Yes, it’s not only mothers-to-be who are undergoing changes during this period of life.
Fathers-to-be (whose feelings and concerns where a long time ignored) are also having a major life event.
So let’s see what a father-to-be might know while expecting.
During the first trimester, a dad-to-be may gain weight and experience nausea which is called “Couvade” syndrome. It is thought to be an empathic reaction to his wife/partner pregnancy symptoms.
Some might experience difficulty acknowledging pregnancy and baby until proof by Ultra-Sound which can lead to a certain gap between the mother-to-be ( engrossed with her pregnancy and baby-to-come) and her partner having problem realizing it. Each one may feel lonely, left alone or misunderstood. But it is just a phase. This is why it’s important to communicate and to keep an open mind while listening to your other half. Also, sharing activities (related to the pregnancy or not) can help reduce the gap.
And dad-to-be, don’t be astonished if you’re having ambivalent feelings. You have the right to be happy, proud, scared and nervous at the same time. It’s all mixed up. You might not have the hormones of your partner, but you sure are going through one of the biggest event in your life.
You might also have some concerns about finances and changes in your sexual relationship. As we said above, open minded communication helps a lot.
As we said, it’s just a phase. So in the second trimester of pregnancy, the father-to-be will show a greater involvement in pregnancy, he might become more protective and starts evaluating his ability to become a parent. This is the trimester when both parents-to-be experience increasing interest in parenting styles and start exploring them.
When he enters the third trimester, dad-to-be can’t help but fear for the health of the mother and the baby. He might also feel insecure about his support role during labor. Don’t worry! You’ll be doing great! You know your partner and you’re the best one to know what she loves and what she needs.
Both parents during this trimester are usually excited about the baby coming soon. They start worrying about labor pain and begin emotional and mental preparation for birth. They might also feel some apprehension about responsibilities of parenthood.
Attending childbirth education classes can help a lot, also reading books about parenthood and being there for your partner, hugging her and giving her back rubs 😉
- Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, by Simkin, Whalley, Keppler, Durham, & Bolding (2010)
- Maternity & Women’s Health Care, by Lowdermilk, Perry, Cashion, & Alden (2012)
- Prepared Childbirth the Family Way by Amis and Green (2014)
- ICEA guide to pregnancy and childbirth (2012)