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Beyond mom-to-be: Guide for dads in coping with pregnancy-related challenges

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi

Fatherhood is a remarkable experience filled with excitement but it can also pose unique challenges for dads-to-be hence, understanding and coping with the various aspects of pregnancy is crucial for both you and your partner. As the excitement of impending parenthood sets in, dads-to-be often find themselves navigating a maze of emotions and responsibilities alongside their pregnant partners.

Beyond mom-to-be: Guide for dads in coping with pregnancy-related challenges (Photo by Amina Filkins on Pexels)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Rohan Palshetkar, Head of Unit Bloom IVF at Professor at Dept of OBGy in DY Patil School of Medicine, suggested the following tips for dads in coping with pregnancy-related challenges:

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  • First, communication is key. Open and honest dialogue with your partner about her physical and emotional changes fosters a deeper connection. Attend prenatal appointments together, ask questions, and actively engage in discussions about the pregnancy.
  • Educate yourself about pregnancy. Knowing what to expect at different stages can alleviate uncertainties and help you prepare. Read reputable resources, attend prenatal classes, and discuss any concerns with healthcare professionals. This knowledge equips you to actively participate in the journey and provide informed support.
  • Be attuned to your partner’s needs. Pregnancy comes with various physical discomforts and emotional fluctuations. Offer a helping hand with household tasks, provide emotional reassurance, and be flexible with plans. Demonstrating empathy and understanding contributes significantly to your partner’s well-being.
  • Nurture your well-being. Balancing your own needs while supporting your partner is vital. Take moments for self-care, whether it is through exercise, hobbies, or spending time with friends. A healthy and balanced father positively influences the overall family dynamic.
  • Prepare for potential challenges. Pregnancy might present unexpected obstacles, from health concerns to emotional stress. Discuss potential scenarios with your partner and healthcare professional. Develop a plan for addressing challenges together.
  • Join a community of dads-to-be. Connecting with other expectant fathers provides a platform for sharing experiences and gaining insights. Attend support groups, online forums, or local meetups where you can exchange advice and build a network of supportive peers.
  • Lastly, embrace the joyous moments. Amidst the challenges, celebrate the milestones and joyful moments during the pregnancy. Capture memories through photos, attend parenting classes together, and create a positive atmosphere as you both anticipate the arrival of your child.

Bringing her expertise to the same, Dr Divya Vora, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, highlighted a concise guide to help dads cope with pregnancy-related challenges and be the supportive rock their partners need –

  • Pitch In with Chores: From vacuuming to lifting heavy objects, take on household tasks to alleviate your partner’s physical strain. Encourage her to rest while you handle the chores.
  • Promote Healthy Habits: Support your partner in adopting a nutritious diet, avoiding harmful substances like alcohol, and taking essential supplements like folic acid.
  • Culinary Support: Combat morning sickness by preparing meals that avoid triggering smells. Offer dry toast or fresh fruits, and plenty of water to ease discomfort.
  • Stay Calm: Hormonal fluctuations may lead to mood swings; remember, it’s temporary. Be patient and understanding during challenging moments.
  • Educate Yourself: Seek advice from experienced friends and consider attending antenatal classes together to prepare for the journey ahead.
  • Take Breaks When Needed: When stress levels rise, step back, and recharge. Sometimes, a brief pause can make all the difference.
  • Be Supportive: Understand and empathize with your partner’s experiences, especially during and after childbirth. Your presence and support matter immensely.

In this transformative journey to parenthood, dads play a pivotal role in providing unwavering support and love. First-time dads could experience a sense of anxiety for that matter.

It is only advisable for the parents to trust their instincts and intuition when caring for their child and while it is valuable to seek advice, do read about parenting and consult experts. By embracing these tips, dads can navigate pregnancy-related challenges with confidence and be the pillars of strength their partners need.

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