Though this is not an openly acknowledged fact, a lot of contribution from the father is required for the wellbeing of the child in the mother’s womb. Every man aspires to be the father of the perfect baby, but have expressed often being confused about what to do. Here is something that every father needs to read and know.
In today’s era, most men believe that they have 2 primary responsibilities, especially after marriage: to start a family and to financially support the family. In a patriarchal culture like ours, many people consider that it is the sole responsibility of the mother to bring up the child, right from the time of conception till the time that the child is an adult.
In an event that there are certain complications in the pregnancy such as a miscarriage, stillbirth, deficiency, defect or even gender of the child is other than what was expected, the blame is often borne by the mother alone. Such attitudes are baseless and one should understand the implications of it. The father cites work-related reasons to dissociate himself from the situation.
Is it not a fact that the father too is a part of the family and he must contribute to the wellbeing of the mother and the unborn child?
The wife’s health – physical and emotional are important too and none but the husband can provide comfort.
Here are some of the responsibilities that the father must consider and fulfill during the pregnancy for a happy and healthy mother and child.
- If you are a smoker, it is recommended that you quit because passive smoking too affects the mother and baby extensively.
- Refrain from body-shaming your wife. During pregnancy, there are a lot of hormonal changes in the body of the mother – since it is new to them, it takes time for them to get used to understanding their body. Stay supportive and motivate her to be strong and positive. There are a lot of physical, emotional, and hormonal changes that take place at rapid progression during pregnancy. It is best if the husband and wife can stay supportive of each other during this new phase.
- Diet is an important part of pregnancy. Give the mother fresh and healthy food to eat until the baby is weaned off the breastfeeding habit. Everything that the mother consumes reaches the baby. Smoking and alcohol are strict to be avoided, especially during this stage. It is recommended not to consume outside food or hotel food as it contains chemicals (food coloring, preservatives, taste enhancers) that may irritate the baby. The food may be contaminated which can cause food poisoning in the mother and baby. So, it is always advised that the mother eats fresh, home-cooked foods.
- Encourage the mother to read books that reinforce positivity. Inspirational and spiritual books help keep the mental wellbeing of the mother balanced and constant. The child too remains calm and peaceful. Visualizing positivity will help the child to do the same.
- Avoid fights and arguments during the stages of pregnancy. Due to hormonal changes, even small triggers can cause an aggressive reaction. Talk politely and explain things softly. Pregnancy itself is a stressful period. By keeping communication channels open and positive. Mental stress too can affect the wellbeing of the baby inside the womb.
- Keep the home environment cheerful and positive. Try to maintain peace and harmony so that no negativity affects the baby. If the mother is happy, the baby too is automatically happy and feels secure.
- Accompany the expectant mother for all her routine health check-ups. She feels better to go with someone supportive and understanding. Doctor appointments can be stressful and can cause anxiety in case there is a complication. Traveling alone to and from the doctor’s clinic can induce a lot of physical stress and fatigue.
- Remind her to keep track of her diet and medication.
- It is a good idea to go for short walks in the morning and evening. This will be an exercise that does not strain the body. It also improves blood and oxygen supply to both the mother and the baby.
- Keep the mother surrounded by positive people. Staying alone and lonely will create stress and insecurity which also affects the child.
- Attend birthing classes with her so that she is comfortable and you too will know what to expect. This will prepare both the parents mentally, physically, and emotionally for the actual process of birthing. It is a good idea to discuss emergency scenarios before they happen. For example, know what the mother prefers in case of an emergency. Discuss with her what she prefers for the baby after it is born. When she is in labor, she might not be able to think or speak coherently. A lot of mothers go through this situation during labor. Make sure that you are familiar with her birth plan, her preferences, and let the staff involved in the birthing process know the same.
During the stages of pregnancy, especially for the first time, both the husband and wife are equally clueless about what to expect from each other and how to react it the situation. Prenatal care education helps you understand the nuances of pregnancy so that you can minimalize the negative aspects to make your pregnancy journey a happy, successful, and fruitful one. There is no hard and fast rule that the couple should follow. Each couple is different and unique.
We believe that every mother and father influence their developing baby with a unique footprint. Make yours the perfectly positive footprint left on your baby before birth.