Fatherhood is a big job and it starts with taking care of your partner during the pregnancy.
The link between dads’ involvement during pregnancy and healthy outcomes for moms and babies is powerful.
A father can communicate with and influence his unborn baby in two ways; by talking directly to the baby and by caring for the mother, giving her emotional and financial support so that she can better care for the baby. Helping your partner with household chores, attending prenatal sessions, ultrasounds, listening to your baby’s heart beat, massaging or laying on of hands on your baby’s bump if mom is happy for you to do so; feel his kicking. Your unborn baby can hear, feel, suck and recognize your voice by about 32 weeks. In fact research has shown that your baby can hear their fathers’ voices better than mothers’ because the amniotic fluid transmits the resonant low-pitched male voice more easily than a higher feminine voice. And so dad, as you sing or talk your baby listens.
Babies are not the only thing that grows during pregnancy; relationships grow also. Use the time during pregnancy to strengthen your commitment to each other. As baby grows so should your relationship. For the first time in a man’s life not only is another person - your partner - as important as himself, but a second person - the baby- becomes as important or more important. Take inventory of your relationship. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is too bring your baby intro a home built on a loving relationship. Best gift to your baby is to love your partner.
Father presence at the birth provides another window into the health of mother and child . Several important studies show that the single most important birth circumstance that protect against birth complications in the newborn was the father’s presence at delivery. This held true even when the father was less than enthusiastic about being present. A related study concluded that father’s presence reduced length of labor and overall rate of birth complications.
Father involvement during pregnancy does more than grow a baby. Nothing matures a man more than becoming a father. This may be the first time in a man’s life that he has had to and wanted to focus more on people other than himself- his wife and his baby. Pregnancy prepares a father for the real world of parenting. Often it takes a baby to make two mature adults.