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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.