With all the attention during pregnancy on the mama-to-be and the baby, I don’t think we realise how quickly and how easily we forget about the dad-to-be and his involvement in the pregnancy.
Sure, no ones likely going to ask dad how he’s taking in the pregnancy, what baby products he’s thinking of buying and if he has researched all the latest ideas to relieve discomfort during the third trimester. I get that, that would be a little weird, don’t you think?
But mamas, dads really do want to be part and participating in your pregnancy. They might not be growing a baby in their tummies or waddling around like penguins when the weight gain starts setting in, but they still play a big part in the big picture.
Dads have feelings too, even if they aren’t as expressive about them as we are.
I’ve always made sure that I involved Hubby Byren throughout all my pregnancies, or tried to as much as possible. Apart from him feeling involved, it also created opportunities for him to bond with our babies.
I wanted to share some of the ideas with you that will help you include your husband in your pregnancy.
Ask how he’s feeling.
Sweet and simple. Ask how he’s feeling about becoming a dad, what his fears and concerns are, what he’s looking forward to. Reassure him that his feelings and opinions matter as well. Just like we have thoughts during our pregnancies about different aspects, so do they. And if we can share ours with them, we can create opportunities for them to share with us too.
Let your husband accompany you to the doctor so he can be present for the scans, the updates and if he has any questions, he can talk to the doctor too. As much as your husband understands there’s a growing baby in your tummy, seeing the little one on the monitor during a scan and hearing the heartbeat is a way for them to feel the reality, the one that we feel every day carrying the little one inside us.
Take photos together with your growing belly. There are always photos of the mama but not as many of the dad being present in them. One day, you’ll want to look back at these and remember the earlier days of becoming parents and be mesmerised by the memories of those times. If you’re planning to do a maternity shoot, include your husband in it. Sure, they might not feel comfortable posing in front of the camera, but that’s not what it’s about! Creating the memories, having fun and being in the moment together.
Feel kicks and movements.
I’m not saying grab at his hand and drag him over to feel the latest movements and jumping jacks happening inside your tummy EVERY SINGLE TIME but do let him feel those kicks and turns. Men will never understand what it’s like to feel these flutters, punch and kicks in our tummies and the closest they’ll ever get is feeling them from the outside. Also, it’s fun to watch the amazement growing on their faces when they feel how tough those punches and movements really are!
You don’t need to drag your husband on every baby shopping expedition you take, or shove every item you purchased in his face to show him, but for the big buys (cots, travelling systems, etc.), take him along with you. Look through the different products together, compare the benefits, voice opinions and buy what you both like. While we focus on all the baby shopping like cute outfits, toys, lotions and all other baby things, dads can weigh in their opinion on some baby products too. And if you’re happy with his choices, just imagine how chuffed he’ll feel about himself.
Camping cots, prams, baby furniture, you name it. Let your husband assemble all those things for the baby. Once more, they’re going to feel involved and very proud of their work.
Okay, you might be benefiting more from this one, but let your husband apply your antenatal lotion to your tummy, thighs, etc. It’s a great way to bond, and your husband will feel needed. Men like to know they’re needed, why not let them know this way? And then, the next point…
Again, it might benefit you more, but let your husband take care of you and help you relieve any pains and aches you may be feeling in your back, legs and feet. It’s a great way to bond, and you’ll feel pampered and hopefully, feel a little relief.
Just as he can spoil you with massages (and all that yummy food you might be craving), you can turns the tables on him, in a good way of course. Why not spoil him a little too? It doesn’t have to be something big or extravagant, maybe a small hamper of his favourite deodorant or snacks.
I know it’s a strange term, and if you’ve never heard it before, you might be thinking, “Ummm, what?” Basically, a nappy braai is the male version of a baby shower-without all the ooh and aaahs, decorations and baby things standing around. While some women do involve their husband and allow an unisex baby shower for all to attend, other women keep it strictly female. The nappy braai is a way to also “spoil” the dad, where he spends the day with his buddies, doing guy things? Also a nice touch to it, you can ask all the attendees to bring with a bag of nappies as an “entrance fee”. Win win for dad (and you).
There you have it, different ways you can include your husband in your pregnancy.
Did you like the ideas? Do you have any ideas that you tried that aren’t mentioned in the list?
Let me know in the comments!