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Our Favourite Tips for Expectant Dads

Whether you've just found out you're expecting, or you're counting down the days till your little one's arrival, here are some top tips for making sure Dads are prepared too

 

When a couple tells you they're pregnant, we often fuss over the mum and provide her with an endless stream of advice and tips on what's to come and how to prepare. But what about dads?

In films and on TV, men either go into shock or become super dad the moment they find out they're expecting, but in real life, first time dads can find themselves at a loss of what to expect or how to behave.

We decided to discuss the idea with Dean Beaumont who started DaddyNatal after he became a father.

"DaddyNatal was created to support Dads to be the best birth partners they can be, and to be the best dads that they can be. We recognise becoming a dad starts before birth, and continues for life, and so we offer both DaddyNatal antenatal classes (for men only) and New Dads classes (for Dads & Baby only) for when baby has arrived."

Top 5 tips for new dads

Whether you have just found out you are expecting, or you are counting down the days till your little one's arrival, here are some top tips for making sure you are prepared.

Bond with your baby before the baby is born

We affect our baby's development from the moment they are conceived. That's right, dads, your attitude and support throughout pregnancy can directly affect how your baby grows and develops in the uterus. An awesome thought isn't it? By 24 weeks your unborn baby can hear sounds from outside.

This means for most of the pregnancy, your baby can hear your voice. They will know who you are, and already be bonding with you.

This is brilliant in terms of being able to calm them when they arrive because putting in the time now to allow your baby to get to know you, will make it easier for you to calm and soothe them when they are here in your arms. So take the time to get to know each other, read bump a story, say hello to them, give them a pet-name.

Attend antenatal appointments

As long as your partner is happy with you being there, attend as many of these as you can.

The antenatal scans are a great opportunity to see your baby and how it is growing, which helps with bonding. At any of these appointments, go to them prepared with any questions you have or topics that you would like information about.

Find and go to antenatal classes which suit you both

You and mum should have a chat about what kind of birth preparations you would like to do, as there are a wide range of antenatal classes now available to help you prepare for the kind of birth you would like to have. You should research classes that are available in your area, and make sure you attend the ones that suit how you feel the about your birth.

Have a birth plan

Ignore those that tell you 'there is no point having a birth plan' as this simply isn't true. Work on your birth plan together and research the choices available. Trust me, there are more decisions available to be made in relation to pregnancy and birth that you can probably imagine.

From where you would prefer your baby to be born, to whether you would like delayed cord clamping after the birth - a birth plan isn't all about pain relief or type of birth. Your role is to try and support, as far as is reasonably possible, the birth plan to be heard but you can only fulfil this role, if you have a plan to start with.

Take as much paternity leave as you can

Paternity leave is always something I don't think many of us give enough consideration to in the build up to the birth of our children. Start planning early, talk to your employer and see how flexible they will be. Legally, we are entitled to two weeks paternity leave on the birth of our child, but think about extending this by using holiday entitlement.

So many of us dads are left with a hollow feeling when it is time to return to work and mums can suddenly feel very lonely and overwhelmed that all of a sudden they will be on their own.

If you do have to return to work soon after the birth, make sure you stay in touch with mum, ring her each day to see how they are doing, and see if there is anything you can do on the way home. On that first day you are away, take her home some chocolates or flowers, so she knows you have been thinking of her.

The Baby Show in London (25-27 Oct)

Tips for new dads

DaddyNatal will be offering a series of classes for dads and couples at The Baby Show, later this month.

 
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