

1) Engage her Pregnancy as if You Were Pregnant

  • Do read a book about becoming a new father and child birth.
  • Do clean the house on occasion.
  • Do make sure she’s taking time out for herself.
  • Do help her write the birth plan, because you care.
  • Do take a prenatal yoga class with her (and look cool and hip at the same time, as you rock a “REAL DADS DO YOGA” tee by Maman Jolie) She will love that you’re feeling the flow and Going with your Glow, right along with her.
  • Do stock up on diapers the next time you hit the store for a case of beer (Dads, this purchasing pattern has been followed for many years, and stores even strategically stock diapers at the end of the beer aisle now to make it that much easier for you).
  • Do remember that this is your child too and your opinion is important!

Basically, stay active, present and on the same page with her. She wants you to be engaged even if you both disagree now and again.

2) Understand and Acknowledge her Pregnancy-Induced Multiple Personality Disorder (even if it scares you)

No matter what she chooses to exude, there are two distinct personalities fighting for control of her emotions.

  • Scared Mom-to-Be, fears not living up to the mother she wants to be, fears the pain of giving birth, fears not being prepared enough.
  • Scared Woman, fears what will happen to her body, sex appeal and independence, she fears losing you because you may no longer find her attractive.

Notice a theme here guys? She is scared, even if she has been pregnant before. Here are some more Cliff’s Notes to help you, help her, help you:

  • Validate her emotions, but don’t try to fix her! She isn’t broken, just temporarily nutty. Give her a hug, lend her an ear and a shoulder to cry on.
  • Give her daily accolades. “You are going to be the best mom”, “You are so beautiful right now”. “You are an amazing wife”. “I love you so much and I look forward to being a Father!”

That’s really it. Now repeat that to her over and over and over again!

3) Claim Her

This is the simplest and often most ignored of the 5 tips:

  • Open the car door for her.
  • Hold her hand in the grocery store.
  • Make a point to make complete eye contact during conversations with her at home as well as in public.
  • Sit together and cuddle on the couch as she shares with you the 10 new baby name suggestions of the day, because you care what your baby’s name is going to be.
  • Pass on watching the “big game” and go on a walk with her!  There will be many more games.
  • Take her to the movies and a dinner from time to time. Claim her and show her off in that hot new body that she’s rocking!

You are her security blanket, guys, you are her binky. She needs you to make her feel loved and honored, beautiful and sexy. By making these little gestures you let her know she can rest her head on your shoulder. She can feel safe being vulnerable and exposed because she has you there whenever she needs you.

4) Brass Tacks

Okay, in case no one has told you… we’ll prepare you for this part.  Let me do you a solid and get down to the brass tacks. As your lovely growing baby gets bigger, so does her body. As such, there will be some very uncomfortable and uncontrolled, potentially embarrassing, and dare I say,  gross awkward moments. She may have issues with minor incontinence as well as some issues with flatulence,  and she might not be able to shave her legs… and other sensitive areas. As the partner to a verrry pregnant woman you have two options:

  • First, you could run away laughing and/or gagging. This reaction might ensure that you sleep on the couch for the rest of her pregnancy and maybe even longer…
  • Or you can take the high road and help her find her humility. Try to lighten the mood and laugh off any private or public moments of physical unpleasantries and help her do some of the things she can’t.

Now I’m not suggesting that you shave her body top to bottom, if that’s not your thing, but you could:

  • Create an intimate evening where you shave her legs.
  • Massage her aching swollen feet.
  • Draw her a nice bubble bath with warm (not hot) water.

If you’re already cringing at the thought of helping her groom herself, perhaps the most loving thing you can do is surprise her with a day at the spa. Let her get her wax on, her hair done, and her toes and nails manicured. She’ll come back primped, happy and glowing. And you will be her hero… yet again!

5) Tell Her

Tell her that you love her and tell her that she is beautiful. Tell her that she is amazing, she is going to be a great mother and tell her she wears your baby well. Tell her you’re excited to see your child and she is graceful. Tell her these things everyday!

