I’m Going to Be a Dad!

Fatherhood

Okay men. Now that you’re going to be a dad it’s time to put away the sports and automotive magazines and pick up a copy of the latest baby and parenting books. You may not be the one who’s pregnant, but it’s important to be an involved and active partner in this incredible journey that starts before the birth of your child.

Chapter 1. The First Trimester

The first three months of pregnancy are a big time of adjustment. In less than nine months you and your partner will adjust from being not only a couple, but also parents. Take some time now to go out to dinner, take in a movie and spend some quality time together. If she’s tired or not feeling well, then order in a meal and watch a favorite show at home. Remember to be sensitive to her food likes and dislikes, and don’t forget to help with some household chores. It is also important to determine whose insurance will cover medical costs due to pregnancy, and check on your company’s rules on paternity leave and time off.

Chapter 2. The Second Trimester

Three months down, six to go. By now your partner might really appreciate a good foot massage or back rub. This also might be a good time to develop a budget to handle new and upcoming expenses, such as maternity clothes, baby necessities and medical co-pays. Go to as many checkups with the mother-to-be as possible, especially the milestone ones when you hear the first heartbeat or see the first ultrasound. Show interest by going to the store to help pick out nursery furniture or a stroller, taking childbirth classes, or reading a book about pregnancy. You also should think about estate planning, such as making a will or designating a guardian for your child, should something happen to you.

Chapter 3. The Third Trimester

You’re in the home stretch now. This is a good time to restock the shelves and freeze ready-made meals to eat later. Don’t forget to have fresh batteries in the camera and camcorder, and make sure there is a full tank of gas in the car. You don’t want to have to stop at the gas station on the way to the hospital. Preparations also should include finalizing decisions about child care, as well as getting the baby’s room ready and finishing any projects around the house. While you’re busy getting things ready, let your partner take a nap or sleep in when possible. For an added bonus, bring her breakfast in bed.

Throughout pregnancy your partner will appreciate the little things that you can do to make her feel more comfortable and loved. Bring her flowers, stay up late when she can’t sleep because she just can’t get comfortable, don’t forget to put the toilet seat down, and always keep your cell phone handy. For more information about parenting, talk with your doctor or call 205.877.8800 for a free referral to a physician near you.

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