What Dads-To-Be Can Experience During Pregnancy

While women are usually elated during pregnancy, dads-to-be can sometimes put a damper on things. The reason: FEAR! Many men experience unrelenting fear because life as they know it has changed in an instant – and despite most men not revealing what they are thinking, as soon as it’s official that they are about to become fathers their minds race off in a million different directions.

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Initially, there’s the prospect of complications during pregnancy. Men won’t say it, but there are some who fear losing the baby as a result of miscarriage. Giving the commonality of miscarriage, said to occur in about one in five pregnancies, this fear is understandable. As a result, some men may distance themselves from their partner or the pregnancy and their thoughts surrounding this loss can make them do some weird and not-so-wonderful things.

For example: some men avoid talking about the baby or purchasing essential items before the baby is born. To women this can be frustrating or hurtful and tends to look like he’s really not interested. That’s often not the case. Basically, they want to avoid the pain associated with miscarriage – and whether they realise it or not, some dads-to-be put up protective boundaries to prevent this from happening.

On the other hand, some expectant fathers worry obsessively about their unborn baby and partner. They don’t want anything to go wrong and take every precaution to prevent complications. This is when pregnancy can effect a couple’s sex life. There are men who worry about vaginal penetration or additional pressure on their partners stomach during sex. These men are genuinely concerned about harming the baby. And despite the lack of evidence that sex could be a reason for miscarriage, there are men who don’t want to take the risk or feel uncomfortable about having sex with their pregnant spouse specifically for this reason.

This brings many to have fears about their partner and relationship. Although fatal birthing complications are as rare as hen’s teeth these days, most men don’t want to contemplate the idea that anything could happen to their partner or baby during delivery. Other thoughts surrounding their relationship include: whether it’s strong enough to survive parenthood, how will the baby change their life together and how their roles as partners and people will shift.

Ultimately, all men expecting a baby ask themselves the biggest question and that is how will they cope with being a father. All these thoughts and feelings manifest as some type of behaviour. Those confident about the challenges ahead will excel, while other men will struggle with the concept of fatherhood and this is when negatives arise – they may not be telling their partners directly how they feel, but their behaviour will be a prime indicator of what they are experiencing.

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July 6, 2015

Fatherhood Fears

When a woman is expecting a baby she can fear an endless list of things including the pain of labour, the safety of the baby or the ability to breastfeed.  But women aren’t the only ones who are scared.  Expectant fathers can be left feeling stressed and anxious as they harbour fears about the impending birth and parenthood, although they may not let on that they are.  If you suspect otherwise, encourage them to talk about it before the baby arrives, even if it’s with other fathers.  Once the baby has arrived there’s undoubtedly going to be less time to sort things out.

Here are some of the most common fatherhood fears:

Will I have enough money to raise a baby?

Everyone knows that raising a child can be expensive so it’s only natural that a father might be worried about having to provide for his new family, especially if mum is taking time off from work to care for the baby and daddy will be the sole bread winner.  But creating a budget and sticking to it can be the best way to overcome this fear, even if that means they have to sacrifice that weekly carton of beers or packet of cigarettes.  Every little bit counts and when it’s your own children that you’re sacrificing for, it seems to make it so much easier to give those things up.

Will I be a good dad?

This fear is quite common for fathers-to-be especially if they haven’t had any experience with a baby before.  Although parenting can be tough, a lot of it is just common sense so fathers should have faith in themselves that they will be more than capable of looking after a baby.  They also need to be patient and remember that it could take some time for them to feel comfortable with their baby – it won’t happen overnight but the more time they dedicate to their child, the better things should get.  This fear could also stem from the fact that their father may have been absent when they were little or the relationship with their father was less than perfect.  They should remember that they have the opportunity to right those wrongs and not make the same mistakes their father did.

How will I support my wife during labour?

Let’s be honest – the idea of childbirth can be traumatic for both the mum and dad, especially after we’ve heard all of the horror stories from friends and family.  And it’s no wonder really that men fear the childbirth experience when they are portrayed in films and sitcoms to be useless when it comes to helping their partners in the entire process.  Fathers-to-be should consider enrolling in a childbirth class to better prepare themselves for what is to come.  The more they know about the process the more comfortable they should feel.

Will having a baby kill our relationship?

Change in your relationship is normally inevitable because having a new baby is hard work for most parents.  Sleepless nights and an overall increase in workload around the home can be stressful so it’s no surprise that relationship change after the birth of a baby.  It’s important to schedule time to yourselves and that includes having sex because if you don’t, it may not happen.  Keep the lines of communication open at all times and work together as a team to help strengthen your relationship, not diminish it.

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July 13, 2014