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How Can A Father Help During Pregnancy?

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Okay, so everyone always says that mothers are supposed to take care of themselves and the baby. They are supposed to rest, not take stress and eat right. Sounds pretty easy but it hardly ever is. And usually, whenever a woman is pregnant, their mothers, sisters, sister-in-laws and mother-in-laws take care of them, leaving the husband and fathers aside like discarded slippers. We always think that how will they help us or they wouldn’t understand. But how can you assume they wouldn’t understand if you don’t give them a chance? How do you know they wouldn’t be able to get what you’re feeling or thinking, if you haven’t experienced it at all. Your husband is your best friend. Sure, he doesn’t have a vagina, doesn’t mean he can’t understand you in this delicate time. You made a baby together. It was two people who came together and made it happen.

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So, how can you exclude the father of your baby, your cheerleader, your husband out of this amazing journey that is going to come with a lot of hurdles and rough patches? You are going to be with your husband 24/7. How can you not share your thoughts with the person who knows your deepest fears and desires? Someone, who has always been there for you, every step along the way, just like you’ve been there for him. The first thing is that both partners have to trust each other. Remember, you are in this together. You are a team. It’s you two against the entire world. Secondly, you have to remember that this is a new chapter of both your lives and it is scary for both of you. So don’t try to act all strong when you’re not and you want your partner to comfort you. This will only raise issues and cause stress between you.

Everyone usually thinks that fathers don’t have much of a role. I completely disagree. Fathers are as important as mothers. Okay, fathers are going to have a different perspective than you. That doesn’t mean they are wrong. They simply think differently. Men, this is for you. Your wife is going to carry a baby inside her for nine months. That is a long time. Her body is going to go through a lot of different changes. She is going to feel bloated, she is going to have weird cravings, she is going to feel tired, cranky, incompetent, heavy and she is going to change into a lot different sizes. And I don’t mean just the clothes sizes, I mean shoe sizes and bra sizes as well. She is going to throw up a lot. She will get cranky on the smallest of things and she will cry on the smallest of things. She will feel extremely tired and is probably going to be a rollercoaster of emotions on steroids.

You are the one who has to listen to her. Not in just the ‘hmm, yeah, uh-huh’ sense. You have to engage her, you have to talk to her. Try to be understanding even if you don’t get why did she cry over a stupid joke that you mentioned. She is going through a very emotional and tough time and her hormones are going haywire. So, you, being the sane one, have to understand her, comfort her, make her laugh and keep her happy and always fulfil her cravings. ALWAYS. Please don’t fight with her if she says that she doesn’t like the smell of oil or she doesn’t want to eat eggs. She is going to act like a five year old. You need to be patient with her. She will get all sorts of crazy ideas to make herself feel useful. She might try to dust the house, clean her closet which has been on hold for the last five years, try origami or even knitting. Encourage her and when she gives up, distract her. She is going to be difficult and she is going to want to do a lot of different things. Let her. Until and unless it is very risky, don’t stop her. If she’s quiet, engage her in a conversation because usually women feel that they are overthinking and their partner is going to find it stupid, so they won’t tell you. Talk to them and get it out of them. The less stressed they are, the better health they will have. Reassure her that you still find her beautiful, that you still love her and you are very happy that she is with you. Play video games, read books, have paint fights, cuddle. Just because she is pregnant doesn’t mean your romance has to die. Also, her libido might suddenly spike up and might go down. Her hormones are going to be all over the place, so please understand.

I know this will be hard for you. So, if you feel yourself getting frustrated with her, don’t fight with her. Just leave the room, cool off, confide in your best friend, your sibling or your parents. They will understand and help you. Also, you can write it all out in a journal. Believe me, it’ll help. Listen to her, discuss with her and help her with baby duties. Go to doctor’s appointments together and then go and eat ice-cream. Please don’t make her feel ashamed about her body. Don’t comment about her body even jokingly. She will overthink and she will put herself down.

Remember, you BOTH are going to be parents. So, it isn’t just her job to take care of the baby or change diapers, make formula or wake up and shush him when he starts crying at night. You BOTH have to do it. So, learn to change diapers, how to soothe a baby, how to give them a bath and how to take care of her because after giving birth, she is going to be very tired and her body will need rest. At that time, you need to come in like a knight in shining armour and show her that you are more than capable of taking care of your baby and she can rely on you. You need to show her that she can leave the baby with you and not worry about him because you know what you’re doing. In the indian society, people always conform genders to certain roles.

So, break the mould and do what suits your family and don’t listen to anyone. It’s your family against the whole world. So them over everyone else. Don’t care if you have to wear a pink tutu and put on some glitter to make your 3 year old daughter happy or dress like a rabbit to make your son laugh. Just be as silly and as goofy a possible. Love your family and show them that you’re going to be there. Whether it is in a pink tutu or a business suit. You care and you’ll always be there. And that’s all that should matter. And when it gets tough, just breathe and remind yourself that it is going to be okay and you love them unconditionally, just like they love you.

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