9 ways new dads can emotionally prepare for childbirth

Childbirth can also be an emotional journey for fathers-to-be. Here's how to prepare yourself for the arrival of your new baby. By Lijeng Ranooe

The focus during labour is mostly on the mom-to-be, but the expecting dad is also in for a big life change, for which he needs to feel prepared. Here are 9 ways new dads can feel more ready for the birth of a baby:

Exercise

Not only is it good for fitness, but exercise is a great stress reliever. Make a list of all your fears and choose one each day to exercise away.

Cry it out

Men are not often encouraged to cry, but suppressing emotions isn’t good for you. Crying helps to relieve tension and be in touch with your feelings.

Be vulnerable

The journey to parenthood is one that you and your partner are going to experience together. Talk to her about your concerns and fears, and discuss any questions have about the childbirth with her.

Gain some experience with babies

This will eliminate any fears you might have about how to handle a newborn and give you confidence with your baby. Newborns are fragile but they won’t break if you hold them.

Childbirth preparation

Attending a few birth classes will help you to know what to expect, feel prepared and be more supportive to your partner during labour.

Plan as much as you can

Iron out as many details as possible before the labour and know what your partner’s preferences are. It will make you feel more relaxed about what to expect during the labour.

Pack a bag too

Pack a few treats for yourself and the new mummy in the hospital. When packing, give yourself time to reflect on what being a father means to you.

Treat yourself

Take time out. Those sleepless nights while on daddy duty will not be a walk in the park.

Prepare for your plans to be unplanned

Prepare to be unprepared. Trust that your healthcare providers will be there to help and guide you along the way. The birthing process is different for everyone, so don’t panic and focus on the end goal – a happy, healthy baby.

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