What Dad Can Expect When You’re Expecting

Joy, worry, excitement, concern – pregnancy can be an emotional roller coaster for both you and your partner. 

An emotional time

If you have mood swings, you can blame this on the changes in your hormones that come with pregnancy. These shifts in your mood are likely confusing for your partner. Ask dad to be sensitive to your needs. He may be eager to help anyway he can since he can’t help carry your baby. Maybe give your partner a gentle reminder to cuddle and pamper you when you need it.

It goes without saying that pregnancy is a major change for you. But it’s a big one for dad, too. He may be concerned about being a good father. He may also be worried about how your relationship will change once your baby arrives. Plus, soon there will be another mouth to feed. He may be worried about his job or his ability to bring in enough money. Some partners even gain weight and have pregnancy symptoms. Others may need a nudge before they open up and say how they’re feeling.

How to reduce anxieties

These tips can help ease some of the ups and downs you’re both experiencing:

  • Eat well and get enough sleep. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.

  • Exercise. This can help you sleep better and improve stress.

  • Share concerns with friends and family members who are parents.

  • Take a childbirth class together.

  • Learn about basic childcare, such as how to change diapers. 

  • Talk with your healthcare provider about a plan for labor and delivery. Make sure your partner has a role in the birth.

  • Plan in advance – with your partner –for daycare, time off work, and who’s in charge of what after the baby is born.

  • Set aside time to do things together as a couple. Enjoy these months as you prepare for parenthood.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 4/12/2016

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