To the fathers-to-be this Father’s Month

by Xoli Makabane, midwife
Baby Yum Yum - To the fathers-to-be this Father’s Month
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The journey of pregnancy can be quite overwhelming to both parents, especially expecting fathers. Being pregnant these days is shared responsibility that requires a lot of support from the dads, as we are now dealing with micro families.

The support of parents, grandparents and other family is diminishing, as more and more people have to work to survive. The absence of the extended family during these times means there is no longer anyone around to offer wisdom to expectant parents.

Moms tend to take a keen interest in antenatal classes and may even have the support of their colleagues when the office space is conducive to open conversations and advice.

“Who prepares new fathers for the role and responsibilities they are about to face?”

But who prepares new fathers for the role and responsibilities they are about to face? It is to this end that I’d like to share a few tips to help fathers navigate this dodgy path with their partners – and help couples to address issues without spilling any blood.

Imagine the first trimester of pregnancy as being a 5-10kg dumbbell that you carry around 24/7, without a break. Add to that a weird feeling that just pops up out of nowhere.

When your partner says she doesn’t know what’s wrong, she really means it. She can’t explain the feeling. But you can support her by saying nothing and being there for her.

What can you do?

  • She will appreciate being asked if she would like anything to eat or drink. You can also take care of some of her usual chores. For example, if you have a toddler, take command of the bath time wars and morning and evening meals.
  • Provide her with a heating pad or, even better, give her a good lower back massage to help soothe her back pain. Try using oils like arnica just to ease the discomfort.
  • Her feet will swell, even in winter, and this is not always related to high blood pressure during pregnancy. Being on her feet all day can result in them swelling, so prepare a lukewarm foot soak with Epsom salts.
  • Don’t get angry when she is angry as you won’t win the fight.

These nine months are all about the mother of your child. Love her unconditionally and be prepared an emotional rollercoaster for the first six weeks after your baby has been born.

Be fully involved and you will become an important part of her journey.

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