Now pass this along to all the fathers-to-be in your life and please do let us know what you think. We want to hear what worked for the expert dads, moms and soon-to-be moms out there, and we even want to hear about the daddy “don’ts”. Leave us a comment.

27 Comments Post a comment
  1. Very cool.  Thanks.

    March 28, 2012
  2. Great advice– Love the spa idea! (And the Real Dad’s Do Yoga shirt!)

    March 29, 2012
  3. Awesome advice and talent thinking for a mother during the period of her pregnancy…!!!  I really appreciate like this fantastic advice. Punctual Dad comment especially!!!!
    Thanks for sharing such talent post.

    April 1, 2012
  4. Steph #

    This is an incredible article! I wish this existed when I was pregnant. It would have helped me ask for more from my husband & feel better emotionally. We are so focused on baby — eating healthy, exercising, resting — that we don’t realize we are doing those things for ourselves also. Be selfish when it comes to nourishing YOUR body & mind. <3

    April 11, 2012
  5. Thank you Ladies for your comments! 
    Its is absolutely important that we take time out for ourselves during our pregnancy, this constant care will help ensure so many positive things to come.  Growing healthy babies and nursing our bodies back to their original forms inside and out postpartum is essential for ourlongterm vitality. 
    Live in LOVE Mommas, and dont forget to Go with your GLOW <3

    ~Melissa

    April 12, 2012
  6. Trish #

    I guess I’m a very lucky lady b/c my hubby did all of this without even seeing this.

    January 5, 2013
  7. John #

    Wheres the reverse article? Where women address men’s concerns and fears?

    January 14, 2013
    • John #

      A woman is the one who has to go through the pregnancy and the birth process, possible complications and depression. They will bear the scars. Our “fears” are basically of being a father and if we’ll be any good at it and that our lives will be changed forever. This is also how she feels. Our “fears” are not much of a concern compared to the woman who is carrying your child.

      January 20, 2013
      • Sarah #

        Whoa!!  I’ve got to say I completely disagree with you on this one.  Guys should be allowed to process their fears in a healthy way too.  Yes, they don’t experience the physical side effects and perhaps their experience is “less” (in whatever capacity – both good and bad) than that of a woman’s, but that doesn’t make it less real to them.  If guys are encouraged to be engaged and fully present, I think that means insecurities and all.  Being a man of courage doesn’t mean not being afraid, but doing the right thing in spite of fear.  Men who do this are well on their way to becoming good fathers.

        July 1, 2013
  8. Tiffany #

    If my ex had of done half of that than perhaps he wouldn’t be an ex. I’m hoping with my next (whenever that may be) I have a loving partner who actually cares about the baby and wants to share that stuff with me.

    January 15, 2013
  9. Thank you everyone for the comments.  The more we share our
    Opinions, information, and personal stories, the more we learn from one another!  We would love to hear the opposite side of the story from our readers.  Spouses, husbands, partners, please speak up and blog with us at Mamanjolie.com

    Xoxo,
    Melissa

    January 20, 2013
  10. Britty #

    Great article, but don’t forget that the guys DO put up with ALOT from their mommy’s to be.  And for all we need our comfort and fears soothed, they need praise (assuming they are worth it) for being there, dealing with our DAILY “I’m a blimp”s and our “I’m not beautiful stop saying it”s and our constant break downs.  While they SHOULD be there for us and our issues, we need to remember that they may not be carrying the baby but they are carrying the burden of US carrying the baby, and us being in constant need of reassurance love and adoration and our complete lack of confidence (in most cases) in ourselves and our appearance.  They have just as much stress, maybe not physical but mental, as we do because they have their fears their worries their person issues ON TOP of dealing with us and ours.  Any man worth his salt will ignore himself for his “baby Momma to be” and any woman worth hers will acknowledge that fact and let him know how much he is doing, how great a father he will be, how wonderful he has been. 

