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What Expectant Dads Need To Anticipate During The Trimesters, Labor And Delivery

It's difficult to ever feel fully prepared to become a father. Becoming a dad is a life-changing event and it's quite normal to feel a range of emotions, be it sheer excitement or anxiety.

A father-to-be plays an important role in assuring that all the needs of their pregnant partner are met along her gestation period. However, sometimes, they are unaware of what to expect throughout the gestation period of their partner.

This article will give you an idea of how to best assist and support your pregnant partner during pregnancy, labor and delivery.

What To Expect During the Trimesters?

1. First trimester

During the 1-4 weeks conception takes place and your partner will be tested positive for pregnancy, it's the time to enjoy the good news and help her with her new daily routines like exercising and healthy meals. [1]

During the 5-8 weeks some early pregnancy symptoms like nausea and tender breasts may show up. It's better to consult a medical expert earlier about medications to manage these symptoms, without any side effects to the baby. [2]

During 9-12 weeks make sure not to miss the doctor's consultations or any prenatal checkups. Being there for your partner at every pregnancy-related checkup and understanding the progression of pregnancy could give you a better idea of how to proceed with the same.

2. Second trimester

During 13-16 weeks you may notice certain physical changes like growing belly and breasts, skin changes and leg cramps in your partner. It's also the time when your partner may express cravings for certain foods. [3]

During 17-20 weeks some most noticeable symptoms like lightheadedness and dizziness may occur due to hormonal fluctuations and slow flow of blood due to an increase in the size of the uterus. Other symptoms like heartburn, hot flashes and gain of extra pounds may also occur.

During 21-26 weeks the baby's kick may be experienced. Your partner may experience sleeping difficulties, back pain and swollen ankles.

3. Third trimester

During 27-30 weeks some symptoms like constipation [4], pregnancy brain or forgetfulness and headaches may be frequent. The symptoms are not common in all pregnant women during these weeks; however, they must be taken care of if occurred. This is also a time to celebrate the milestone of completing two trimesters successfully.

During 31-34 weeks it's time to prepare mentally for the delivery of the baby. Symptoms like painless contractions and stomach cramping may occur. If preterm delivery is expected, be prepared and keep close contact with your gynaecologist at all times.

The last stage of pregnancy is 35-40 weeks. It's the time to get prepared for your partner's labor and keep a note of the things which might be essential during the delivery and stay at the hospital.

Note: Every pregnant woman has some expectations related to their childbirth. For example, opting for an epidural or plan on keeping or donating the baby's cord blood? All these factors must be discussed with a medical expert and their related benefits and side effects to create a sound birth plan. [5]

What To Expect During The Labor?

It is important to note the signs of labor which is a crucial stage of delivery. [6]

  • Staying at a hospital during labor is a must. This is why it's important to plan ahead and shift to the hospital before the delivery period.
  • The contractions may seem to be painful and thus, it is good to be available there and help relax your partner.
  • Back pain is common during contractions. To reduce the pain, try rubbing her back lightly or putting on a warm compress.
  • At the time of water breaking, which often occurs soon after the contractions, and your partner goes into labor, it is important to make sure that a medical expert is available there and is ready to perform the delivery.
  • It is suggested to not get panicked by the the view of the water breakage as it gushes out the whole time until the baby is born.
  • Medical experts say that if the contractions last for 30 seconds or more, it's a sign of early labor. Make sure that your partner gets good rest so that she has the energy to carry out the delivery.
  • Also, make sure that she is properly hydrated.

What To Expect During The Delivery?

During and after the delivery, a woman may not be in her best mental or physical state for some time to make any decision.

As her partner, make sure you're prepared to help her if any such needs arise. The medical expert and nurses will be there to ensure that the mother and the baby are safe during labor and delivery. However, you still play an important role in assisting your partner in becoming comfortable and communicating her wants. [7]

To Conclude

There is no best way of doing these things-the important thing is to be there for your partner who is going through a much more difficult time than yourself. Be there and try to understand the needs of your pregnant partner for a healthy delivery.

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