Pregnancy can be such an exhausting and overwhelming time for soon to be parents. Are you a soon to be dad with the question, “what do I do now?” Or are you a soon to be mom wondering, “how can dad help me?” If you answered yes to either of those, than have come to the right place. Dad’s ultimate guide to pregnancy will answer both of those questions and more.
First, why should you listen to me? I am not a doctor giving you medical advice on dealing with pregnancy, but I am a mother of two, who has been there and done that.
Before my first pregnancy, my husband thought pregnancy was going was going to be a breeze. He thought we could both just sit back and let the little baby bake in there awhile.
I mean what could he really help with? He did his job- put the baby there! We didn’t think his fatherly duties started until the baby popped out, but boy were we wrong.
By my second pregnancy, we knew what to expect, but I wish someone out there would have given my husband a crash course on pregnancy for dads before my first pregnancy.
So you don’t have to learn the hard way like I did, here is Dad’s Ultimate Guide To Pregnancy!
There is going to be a lot of great information to help you get through the next nine months, so make sure you save this so you can refer back to it later!
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Alright, so you find out you are going to be a dad- whether you expect it or not- how do you react? Some major emotions that usually appear are fear and excitement!
Share these feeling with mom. If your scared, express your concerns, and start making your plans now. It’s never too early to start preparing for a baby. Don’t let fear cause you to hide out for the next nine months.
If your excited, show it!! Get pumped up about it. You’re going to be a dad, and there is nothing better than that!
Spreading The Word
Deciding when and how to spread the word can be challenging. Do you tell everyone right away, or do you wait for a few weeks? Only you and mom can make this decision, but make sure to respect her opinion.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but for the next nine months, whatever mom says, goes. It’s her way or the highway! Sorry pal.
How do you tell the world you guys are going to be parents? Do you make a huge announcement or keep it small? Once again, only you guys can decide. But you will only be able to share news like this a few times in your life, so feel free to make a big deal about it! Go crazy, and throw a party!
I personally love the ideas of these Pregnancy Announcement Lottery Tickets. They are nothing like I have ever seen before.
Figuring Out Paternity Leave
It’s never too early to start planning your leave from work. Many times your employer will require a lot of paperwork before they can approve it.
Once you spread the words to family and friends about the little one, it’s time to share the news with your boss as well. Just make sure your boss hears it from you, and not someone else.
Imagine having the worst hangover ever, and now imagine feeling like this for a minimum of 8 weeks straight. This is what most moms feel during the first trimester of pregnancy. For some moms the feeling doesn’t go away for much longer, and for some it doesn’t go away the entire pregnancy.
Morning sickness is not just in the morning, it lasts ALL day and night. Some moms feel nauseous 24 hours a day, and have a hard time keeping any food down.
Be supportive, and hold her hair when she is puking. Feed her all the ridiculous foods she can actually keep down, and be understanding if she just wants to lay on the couch all day and not move.
Buy her Preggie Pop Drops, they are little candies that can help with morning sickness.
Pregnancy hormones are not just a myth. Hormones take over moms entire life.
She might be really mean one minute and cry the next minute. Take the waves with a smile on your face, and just know she cannot control it. You might get very angry at her at times, but just know it will not last forever.
Just remember, during this time it might be best to just smile and give her hugs, no matter how she is acting.
Mom will have a lot of doctor appointments. You will want to be at the first one. The doctor will explain everything that you should expect to happen over the next few months.
You will also want to be at any ultrasounds. It’s so amazing to get to see your little peanut swimming around in the womb. Trust me, you will not want to miss this!
If you can make any doctor appointments in between that’s great, but if you can’t, don’t stress it. They are usually pretty quick and boring.
Decorating The Nursery
Help mom come up with a theme for the nursery. Don’t make mom do all the work. She’s doing all the work cooking your baby.
Make sure you are the one that paints and does all the heavy lifting. Mom shouldn’t be doing these things during pregnancy.
Also, don’t forget to start on this job early. Babies can come at unexpected times, and you will want the room finished by the time the baby is born.
Mom is going to gain a lot of weight during these nine months, usually between 25-30 lbs., and for some moms even more. She might be discouraged and feel uncomfortable in her new body.
Make sure you show your appreciate for what mom is doing to her body to carry your baby.
Don’t be surprised if you gain some weight right along with her. When she is eating a lot more, you probably will eat more too.
Pregnancy can bring on some weird cravings, so just hop on board the cravings train early. Whatever she wants, make sure you get it for her. The craving are completely uncontrollable. If she wants a chocolate shake at 3 a.m., it’s your duty to get it for her.