    Britty R. – Mother of Two

    January 30, 2013
  11. Heather #

    Wow my husband is a rockstar! I’m 21 weeks pregnant and he’s pretty much done all of this! I’m one blessed pregnant woman! :)

    March 29, 2013
  12. I love this list. I’m so used to my husband taking care of me and complimenting me, that it took seeing this article for me to realize just HOW MUCH he’s doing! I’ve really got to thank him. =)

    One concern, though. I’ve read that pedicures & foot massages aren’t good during any stage of pregnancy, because they can actually provoke contractions. Thoughts?

    April 7, 2013
    • Hi Caitlyn,

      I am happy you had/have a loving and helpful partner during your pregnancy!  It can sometimes be a challenge for both parties, and is always a beautiful thing when both parents can help each other. Yay!!
      I have also heard to be cautious when getting pedicures(in particular the spa pedicures because if the movement of the chairs) I also know about the acupuncture points on the bottom of your feet and how some points need to be avoided during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.  I am not a doctor, nor do I know the proper do’s and don’ts, however I believe if you are careful you should be ok.  I did get pedi & manis during my pregnancy, but avoided the spa chair movement.  Also I made sure that my masseuse knew clearly that I was pregnant from 9wks on, I trusted in her that she knew what she was doing. 

      Best,
      Melissa

      May 29, 2013
  13. Stephanie #

    This is a great article and makes a big difference in the pregnancy. Trust me because I had a man that refused to do any of these things and everyday was a nightmare in my pregnancy.

    May 27, 2013
  14. Kandi #

    Reading this made me tear up! It is very good advice and makes a huge difference for a mom to be. I am 6 months along and my soon to be husband is 5 years younger than me and will be a first time dad in April! He is experienceing all kinds of new things, some exciting, some not so much! In reading this I realized he does 90% of these things for me all the time. Coming into all this with no knowlege of what it would be like he stands by my side through all the good and even embarrassing moments of pregnancy. So if your boyfriend/husband puts that effort out there, let him know you appreciate it! I was also a single mom for 6 years before he came along. I am in aw of how supportive he is and has taken on so much with ease! He must be very special! ; )

    December 28, 2013
  15. Awesome and sweet article!

    http://www.aznannies.com

    March 11, 2014
  16. Elizabeth #

    Hahaha this is a joke. All of my mother friends claim their husbands do these things to but I do not think any man really does. I literally cry almost daily from pain but I get no help or sympathy.  Andi really think men think we can control our emotions and not feel hurt. Im often put down due to my emotions being out of whack.  Pregnancy almost tore our relashionship apart.  It’s still rocky and im 30 weeks. Men dont understand that babies cost money at all. If I even get a meal out to eat im griped at but men spend money on crap! NO MAN is a good enough man to be there completely for a women during this. If a man said those things and did those things every women in the united states would be fighting to steal him!!! I cant even get my man to move to a downstairs apt or house so I dont have to go up 2 flights of stairs with a newborn and dog bc he feels its exercise I need- when I have bad arthritis anyway! Men are not caring people at all.  And no man can really be there like this for a women- he’d be too perfect. if there are men really like this then women if you have one keep him forever. And treat him welll. I have a man who says I dont treat him good enough and he doesnt do any of this. Amd i cook clean work and am having a tough pregnancy.

    March 17, 2014
  17. Monique #

    This article made me smile. My boyfriend had been absolutely AMAZING! I’m 16 weeks pregnant and he has been extremely understanding with everything that’s going on. He’s really supportive and completely involved in every appointment, name list, etc. We also have great communication which I think is our biggest strength. He’s not perfect and neither am I, but we make sure to always be understanding with eachother. Truly blessed.

