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A Father-To-Be's Guide to Pregnancy

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You may not be the one with the expanding stomach, nor will you be the one spending 20 hours on the operating table, but that does not mean you can't be intimately involved in your partner's pregnancy.

Gone are the days when it wasn't proper for men to engage themselves with "women's business." Nowadays, short of giving birth themselves, most fathers-to-be want to play an active emotional and physical role in their baby's evolution.

Growing Together

Your role as a supportive future Dad can begin right at the initial stages of the pregnancy. You'll be better equipped to handle the roller coaster ride ahead if you take the time to educate yourself on the various stages Mom and babe will go through during the nine months of development. Many women experience morning sickness and fatigue, and increasing your share of household chores can take a great deal of pressure off your partner, and in turn your growing baby.

It is very common for men to accompany their partner to birthing classes, and it is a great way of developing the father-child bond. Doctors' visits are also important, so even if your schedule is booked solid, try to attend all appointments with your partner.

Another aspect of growing together is to share your feelings with your partner, whether positive or negative. During a pregnancy, men also go through emotional ups and downs, experiencing joy one moment and nervousness and anxiety the next. Keep in mind that initially the baby will take precedence over your needs, and you may feel some level of resentment or confusion when this happens.

Keeping Fit and Healthy Together

This is an important part of your relationship and is important for the health of the baby. It will also make you both feel more energized. Go for walks together, or to the gym, and encourage each other in proper nutrition. There's no reason your pregnant partner should be the only one maintaining a healthy diet. Take the time to learn about the positive impact of proper food, supplements, and exercise during each stage of the pregnancy.

If you are a smoker, now is a good time to kick the habit. It is important for the baby that the mother abstains from smoking and drinking alcohol during the pregnancy, and showing your support will make you feel more a part of the whole process.

Participating in the pregnancy right from the beginning will help cultivate a positive relationship between you and your partner that will continue long after your child is born. It will also give you the kind of well-deserved sense of accomplishment, pride, and fulfillment only a father-to-be can truly understand.

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