At dadcraft, we believe fathers are responsible for the journey of other dads, and dads can benefit from the lessons and experiences of other dads. The fathering journey, however, starts before the delivery room. Here’s advice from dads we respect on navigating the important season of pregnancy.
From fellow dad, Jeremy, father of one (Fort Wayne, IN):
Eat with her! She will have cravings for some great stuff and some crazy stuff. I found that indulging with her helps her to not feel so crazy and, come on!, who doesn’t want Chick-fil-A soft-serve and some KFC at 10:00 PM?
Rest when you can. That may sound odd, but the ride is wild and you never know what is coming, so take a nap with her if you can. Cuddling only gets more challenging as she gets further along, so cuddle while you can!
Throw the old routine out the window. She may feel great and be able to do all she normally does. My girl couldn’t; she was terribly sick all nine months so that meant I did all the chores. Whatever is required, do it with love and a smile knowing that she is growing your heir and you could never handle that with the grace and strength that she has!
From fellow dad, Mike, father of two (Denver, CO):
To thrive being married to a pregnant woman, I encourage a heaping portion of grace. Especially for your spouse, but for yourself, too. Our job pales in comparison to theirs, but it’s new and not easy, so give yourself grace to navigate your new identity.
For us, grace afforded room for awareness – that I can’t fully empathize with how she feels, how overwhelming it must be to have your body occupied, the responsibility she assumes in carrying our child – but I can try. I can try to reassure her as she sorts through her feelings.
And, I read a book, Daddy’s Pregnant Too, and stayed a few chapters ahead of where we were in our pregnancy so that I could speak with some confidence to how my wife and child were developing and be an active participant in meetings with our doctor. That small gesture showed my wife I cared – about her, our child and our new identities as mom and dad.
From fellow dad, Ross, father of two (Evanston, IN):
To thrive being married to a pregnant woman, I did not put myself in her shoes. No imaginative capacities God has granted men allow us to empathize with our pregnant wives. Just don’t try it; it will not only be annoying to her, but it will belittle her experience. Realize it is beyond our comprehension to relate to the pain, sickness, consistent body changes, weight, hormonal adjustments, and the anticipation of the pains of labor and delivery.
So instead, to thrive being married to a pregnant woman, listen. I listened to her and to God (in my best moments). I asked about her feelings, her experience, her needs, and if there was anything I could do to make it everything God intended. I listened and obeyed. I listened to the heartbeat and the kicks of the life she and God were creating. I paid attention.
From fellow dad, Caleb, father of two (Indianapolis, IN):
I tried to be much more attentive to my wife’s condition and comfort level as a pregnant woman. As husbands and fathers, we often slip into the routine of being married. During a pregnancy, it is important to go the extra mile to make sure your wife is comfortable; especially in the later stages. Whether that means offering extra back rubs, drawing a bath, or helping with extra housework, I tried to pay extra attention to how I could make each day better for her.
I think the second pregnancy changed the dynamic as well. When you already have a child, or children, sometimes the best thing you can do to thrive as a husband during a pregnancy is to take on more. Your pregnant wife probably wants some time to herself, away from you and the kids. Sometimes, taking the kid(s) on your own is just what the doctor ordered for your wife to keep her sanity through what can be a very long nine months.
From fellow dad, Chad, father of two (Denver, CO):
To thrive being married to a pregnant woman, try on an empathy belly. I had to do this in a high school class and I vividly remember how hard it was to reach down and pick something up without straining my back. This gave me an appreciation for what my wife was enduring for us and hopefully she rarely heard statements come out of my mouth like “It can’t be that bad”.
Be ready to accept the fact that your budget will be blown with whatever she craves. Thankfully, mine was just chocolate covered raisins! Figure out ways to cultivate gratitude for the gift that God is giving. We went on a babymoon before our first was born to celebrate the ending of one of life’s chapters and the beginning of a new one.
You will be in the delivery room eventually – here’s our guide. And after the pregnancy and the delivery, never let it be said that you’re “not a baby guy.”
Picture by freestocks.org; Used via Unsplash license.