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Crash course for dads-to-be

 
It won't all be sunshine and roses. You, Dad, are going to have to toughen up.
By Andrea Botha

Pic: iStockphoto.com

Article originally in Parent24
Most first-time dads think their lives will only change once the baby is born. They think pregnancy will only affect them by making them having to dart off to KFC for an occasional late-night craving. Poor things. They have no idea that their lives will never be the same again.

Scared yet? Good! Pregnancy is not for sissies. But seriously, mom-to-be has a few months to absorb all the information books, family, friends and random strangers on the street provide. This crash course is designed for "pregnant dads" to help make the ride less bumpy over the next nine months.

1. Be prepared
You don't want to be the guy who faints in the pre-natal class when they show the childbirth video. Take a leaf from the boy scout book and be prepared. Information is power. Read articles, browse the web. Many dads think of the baby as an alien invasion about to happen. This sort of thinking is not going to help you. Trust me.

2. PMS for 9 months
As your pregnant partner's body changes, it is flooded by hormones. Imagine tears for no reason, irrational rages coming out of the blue, anxiety attacks about nothing. Try to be supportive and develop a sense of humour. Privately. Laughing out loud is not recommended.

3. Did you just fart, honey?

Flatulence, heartburn, piles (haemorrhoids), varicose veins and bladder problems are some common problems women face during pregnancy. She will not like it any more than you do and it will be a sensitive topic. Stick to the line that pregnant women are beautiful. Whether you believe it or not.

4. Learn the lingo
If you're a typical South African male, chances are you can handle a bit of blood on the rugby field but the idea of a vaginal discharge makes you want to throw up. But it's a normal bodily function, which during pregnancy becomes an important indicator of the baby being in trouble or about to arrive. This is not the time to be squeamish. Information is power, remember.

5. New accessories
Don't be alarmed if she only wants to visit baby shops and discuss items like breast pumps, nipple shields and breast pads (no, these are not like shoulder pads!)

6. What is that smell?
Almost all pregnant women report a heightened sense of smell, attributed to the high amount of oestrogen in the body. Pregnant women find certain smells turn their stomachs. I know of one woman who suddenly found the body odour of her husband disgusting. Take my advice and start taking twice-daily showers. It beats being kicked out of your own bed!

Pregnancy can either be a time of great intimacy and bonding – or one of tears and drama. How you treat your pregnant partner will have a significant effect, not only on the pregnancy but on your quality of life. Not to mention how much your sex appeal will increase when she finds you reading a pregnancy magazine…

Do you think you'll be able to handle being a pregnant dad? What were your experiences? Send your stories to Chatback@parent24.com

 
Read more on: pregnant  |  father
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