Pregnant? 6 Ways to Help Your Partner Feel Included

August 10, 2018

While you’re the one who’s nauseous and tired—and gets to feel your baby’s first kicks, your partner processes your pregnancy secondhand, and may be wondering where he fits in. “I love when dads ask how they can get more involved,” says Joyce Gottesfeld, M.D., an obgyn at Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “It shows that they are invested in their family.”
Fortunately, there are lots of opportunities throughout pregnancy for guys to get involved and start forming a strong bond with their baby. We reveal how to shine some of that spotlight on Dad.

Start a ritual.
Want to keep your partner updated? Download a pregnancy app so you can track
your developing baby’s progress together. In addition, you can both read the same childbirth and parenting books and compare notes. You could also work together to compile a list of questions to ask at each of your prenatal appointments.

Share the celebrations.
There’s no rule that says men can’t participate in baby showers—and have fun doing it! Why not throw a couples baby shower and share the present-opening and shower games together? This is also a perfect opportunity for your partner to get parenting advice from experienced dads.

Get schooled.
Stephanie W. attended several prenatal classes with her partner, including childbirth and
infant CPR. “It put us both at ease to approach the process as a team,” she says. Dads-to-be should also try to attend as many prenatal appointments as possible. “Seeing your baby on the ultrasound and hearing the heartbeat is a powerful bonding experience,” says
pediatrician and dad David L. Hill, M.D., author of Dad to Dad: Parenting Like a Pro.

Divide and conquer.
While completing her baby registry, Wendy V. was happy to split the decision-making with
her husband. “He spent hours researching the best crib, car seat—you name it!” she says.
“It was a great way for him to contribute to our baby’s future safety and well-being.” If your
partner likes to build things, put him in charge of assembling the crib and other baby
furniture. Work together to figure out how to use the car seat and stroller—you’ll both need to know.

Belly up to the baby.
Your unborn child can hear outside sounds—including Daddy’s voice. “It’s never too early to start reading, singing and talking to your child,” says Hill. “A man’s deep tones will penetrate into the womb, and there are reasons to believe that infants remember the rhythms of both parents’ voices after they’re born.”

Connect as a couple.
You might be short on time and energy, but life certainly won’t calm down after your little one arrives. Together, plan some quiet time for the two of you. It doesn’t have to be an exotic babymoon (although a last-minute trip—with your doctor’s approval—can be a fantastic escape). “It may be a while before you get to the movies or a romantic dinner together, so check out that cool new restaurant or see a film,” says Hill. In addition to recharging and relaxing, you can use this time to bounce around baby names and share your worries, dreams and hopes for your new family.

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