Preparing for Fatherhood: 16 Ways to Get Ready to Become a Dad
In the life of any man, one day there may come a decisive moment when he learns that he will soon become a father. Experiencing a whole range of emotions - from unbridled joy to outright horror - is quite normal.
Quite frankly, it's impossible to feel fully prepared for your new role as a father. Therefore, the specialists of the Feskov Human Reproductive Group offer 16 different ideas for implementation for that exciting, and, at the same time, tiresome waiting time for the birth of a baby. They work not only for ordinary families, but also for those created with the help of surrogate mother.
1. Process research
Of course, a man is not the one who is carrying a baby, but this does not mean that he should not take an active part in pregnancy and childbirth. Even the adoption or involvement of a surrogate mother does not impose restrictions on the state of involvement in the process.
There are many books for future fathers. And on the network, you can always join thematic online communities.
If your partner is experiencing unpleasant pregnancy symptoms (heartburn, morning sickness), it may be helpful to do a little research. Understanding the feelings of the other parent will help provide better support while carrying a baby. The same applies to childbirth, newborn care, breastfeeding.
2. Health is a priority
Waiting for your baby is definitely the best time to focus on your health. For example, try to quit smoking. Since there are studies that smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of congenital heart defects in the fetus.
What about food addictions? After all, it is a healthy diet that will support the body during the long days (and nights!) of acquired fatherhood. A proper diet rich in fiber, vitamins and immune-boosting foods will come in handy.
It will not be superfluous to undergo a medical examination by a family doctor, as well as check the card for all the necessary vaccinations.
3. Discuss parenting issues with other parents
Now is the best time to start discussing what kind of parent you want to be. Here are some burning questions for this:
- arguments for or against breastfeeding;
- the child's sleep in a separate bed immediately upon returning home;
- the work of one or both parents;
- child care plans, etc.
These things are just theory. When the baby arrives, everything can change. For example, breastfeeding can be a little more challenging than expected. Or the concept of using diapers or the punishment system will change when the baby grows up.
4. Team play
For a man, being on the same wavelength means thinking of himself, the second parent and the baby, as a team. All three are now connected for life, even if the mother and father are no longer romantically involved. A good advice is to look at what is happening through this prism and stop keeping score: you to me, I to you, as if you were participating in a competition.
Caring for a family of origin includes helping a pregnant woman who is not feeling well. Thus, the father also takes care of the baby in the tummy. Visiting every day, taking care of household chores, preparing suitable meals - these and other ways will contribute to the common goal which consists in the timely birth of a healthy baby.
5. What kind of father would you like to be?
As practice shows, not all men have a good relationship with their fathers. It's great when your own father was or is a great person. Then he becomes a role model for a man.
If the father left much to be desired, the future dad may worry about such a role. However, the good news is that a person is always free to decide how to approach fatherhood. You can always find someone outside for this role. Building it from scratch gives many perspectives on how it should be.
6. Finding friends from the circle of fathers
While in the waiting process, it will definitely be helpful to track down other fathers for the support group. Having a trusted friend who knows firsthand about parenting issues is an amazing opportunity to ask the necessary questions. And also to express their fears, joy or disappointment, to receive the necessary support, sympathy, help.
The modern world offers both online interest groups and church and any other offline communities, which you can always learn about online or from your doctor in a hospital.
7. Attending antenatal consultations is desirable
One of the best ways to be involved in pregnancy is to attend scheduled appointments at the clinic. Observing fetal behavior on an ultrasound scan and other routine tests will help more find out what to expect next. They always have the opportunity to ask questions of interest, find out about what the partner is experiencing, and also get information about the development of the baby.
Of course, the future dad will not always have the opportunity to come to meetings. The work schedule and other problems have not been canceled. It is important to talk to your partner and make a schedule to see your doctor as often as possible. The same is true for the period after the birth of a newborn.
8. Sexual changes are normal
The new status will definitely have an impact on the couple's intimate life. Usually a man at this moment experiences a variety of emotions, worries about the baby in the tummy, and most often feels confused. At this stage, open communication is a key action in the family.
A lot of jokes and comments about the end of sex life or changes with the female body during pregnancy are completely useless and do not reflect the emotional complexity of sex and fatherhood.
