By: Karla and Rich Walker
Recently, there was an interesting qualitative study conducted that aimed to define male involvement during pregnancy and to obtain community-based recommendations for interventions to improve male involvement during pregnancy. In this study, both men and women described an ideal pregnancy consisted of an involved father or male partner who was present, accessible, available, understanding, willing to learn about the pregnancy process and eager to provide emotional, physical and financial support to the woman carrying the child. The women in this study seemed to surmise this ideal male or father involvement as a sense of “togetherness” during the pregnancy. (BioMed Central, 2013)
This was well spoken and a “sense of togetherness” is the essence of the 5 powerful ways an expecting dad can make himself and the mother happy during pregnancy:
1. Be the leader of the pack
The woman you love will likely have many needs and even more desires during pregnancy and shortly after birth. And, she may have a few or a "pack" of family and friends’ willing to support her throughout pregnancy. But, do not be intimated. And, do not follow the belief that insinuates that a father should take a backseat during pregnancy by allowing others (mostly other women) to take care of her now that she is pregnant. On the contrary! You should respectfully take the lead to care of the very special woman. After all, your legacy is growing inside her womb and you love her too.
2. Work Smart NOT hard
Most everyone these days is technical or learning how to be technical. Wherever you fall on the “tech-ie” learning curve, be encouraged to allow this pregnancy to help you work smart and not hard. Work smart by using your Smart phone (or a like device) to get the latest pregnancy apps, find research articles and relevant blog post about topics that concerns her pregnancy.
3. Join a winning team
The woman you love may stay on top of matters and may have assembled a winning pregnancy and birth team. In addition to a family member or friend, this team may include a midwife and a pregnancy coach or an acupuncturist, or doula, which is a Greek word that means “a woman who will serve”. According to DONA International a doula has come to be defined as a “trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.” All those on the team are to complement each other- not replace one other. The fact that you will be on the team means you are valuable and have something to offer. So, stay positive, engaged and current concerning this pregnancy and issues related to the upcoming birth.
4. Be the Head of the class
A man's love and understanding of sports is supposed to be natural and easy. But, when it comes to something like running a successful Fantasy League, a man may need help. And, depending on what you want to do with your league, a man may even hire a Fantasy League manager or mentor and attend Fantasy League webinars. Just because something like sports is supposed to be natural for a man does not mean that a man does not need help. And, so it is with pregnancy and birth. Pregnancy and birth are natural for a woman, but she can also benefit from hiring a manager (like a Midwife); a mentor (like a doula); and attend a seminar (like a childbirth class). Support her by being so engaged in her childbirth class that you are the head of the class. Childbirth classes are held either online, in private settings, at birth centers or in hospitals. So, feel free to help her find a class and class format that you like as well.
5. Lift Weights
Going to the gym and lifting weights to trim a few pounds of body fat is a good idea. But, during pregnancy, the woman you love may be more concerned about you lifting her emotional weight that stems from strained finances, previous birth trauma, current pregnancy complications, family conflict, and employment pressure. If so, focus your attention on being a power lifter for her, and then you can make the weight of her burdens non-existent when you are around. You may find her being more gentle, loving, and mindful of your wants and needs beyond your expectation.
Finally, there is a saying that “you get what you give”. You are likely to get a happy pregnant lady you love when you happily give to her:
· A Willingness to learn about the pregnancy process, and
· An Eagerness to provide emotional, physical and financial support to her while she is pregnant.
And, if her pregnancy hormones make doing these things a little challenging, just remember that a happy pregnant mom is best for her, the baby and you!
Alio, A. P., Lewis, C. A., Scarborough, K., Harris, K., & Fiscella, K. (2013). A community perspective on the role of fathers during pregnancy: a qualitative study [Abstract]. BioMed Central, 2013; 13: 60. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3606253/
Rich & Karla Walker
Rich and Karla Walker will help you RETHINK the normal ideas about health and relationships, so you are empowered to have better health and stronger relationships.