If you are an expectant father you are likely wonder what the addition to your family will really mean to you. I mean, what are you really expected to do? We no longer live in the bring-home-the-bacon and put your feet up on the couch era, so hopefully this quiz opens your eyes to the new role that is waiting for you:
1. True / False – When your partner is in labor, all you have to do is time contractions and remind her to breathe.
FALSE! She will need you 100%, even when she tells you to get away from her (this happens regularly). You need to calm her, comfort her and make sure she knows what a great job she is doing.
At times when she is too tired or involved in labor you will have to be her advocate and make sure her wishes are being met. In short, you are the labor and delivery champion, and besides her doctor you are the most important person in the room to her.
2. True / False – If your partner has a caesarean birth you are still a much needed part of the delivery process.
TRUE! Even though the delivery part will mostly be taken off your hands your partner will still need you to talk her through what is happening. You will need to keep her updated as to how the delivery is progressing, distract her when she is getting anesthesia and hold your baby when he or she is delivered, as mom may not be able to.
Additionally you will likely be the first to look after your new bundle of joy as your partner will need to be observed for an hour or so after delivery.
3. True / False – Breastfeeding means that you won’t participate in the feeding process.
FALSE! You can be as involved as you want to be. Many men choose to be the night-time baby-retriever, so that mom does not have to get out of bed. Or, if your partner is game you can ask her to pump once in a while so you can hold and feed baby. It is entirely up to you and your partner.
4. True / False – Mothers are better at taking care of fussy babies, so you should stand aside when your child is fussy.
FALSE! In fact, dads are often better at handling cranky babies because they are less likely to become frazzled if baby does not respond immediately. Although mom may instinctively know what baby needs more than dad, simply because they are more attuned to their cycles, dad can still provide much-needed assurance when baby is fussy and in need of comforting.
5. True / False – Once your baby is born you can say goodbye to the intimate connection between you and your partner.
FALSE! Of course, you will need to take an intercourse hiatus for a few weeks after your baby is born, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do other things when you are together.
The first few months may find that you are both too exhausted from all of your new parenting duties for much of anything in the bedroom department, but as long as you both make an effort to spend time together intimately there is no reason why you can’t be just as intimate as before.
Make sure that no matter how hectic your lives become with a new baby that you keep the lines of communication open. Sometimes you may become frustrated or resentful, and if these feelings are not expressed they will merely taint a good relationship.