In fact, postpartum sex takes time. And this is not only and not so much a six-week break for physical recovery. Lack of sleep, breastfeeding, postpartum depression - all this can leave an imprint on intimacy. Sensitive and open communication can help resolve couples' sex issues. Usually, intimacy after the appearance of a baby becomes even better. Because joint cares and the baby bind partners like never before and deepen the intimacy.
It is fairly believed that the events of pregnancy are the prerogative of the woman. However, a man can also be a part of them.
Organization of joint holidays, shopping with the partner for things for the baby, keeping a diary describing experiences, photographing a woman's growing belly - many small and large things await the future dad. Documenting all of these milestones is as important for the father as it is for the mother.
10. Preparatory activities
There are many activities other than gestation to prepare for the arrival of a new person. Saving money, arranging a place for a baby, collecting information about caring for a newborn - just a small list of challenges.
A man may like to do everything at once. Or he will tend to favor some kind of selective activity. The main thing is to do something. For example, you can try:
- become a specialist in car seat use;
- find out everything about insurance or baby care;
- re-glue the wallpaper or assemble the crib;
- find the best strollers and baby formula;
- complete a course in preparation for childbirth or breastfeeding with the partner;
- discuss vacation options with your boss;
- collect a bag for childbirth.
This will be an invaluable help for a pregnant woman. And she always has something to think about.
11. Protecting the interests of the family
A baby can awaken both the best and the worst qualities in people. And, since the child and both parents are now a team, the man must actively participate in making family decisions.
For example, who will be present during childbirth, when and whom to invite to see the baby, and many other issues need to be resolved together. It doesn't matter if relatives and friends see things differently. Building family boundaries is natural.
You can celebrate the baby's birthday in a noisy company of family and friends. But you can also spend some time alone - with a new family member. And no one has the right to indicate. The interests of the renewed family come first.
12. Second parent support
And not only in family matters. This means being attentive and asking questions of interest during consultations and during childbirth. This means not hindering the mother from going to work or staying at home as long as she needs.
Also, it is important not to overlook the signs of incipient postpartum depression. Provide qualified professional help and personal support in an emotionally difficult time. It is the father who is a powerful force for maintaining the health of the mother and child. Moreover, it is important for a baby to have both healthy parents.
13. Segregation of duties
When a child finally comes into this world, the father's help is as significant as during pregnancy. At first, dads may feel abandoned, especially if the mother is breastfeeding. They may have the impression of their own uselessness. However, this is not true. There are thousands of ways to stay involved in family life:
- Change diapers both during the day and at night.
- Bath the baby.
- Spend skin-to-skin time (when the baby is lying on the father's body).
- Reading fairy tales.
- Singing lullabies.
- Bottle feeding.
- Caring before and after breastfeeding.
- Providing food and drink for the mother.
- Washing dishes.
- Washing of children's clothes.
If you want to be useful, you can always find something to do.
14. Sense of humor
Raising children is difficult, exhausting and hard. However, it is also fun, exciting and educational. The main key to experiencing both good and bad moments is laughter. Lack of sleep, a dirty diaper, breast milk in coffee and many other moments should be taken with humor. Thus, difficulties will be more easily tolerated without leaving an imprint on family relationships. Moreover, they are temporary.
15. The importance of sleep
Everyone needs sleep - mom, dad and baby. There are many ways to improve your sleep patterns after a baby is born. The path of trial and error is thorny, however, it is important that everyone sleeps for the prescribed amount of time. Even if dad goes to work tomorrow, mom will also not sit idly by.
You can define a sleep schedule, sleep when possible, share household chores and responsibilities. The main thing is that everyone gets enough sleep.
16. Feeling the importance of dad for the child
There will be many challenges during the development of the baby. Sometimes, the father will feel unnecessary or less important. Sometimes, it is difficult to go to work, but it is necessary. And this does not make a man a bad father - he provides for the family.
Undoubtedly, there will be happy moments in the life of the father. For example, when the baby says “daddy” or smiles. Or when the father is the only one who can put the baby to bed and sing his favorite song.
Fatherhood is a long-term project. The presence of the dad in the baby's life is a present that they give each other every day.
And if a person does not have a partner, this is not a reason to give up the dream of an heir. Feskov Human Reproductive Group implements surrogacy program for singles which will help you get the most important gift in your life!
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