    October 28, 2014
  18. Robyn #

    In response to Elizabeth .
    Although, every man is different, just like every woman is different and every relationship style is different, you cannot discount every father-to-be upon the actions of your partner. There are plenty of men out there that do these types of things for their female counterparts. I can say, that my partner holds the door open for me, runs me warm bubble baths, even has them with me- it’s the time we get to just chat face-to-face about our day, what’s going on, how we feel or just have a giggle. Ok, so he doesn’t shave my legs, but that’s because I am still capable of doing it myself, but he has offered to if I am beginning to struggle, at the end of the day, we are one unit, not a pair or a couple.. we are best friends and hate to be apart from one another, this is a first pregnancy for the both of us, and we are doing everything we feel is natural to us, we don’t ‘try’ to make things work, they just do. We hold hands all the time, we have banter between ourselves, we have amazing sex every day, sometimes up to 4 times.
    He is just as involved in this pregnancy as I am, we talk frequently and openly about our feelings about our little ‘Bean’, what gender we think it is, how we want to bring it up, what names we like (We’ve settled on Chloe and possibly Charlie), we tell eachother that we love one another about 15 times a day, and usually get into a little fun argument about who loves the other more!
    You might think that my man sounds soft, but in fact he’s one of the most manly men you’ll meet! He works his weight bench, he’s a builder, he has tattoos, he burps and parps and loves football and his playstation.. but none of that means that he has to be ignorant towards my feelings, or even his own.
    I’d suggest you have an open coversation with your partner and let him know how you feel, maybe he’s just not all that good with money, or maybe it’s not sunk in for him yet, that there will be an actual person joining the family, forever. Some parents don’t really think about it until they have their little baby in their arms after delivery.
    Open up to eachother and let the other know how you feel..it’s all I can say.

    November 24, 2014
  19. Albert Infante #

    Good pieces of advice, we new dads really appreciate when people take their time to post this very helpful information.

    December 7, 2014
  20. carmen calderon #

    My husband covers all of these things on a daily basis and we’ve been trying to get pregnant for over a year now.I guess I’m just a very lucky wife.

    December 25, 2014
  21. Shawna #

    im so lucky :) my husband does these things all the time for me.  I have been so selfish, next time I will skip the big game and see if he needs anything haha

    August 17, 2015
  22. Kelly #

    My hubby and I read this article together and HE loved it. (Of course I did too!) He says it’s about the women on this one. Yes, guys have fears… Blah blah blah… But guys don’t know this stuff instinctively. He wishes someone had told him this with his ex-wife and first 2 children. This time around has been very different! He’s attentive, supportive and empathetic. Most importantly, he’s SUPER excited to meet his baby boy! Sending this article to all dads-to-be. Thank u!

    October 3, 2015
  23. Josh #

    I’m a father-to-be and I think this is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.
    It’s a hard thing to navigate, especially if this stuff doesn’t come naturally so it’s great to get some practical support. Can’t wait to be a Dad but it all starts with being a good husband.

    December 8, 2015
  24. Brendo #

    Great read.  I am a father of three and soon to be a dad again.  Yes 4!  I am very thankful and feel extremely lucky to have the chance to be a dad again.  becoming a father is scary, Jesus I feel shit scared but let’s face it, pregnancy is a time we men need to man up and become the Blinky.  Take all the crazy emotions that get thrown our way and hold on for dare life.  Here is my advise.

    1.  Beer and wine are essential for survival, so enjoy as much as you can get, even if you need to hide it in the garage and skull a few tinnies in secret.
    2. Open a baby bank account and put a few dollars in it each pay.  Let your partner go crazy.  This way the Visa card won’t get smashed and you face thousands of dollars used to buy the 19th cute baby jacket that won’t even get worn!!! 
    3. Hire a cleaner asap.
    4. Encourage your partner to go out so you can get some quite time.  All that pregnancy talk will drive you nuts!
    5. have fun, smile all the time, buy your baby a toy truck even of its a girl.
    6.  Lastly, on the magic day, get a hair cut, have a shave and put on your number ones, because you are about too meet the most Precious we person in the world! 

    Good luck and see you on the other side.

    January 25, 2016

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