Dads the word What its like to become a dad

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Dad?s the word: What it?s like to become a dad

About to become a father? Find out what it’s really like right here

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Dad's the word: What it's like to become a dad

About to become a father? Find out what it's really like right here

It's only natural that when your little bundle of joy comes into the world, all the focus is on mum! She's carried the baby for nine months and given birth so she usually gets most of the attention (and we think that's fair!). But while everyone's fussing over mum, what's it really like for dad?

Although it might feel like mum's all that matters, there are many ways in which future dads can help to support their partner in practical and emotional ways. We've got some great guidance on how dads can really get involved and have spoken to one dad to get their real-life story.

Dad-of-one James says

Dad of one James talks about his experience of becoming a dad and his responsibility as a parent

"Becoming a dad was the most awesome experience of my life. I wanted to take an active role straight away and, because my wife wasn't allowed to breastfeed, I gave our daughter her first bottle, which was such a special moment. We've always tried to split the parental responsibilities equally, from night feeds to nappy changes and I've always tried to spend quality time with my daughter so that mum can have a little break!"

What dads can do

Here's our list of the top five ways dads can support their partner during pregnancy:

  • Get cooking: You may find that your partner goes off certain smells when pregnant so take over preparing meals for a while and this may help her to eat better
  • Carry the load: Help with the supermarket shopping and carry the heavy bags. Carrying heavy loads will put a lot of strain on her back so it's not recommended
  • Get your five-a-day: Stick to a healthy eating regime. This is good for your partner during pregnancy and will hopefully get you into good food habits that you'll pass on to your little one
  • Quit bad habits: Cigarette smoke is dangerous for babies, so if you smoke, this is the ideal time to quit!
  • Get the picture: Accompany your partner to her baby scans and get to see your little one at the earliest opportunity! It's a really special moment and you won't want to miss out

The final countdown

Your partner will probably have her hospital bag ready well in advance! But there's lots you can do to prepare for the big day as well:

  • Make sure you can be contacted at all times and keep your phone charged
  • Store the hospital's number in your phone so you can quickly ring if you need to
  • If your partner is giving birth at a hospital, make sure you know how to get there
  • If you're taking your partner to the hospital in the car, make sure it's got plenty of petrol
  • Do a trial run so you know how long it takes to get to the hospital
  • Remember to pack a bag for yourself in case you have to stay overnight too
  • Make sure you know what is on her birth plan so you can support any specific requests
  • Make sure you've got the numbers of all your family and friends stored in your phone – you'll probably be the one who has to call everyone with the good news when the baby arrives!

Pregnancy through the eyes of a dad: Andrew's story

People always say men have it easy when it comes to having babies because we don't have all the niggles of pregnancy, the pain of labour and the endless breastfeeding! However I wanted to be more actively involved and felt quite disconnected from the baby when we first found out that my wife was expecting.

Dad of two Andrew

As the pregnancy progressed, I found that a good way for me to feel part of the process was through more practical household jobs (which pleased the wife of course!). I cleared out my gadgets from the spare bedroom to create space, decorated the baby's bedroom and assembled all the necessary baby kit. I also helped out with the cooking and cleaning and generally tried to be as supportive as I could.

My partner and I worked together on the birth plan, which reflected both of our thoughts and hopes for the birth and immediately afterwards, and gave us a really good opportunity to discuss parenting and the kind of parents we wanted to be.

I had always wanted to be there for the birth and I think that experience is what finally gave me that emotional connection I was hoping for. My role during labour mainly involved trying to work out how to use the TENS machine, feeding my wife snacks and ensuring our birth plan was followed. However, the best moment of my life was seeing our daughter enter the world and having her placed in my arms – what an amazing feeling! I had the wonderful job of ringing to tell everyone the fantastic news and from day one, have done my fair share of nappy changes, late night feeds and baby entertainment, but it was great to be involved.

Having our second baby meant that I had to take on a lot of the care of our first daughter while we adjusted to the new arrival. It's been hard work bringing up two girls, and sometimes going to work seems like an excuse for a break from the chaos of family life, but I can't image our lives without them and becoming a dad has been the most rewarding thing that's ever happened to me.

