Pregnancy and the journey to birth is often seen as the “mommy and baby show” and dad more often, than not, gets left on the sidelines doing midnight- craving runs. This can cause daddy to feel left out, and left behind in the joy that this journey is supposed to bring.
So how can we involve the father and create a strong father-baby bond?
Make sure he is included in every special moment – every doctor’s visit, every pre-natal class and every baby talk session. If he cannot attend your doctor’s visits, have a little sit down with him before you go to the appointment, and ask him what questions he would like answered by the doctor. Make a list, and get your doctor to answer his questions too. Not only will he get answers, but it will help him to think about the baby, and the pregnancy and he might even gain a better understanding of what mommy is going through! If he cannot attend sonar appointments, dial him in on speakerphone so that he too can hear baby’s heartbeat in real time.
We all look forward to the baby showers, but this is often a special occasion that the dad’s miss out on. A good idea is to do a Beers & Babies party on the same day as the shower. Mommies can sit out in the garden enjoying the sunlight and their baby shower, whilst all the dads and husbands can gather inside for some beer and rugby! Plus, each dad can bring along a pack of diapers for the new dad-to-be, which not only means dad also gets the gift of nappy-changing responsibilities, but also means you save some cash the first couple of weeks after birth on diaper purchases! Win-win.
Download a baby tracking app for Dad. This will alow him to follow along with the progress baby is making! And you might be surprised, one night he might just come home with a avocado and the brave, proud “our baby is the size of an avocado!” It will also contribute in helping him understand the changes your body is making.
Finally, we discussed massage and touch for mommy as a bonding method before. This too can help daddy bond with baby. Have him rub your belly with some lotion, whilst chatting to baby. He will feel connected to little nugget whilst also engaging in a special personal touch exercise with you.
The important thing is to remember that although you are physically going through changes, pregnancy is also a changing time for new dads.
Written By: Simoné Van Der Merwe
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