Feature Archive

An Expectant Dad's Guide to Pregnancy

You got her pregnant, but are you ready for the nine month roller coaster? Consider this your expectant father's survival guide.

By Martin F. Downs
WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

From now until you snip the cord, a lot may happen that no one will have prepared you for ahead of time. There's no way to anticipate every possible scenario, but you need not be completely in the dark. It's also good to have an idea of ways you can be helpful to the mom-to-be.

The thing about men and pregnancy is that there's only so much you can do -- the expectant mother really does all the work. She also gets all the attention. We all know she deserves it -- and then some -- but it's a common source of tension for couples during pregnancy, says Leonard Boulanger, a clinical social worker and fatherhood specialist for the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire. "In the whole process, the father feels that he is being ignored," Boulanger tells WebMD.

Getting involved early and "at every level," Boulanger says, not only makes things easier for the mother, but it also keeps you from feeling left out.

Preparing the Nest

When people talk about the changes that happen in pregnancy, they tend to say a lot about changes in the mother's body and her moods. Less tends to be said about changes in your home, which may interest you just as much as your pregnant partner's swelling bosom.