Read more like this:

A labour of love: Your birth plan
The role of birth partners
Birth stories
Happy families: When two become three
Memorable milestones: Your baby's first year

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Dad's the word: What it's like to become a dad

About to become a father? Find out what it's really like right here

It's only natural that when your little bundle of joy comes into the world, all the focus is on mum! She's carried the baby for nine months and given birth so she usually gets most of the attention (and we think that's fair!). But while everyone's fussing over mum, what's it really like for dad?

Although it might feel like mum's all that matters, there are many ways in which future dads can help to support their partner in practical and emotional ways. We've got some great guidance on how dads can really get involved and have spoken to one dad to get their real-life story.

What dads can do

Here's our list of the top five ways dads can support their partner during pregnancy:

  • Get cooking: You may find that your partner goes off certain smells when pregnant so take over preparing meals for a while and this may help her to eat better
  • Carry the load: Help with the supermarket shopping and carry the heavy bags. Carrying heavy loads will put a lot of strain on her back so it's not recommended
  • Get your five-a-day: Stick to a healthy eating regime. This is good for your partner during pregnancy and will hopefully get you into good food habits that you'll pass on to your little one
  • Quit bad habits: Cigarette smoke is dangerous for babies, so if you smoke, this is the ideal time to quit!
  • Get the picture: Accompany your partner to her baby scans and get to see your little one at the earliest opportunity! It's a really special moment and you won't want to miss out

The final countdown

Your partner will probably have her hospital bag ready well in advance! But there's lots you can do to prepare for the big day as well:

  • Make sure you can be contacted at all times and keep your phone charged
  • Store the hospital's number in your phone so you can quickly ring if you need to
  • If your partner is giving birth at a hospital, make sure you know how to get there
  • If you're taking your partner to the hospital in the car, make sure it's got plenty of petrol
  • Do a trial run so you know how long it takes to get to the hospital
  • Remember to pack a bag for yourself in case you have to stay overnight too
  • Make sure you know what is on her birth plan so you can support any specific requests
  • Make sure you've got the numbers of all your family and friends stored in your phone ? you'll probably be the one who has to call everyone with the good news when the baby arrives!

Pregnancy through the eyes of a dad: Andrew's story

People always say men have it easy when it comes to having babies because we don't have all the niggles of pregnancy, the pain of labour and the endless breastfeeding! However I wanted to be more actively involved and felt quite disconnected from the baby when we first found out that my wife was expecting.

As the pregnancy progressed, I found that a good way for me to feel part of the process was through more practical household jobs (which pleased the wife of course!). I cleared out my gadgets from the spare bedroom to create space, decorated the baby's bedroom and assembled all the necessary baby kit. I also helped out with the cooking and cleaning and generally tried to be as supportive as I could.

My partner and I worked together on the birth plan, which reflected both of our thoughts and hopes for the birth and immediately afterwards, and gave us a really good opportunity to discuss parenting and the kind of parents we wanted to be.

I had always wanted to be there for the birth and I think that experience is what finally gave me that emotional connection I was hoping for. My role during labour mainly involved trying to work out how to use the TENS machine, feeding my wife snacks and ensuring our birth plan was followed. However, the best moment of my life was seeing our daughter enter the world and having her placed in my arms ? what an amazing feeling! I had the wonderful job of ringing to tell everyone the fantastic news and from day one, have done my fair share of nappy changes, late night feeds and baby entertainment, but it was great to be involved.

Having our second baby meant that I had to take on a lot of the care of our first daughter while we adjusted to the new arrival. It's been hard work bringing up two girls, and sometimes going to work seems like an excuse for a break from the chaos of family life, but I can't image our lives without them and becoming a dad has been the most rewarding thing that's ever happened to me.

Read more like this:

A labour of love: Your birth plan
The role of birth partners
Birth stories
Happy families: When two become three
Memorable milestones: Your baby's first year

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