First Time Dad Tips During Pregnancy

Are you tired of the jokes? Are you tired of the portrayal of a man looking like a bumbling fool with barely the ability to drive their very pregnant and now laboring wife to the hospital? Do you feel like you have more intellect than that? Do you want to be treated as an integral part of this team and not the 3rd wheel? Well if you do, you have come to the right place. 

So what do men worry about during pregnancy? Well there are a lot of things men worry about. But first things first, I want you to remember everyday that you are going to feel more and more ready and you are going to be amazing throughout your pregnancy, and your partner is going to deliver a gorgeous baby. How do I know? Because you are here aren’t you? You are searching for ways to learn how you can help during the pregnancy. You are trying to find ways that you will be able to step up to the plate when the time comes. Anyone who is doing that for their partner is showing true character. But maybe you are nervous because you have never had a baby, you have never changed a diaper, maybe you are nervous about the gender because you feel more confidence towards a specific gender. What if your own father wasn’t present? How do you become a dad when you were never taught? The list goes on let me assure you, however, you are not alone and many other men feel the way you do. If you want more help with this new journey click here for my courses and programs .

One of the most successful ways you can help yourself during this pregnancy is to understand PREGNANCY IS A TIME WHEN RELATIONSHIPS CHANGE. Being armed with this is going to help you through some of the feelings and behaviors that may come up during the pregnancy. Changes that happen in pregnancy range from biology to behavior. But think of it this way, you and your partner are not simply just pregnant, you are experiencing a life event that is meant to create a new and better reason to be in love. Isn’t that amazing? Every pregnancy begins with hope and this should be the happiest moment of your life.

Did you know that having the ability to accept that your relationship is going to change, will be your roadmap to understanding the ups and downs of your new adventure of becoming a family? And knowing things are going to change will help you feel more prepared through the change that will take place? There is no denying that things are going to change, so how do you be ok with that? Well, you learn to understand it that’s how. And there actually phases during the pregnancy when men feel certain ways. There are 3 phases that will help you to understand that maybe how you are feeling is rather normal and that it won’t last and it will pass and move on. It’s time to discover new insights, tolerance, and understanding of the signs and the steps for you to follow so you can be a dependable partner, not the blundering idiot movies like to make out of men. 

Here are 3 tips to help get you started in this new role you now carry as “DAD”. Unfortunately when society carries an expectation for the other half to be an idiot, men feel that is the role they are resigned to play. That simply isn’t true. Serious worries of new dads typically follow an established course during pregnancy. It is typical for a new dad to actually perceive the pregnancy to be 5 months or so because they can’t see the initial early physical changes for a few months. So the changes that take place during pregnancy can seem very fast. 

The three phases during pregnancy are The Announcement phase, The Moratorium phase, and The Focusing phase. Understanding these phases will help you adjust, know what may come so you can be prepared, and not be afraid of being seriously involved with your pregnancy. 

The Announcement Phase

This is the phase between the first suspicion of pregnancy and its confirmation. The length of this phase is variable and an expectant father's reaction is dependent on if the pregnancy was desired or not. Psychological denial of pregnancy may be normal in lieu of the lack of physical changes.

The Moratorium Phase

This is when you see some men at an emotional distance from the pregnancy. Distance behavior may allow the soon-to-be dad to work through any uncertain feelings he may be experiencing over the pregnancy. The length of this phase is based on the individual but ranges from a few days to several months. Starts roughly around the 12th week  and may last into the 25th week of pregnancy. This is where you want to be more cautious and aware because tension and disruptions in communication between you and your spouse is very common during this phase. Experiencing alienation and resentment is common and if not resolved you could see this continue into parenting problems. Research shows that the more you are prepared as a father, this phase may be shorter, less stressful, and less damaging to the relationship. 

The Focusing Phase

This phase begins around the 25th week to the 30th week of pregnancy and ends at birth. During this phase the expectant father may feel a change in attitudes and feelings regarding the pregnancy and will redefine himself in terms of his future role as “Dad”. 

One helpful milestone for a new dad is when he can see the baby on the ultrasound. Since he doesn’t really get to feel what growing a baby is like inside of himself, when he sees the baby with his own eyes it can finally feel real to him. Up to this point in the pregnancy, becoming a dad has been just a mental exercise. Now he gets to see the hands, the feet, the heart beat. Some men will even cry during this experience. Not all, but some. And if a man hasn’t yet resolved some of the issues surrounding the pregnancy, the ultrasound may be the time when he does because it brings the pregnancy into sharp focus. 

Hopefully knowing these 3 important phases during pregnancy will alleviate some of the unknown. You will have uncertainty and that is certain, but understanding how the feelings can unfold for a new dad in pregnancy will empower you to feel more grounded and perhaps find the help you need during these stages without damaging your relationship. If you want to learn more about common issues in pregnancy click here for the For Dad’s Only Mini-Session with me, an experienced labor and delivery nurse and life coach.   


Robert Garret Rodriguez, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Marya Eddaifi

I was only 22 when I had my son. It wasn't the best experience but I didn't know better.

It wasn’t until after I became a Labor and Delivery nurse did I realize how badly I was treated and grieved over my birth. Did I tell you this was 15 years later?

After realizing how nurses and medical providers impact such a huge life event, it became my mission to change the world through beautiful birth experiences!