While the mother of your child will undergo significant physical changes that you will struggle to understand, preparing for the birth of your child is a job for both parents.
This means that you need to prepare mentally, emotionally, and, most significantly—practically.
Your to-do list might already seem like it is overflowing, but you need to make sure that certain key areas are not neglected in the months to come such as getting baby gear like a baby swing. Here is a guide on how fathers can be fully prepared for the birth of their child.
1. Educate yourself
It is your duty to make sure that you understand as much about the prenatal process as possible. This includes attending the same classes as the mother of your child, as well as any appointments. This can allow you to ask any questions, support your partner, and educate yourself about the signs of labor so that you know what to expect—including what can go wrong.
One of the potential issues you should be aware of is shoulder dystocia, which can cause problems for both your child and the mother. There are many warning signs that this can occur, and if medical professionals fail to notice these signs, you might feel that you want to seek justice for any trauma caused as a result. You will need to speak to a shoulder dystocia lawyer to find out what the best course of action is likely to be.
2. Conduct financial and logistical preparation
This is a box you might think you already have ticked, but this goes much further than just making sure that you have a bag packed and sat by the door. In addition to this basic step, you need to make sure that your vehicle is in good working order and not loaded up with anything that could complicate matters. You should also educate yourself about the layout of the maternity center, including parking and which entrance you will need to use when the time comes.
Financially, you need to look at what additional expenses will be involved with your new child and identify any strain that will be put on your monthly income by maternity or paternity leave. In addition to this, you might want to explore life insurance options or extend what you already have to cover this extra responsibility.
3. Prepare yourself mentally
Becoming a father is a massive change, and you will need to consider any parts of your lifestyle that need to change as a result. You could speak to your own father about the mental impact on them, or with friends or colleagues who might have been through the experience more recently. The advice that you get will vary, so it is better to pick and choose which tips fit best with your own outlook on life.
The new situation is likely to involve you spending more time at home than you previously may have done, so you need to look at your work–life balance and how this fits in. With the extra financial responsibility it is easy to feel like you should immerse yourself in your job to achieve a promotion or do more hours to earn as much money as possible. However, this may not be productive to the needs of your partner, your child, and your own mental well-being.