Let me start by wishing all the dad’s a belated Happy Father’s Day!
In honor of Father’s Day, I thought I would write a post about the dad’s role in the journey through pregnancy. There is of course, their obvious contribution to the creation of this new person that is set to arrive…and there is much more that they can be after that initial act of love and creation. Today we look at how they can help us through our first tri-mester of pregnancy.
I recognize that family units these days are not always comprised of a Mother and a Father, nor are all couples having children necessarily married. In order to simplify this post, I will use the terms “Mom” and “Coach”. Additionally, since my experience is of the Mom as the caregiver and the Coach as the provider, you will have to read this one as an informational post if your situation is otherwise. The reversal of those roles is not something with which I have any personal experience. I would be curious to learn more about it, so please feel free to post a comment or send me an email at [email protected] if you can enlighten me on that family dynamic.
When a couple decides to welcome a new child into the family, that is the first step a Coach takes in accepting their role as the caretaker for this new entity of Family. With the first child, it’s the first person that is one part Mom, one part Coach. If you choose to expand on that family, then the Coach has to make the mental adjustment to be the provider for each additional person in the family.
I find that this is a huge step in the life of a Coach. Up until the decision to have children, they have been the only person on which Mom has focused her affection. They have had the freedom to come and go, spend money frivously and work whatever hours are demanded of them from the job that they do. Now comes the time when there is going to be Another Person.
If they are the main source of income, it places some degree of stress on their life. How much depends on the Coach’s personality, I think. If they share the commitment of providing for the family, then couple faces the possibility of having to make ends meet on less income while Mom is out on maternity leave, and then having to arrange for childcare so Mom can return to work. These are some of the adjustments that have to be made in the financial life of the new family.
And then there is the emotional aspect of a family. I think all of us as parents wonder if there will be enough love to go around. Coach may ask, “Can adding one more person to the mix mean that I will be loved less because part of the love that used to come to me is going to be given to the child?”
We also find that some Coaches are concerned about the physical aspect of their relationship with Mom. Intimacy is a big question mark. Will there be time? Will she have the desire? Will she be the same or will she be totally different after the pregnancy?
So starts the first tri-mester of Mom’s pregnancy. There are a whole lot of questions and not a lot of answers yet. Most Coaches experience a partner who still looks the same on the outside, but it is obvious that there are some changes happening on the inside because she is sick, or has crazy cravings, or has a bionic nose all of a sudden. Some Moms are also very emotional: they can cry on a dime and then be fine within a few minutes.
As far as intimacy goes, some Moms will find that their desire increases because they don’t have the “worry” of getting pregnant. Some Coaches will find their partners more desirable because the pregnancy hormones may cause her breasts to enlarge and she has a certain glow that she didn’t have before she was pregnant. Of course, the opposite can be true. Despite looking very attractive to the Coach, some Moms do not have the desire due to illness, or they find that they are uncomfortable in their own skin because they are processing the fact that they are pregnant!
How can a Coach be supportive through the first tri-mester? Bruss is a “poster Coach” for a supportive partner, so I will share some of the things he does to make the first tri-mester go as smoothly as possible:
- He goes above and beyond to make sure that I eat something nutritious every day. He knows that the first trimester is very important for the establishment of the pregnancy and good embryonic growth to make a healthy baby. He asks if I have eaten my eggs, and he will go out of his way to make them look appetizing so I will eat them. He will run to the store for a food I am craving, or run out and get me take-out from my favorite restaurants.
- He takes care of cleaning up the kitchen after dinner so that I can get to bed early. Sleep is another important factor for Moms during the first trimester. Whether it is your first pregnancy or a subsequent pregnancy, your body is devoting it’s energy to making a new life. Sleep is imperative to make sure that Mom is in a good place physically to establish the pregnancy and still have energy for her day-to-day activities.
- Now that we have older children, he entertains them after dinner so I can get some rest. Along the lines of the taking on additional responsibility around the house, he also takes on the role as main entertainer in the evening so that I can prep for the next day and conserve energy at the same time.
- He is patient with me because I fall in the camp of becoming disinterested in intimacy during the first trimester. He knows that, “this, too, shall pass” and soon he will have his wife back.
I admire Coaches who take on the mantle of being The Provider, and take this responsibility to heart and go above and beyond to meet the needs of their growing family. I also know that the Coaches who commit to attending a twelve-week Bradley Method® class with their partner, and then attend willingly every week, are well on their way to becoming great Dads!
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.