Becoming a dad: the importance of being present

No matter where you are in your 'journey' to become a dad, don't underestimate the positive impact you can have on your partner and child. 

Maybe you and your partner have just recently seen those magical ‘two lines’ on the home pregnancy test. Maybe your baby is due soon. Or maybe they’re at home with you; bringing joy and sleepless nights.

Whatever stage you’re at, you’re now a dad - and you’d be amazed by the incredible, positive impact you can make on your partner and child.

Start with a plan

While your partner is pregnant, you’re given a special gift - a nice long period to ‘get your head around’ being a father. And for many of us it’s a chance to look at how we use our time. Sure, work/study, and socialising are important.

But soon there’ll be a little person needing a whole lot of your time - the great (and maybe scary!) news is, every minute you invest now can pay off later.

Firstly, when you get more involved in the pregnancy research suggests your partner may be less likely to experience postnatal depression. So think beyond ‘painting the spare room’; how you can really get hands on as a dad-to-be? Try to attend as many prenatal classes as you can with your partner. Ask questions and talk to other fathers. It’s a time to really increase the level of emotional and physical support you give.

Consider this your ‘pre-season training’- it’s time to lay the groundwork now

Be in the room

Speaking of big events, they don’t come much bigger than the birth of your baby. And despite the old movie stereotype of ‘waiting in the hallway’, a recent survey from Save the Children found around 85 per cent of fathers are now opting to be present in the delivery room.

The report also found that dads who attended the birth of their child were more likely to be supportive and involved with their children in the long term. So review your prenatal training, talk openly to your partner about any ideas or concerns you have, and get ready for an incredible shared experience.
umbilical cord cut

And now the fun really begins

Of course once the baby arrives, that’s your chance to really step up your involvement, and you can reap the rewards later. Being a hands-on, involved dad gives you confidence and makes it easier for you to bond with your baby. 

Why not show your support by giving mum a break – you could let her sleep on when bub wakes up during the night and doesn’t need a feed, change your fair share of nappies, or just do simple things like put on a load of laundry, do the grocery shop or cook dinner.

Be her Nightwatchman and score some extra bonding time with your new baby. 

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