31 Weeks Pregnant
Your Role in the Birthing Process (and Beyond!)
You may be feeling like your wife is running the show when it comes to your baby-to-be, and you’re but a supporting cast member. But remember, she is your partner and that’s your baby on the way!
Do not be afraid to share your feelings and concerns about the impending birth and what you’d like life with Baby to be like. Make sure your partner, family, and doctors know you want to be included and an integral part of the labor and delivery process.
You may find yourself acting as your partner’s advocate, and you’ll need to lay the groundwork for your involvement as early as possible.
This is also a good time to talk to your boss about taking time off after the birth of your baby. Being home during those first days, while you and your partner begin to get to know your little baby, is essential for your evolution into fatherhood as well as for your partner. There is no way to know whether a woman will struggle with postpartum depression or if she will need to recover from a Cesarean; your presence, support, and love can mean a great deal in aiding your partner’s recovery from either of these issues.
Don’t feel guilty if work doesn’t permit you to take much time off. Whether it is a week or several days, time with your family will help you begin to bond. Plus, you’ll get a jump on developing new fatherhood skills, such as changing your newborn’s diapers, holding him, putting him to bed, and feeding and burping him. The sooner you get comfortable with these new activities, the sooner they’ll feel natural to you.
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