Pregnancy is hard on the body. Mom’s muscles are going to be sore, her back will hurt, and her insides will hurt from being kicked and pushed around by the baby.
Rub her back, massage her feet, and do everything in your power to make things more comfortable for her.
Chores And Nesting
There are so many things that need to be done around the house before the baby gets here. Do it now, because you will not want to have to do all this when you are up all night with a new baby.
Nesting is a real thing. Mom will want everything to be perfect by the time the baby arrives. She might even get anal about how the nursery looks or other rooms around the house. Get ahead of the game, and make everything stocked up and looking perfect before you get too close to her due date.
Planning A Baby Shower
Yes dad, you have to be there!!
If mom shows you baby shower ideas, don’t just say, “whatever you want.” Share your ideas, come up with silly games, and get your hands dirty putting together centerpieces and other decorations! Trust me, this will win you some brownie points with mom.
Help mom make the baby registry. There are so many cool baby items out there today, and you can get just as excited about these items as mom does. Make sure to check out the Top 10 Baby Products To Make Life Easier In 2019.
Look in MyRegistry. It is a website where you can create your baby registry on, and your guests can purchase items from the list at any store they desire. This will help make sure that your guests are actually purchasing items from your registry, and you bound to receive more gifts that you actually needed. Plus, it is free to sign up and use, and you view sample registries to help you get started.
Related: Baby Registry 101
Finding Out The Gender
Don’t get your heart set on having either a boy or girl, just be happy that your baby is healthy.
Dads usually want to have boys, and there is nothing wrong with that, but don’t act disappointed if it’s a girl. There are so many great things that only a daddy and daughter can share.
If you find out you are having a girl, make sure to take a course on how to do a girl’s hair, get up to date on the latest princess news, and prepare for all things pink.
Just because mom is carrying and birthing the baby, doesn’t change the fact that the baby is 50% yours. Bond with the baby by talking and singing to it. When the baby is born, they will recognize your voice, and they will know you are their dad.
Take birthing class with mom so you know what to expect, and make sure to check out 12 Labor And Delivery Tips For Dad.
Be involved with the hospital tour and creating a birth plan. Just because mom is giving birth, does not mean that your opinions don’t matter. Find your voice and use it!
Baby Shower Madness
Your house will be filled with diaper, wipes, baby clothes, and baby items that have super complicated directions to set up. Get ahead of the game, and start assembling the baby stuff right after your baby shower.
Pack A Hospital Bag
You will be at the hospital with mom when she is in labor (or at least I hope you will be). You need a bag too, so don’t leave this task for mom. Make sure you know where everything is packed in the bags, so you can be as helpful as possible as the hospital.
If you haven’t packed a hospital yet make sure to check out the Hospital Bag Checklist, it has a free printable to make your life easier, or get the free printable below!
Make Arrangements For The Hospital Stay
You will be at the hospital for at least two days, many times you will be there for much longer. So if you have older children or pets, make sure to set up sitters ahead of time.
You might even want to set up a house sitter, so you don’t have to leave the hospital at all during moms stay. Get your ducks in a row early so you are not scrambling around at the last minute.
Find A Pediatrician And Day Care
Finding a pediatrician and day care can be so overwhelming, because you’re agreeing to put your child’s life in these people’s hands. Do your research before deciding.
This is one of the biggest decisions you will need to make, so do it together as a team!!
Towards the end of pregnancy, it is almost impossible to sleep. Everything will hurt, she won’t be able to get comfortable, and she will have to get up to pee like every 30 minutes. Encourage mom to sleep whenever possible, and take advantage of this yourself, because once that baby is born, you can kiss sleep goodbye!!
Pregnancy pillows are great for actually getting some sleep during pregnancy. Buy mom one of these, and you will forever be in her good graces.
Big And Swollen
Mom is bound to be big and swollen during the third trimester. She might not even want you within 10 feet of her, so just know that it is normal.
Take care of everything around the house, and let mom sit down and put her feet up.
Do your research and make sure you know how to count contractions. They have all types of fun apps that can help with this now. It’s your job to know when to take her to the hospital. I hope that’s not too much pressure to put on you!
Pregnancy is only experienced a handful of times by couples, so make the most out of it, and work together as team. Starting a family is like starting a different chapter in your life, so it can be stressful and terrifying, but make sure to support one another, because it will all be worth it in the end.
After getting mom through the pregnancy, next comes the even bigger challenge, labor and delivery. Make sure to check out 12 Labor And Delivery Tips For Dad and 50+ Shocking, Gross, And Weird Things About Labor And Delivery.
If you have anything to add to the list, please leave a comment, I would love to chat!