I have highlighted some of the fears expectant husbands face below.
Fathers are often one of the main providers in a family. They may be the only provider once a new baby comes, if only temporarily, while mom is on maternity leave. This is a big change for dads. Not only might they have to be the main provider, but they may also need to spend more time helping their partner as she goes through all of the changes that come with having a baby. This concern comes from wondering if they (the father) will be able to provide for their family in these ways.
Many fathers are worried that they won't be able to handle their partner being in labor. My husband
laughs when he's nervous or uncomfortable, so he has already warned me that he might laugh the entire time. A comfort for dads during this time, is that while you might expect to faint or throw up, it's very rare that those things ever happen.
As with all of these fears, don't ignore it; work through it. Talk to friends or family that have been through the process about what actually happens, instead of relying on Hollywood's over-dramatized version of labor and delivery.
When bringing a child into this world who needs 24/7 care, it's very understandable that men might fear being replaced. They may fear that mom will love baby more than them, and they won't be as important any more. Many men worry about whether or not their sex life will resume and how it could change now that there is a child involved.
Here are some ideas on how to help alleviate this fear:
- Schedule weekly time to be alone together. During the first few weeks this may be hard, but once baby can go longer in-between feedings, or is sleeping more, see if a family member can watch baby for a few hours.
- Encourage your husband to take an active roll in baby's life. Fathers are so important in children's development! (For ways that dad is important in children's development, ask your friendly care coordinator at 801-691-5322.)
- Let dad have time alone with baby, so they can bond and develop a relationship. It's also a great way for mom's to get some rest, or have time for self-care.
What are some fears you and your spouse have experienced as you've prepared for your baby?