Where Does Dad Fit In During Pregnancy?


An interesting challenge my husband and I faced during pregnancy was figuring out our roles. Of course, I was the one who was pregnant, but where does Dad fit in during pregnancy? I was the one carrying the baby, getting through my work day and then collapsing in bed, and puking my way through my first trimester.

This article contains affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

Where Did My Husband Fit In?

I’m more of an independent person. When I was overly exhausted, I’d crawl in bed and disappear. When I was sick, I’d shut myself in the bathroom and disappear. If felt grouchy, I’d find a place in the house to stay and keep busy, alone.

I effectively shut Adam right out of the pregnancy.

Adam began to just be there, anyway. When I’d throw up, he’d come into the bathroom and hold my hair back and get a cool washcloth for me. When I was exhausted, he’d bring me something to eat that I felt I could keep down.

If I was feeling grouchy… well… he’d pretty much steer clear then.

I realized that Adam was trying to be apart of things, and I was shutting him out. It wasn’t intentional. I was barreling through my days like a warrior, trying to get through them until I felt better. Still, I had left out my teammate.

Where Does Dad Fit In During Pregnancy?

Figuring Out The Balancing Act

I began making an effort to include Adam in our pregnancy journey.

It was an interesting experience–right up until the baby was born. We were constantly performing a balancing act.

Adam felt the most helpful in different ways than what I expected. He wasn’t particularly eager for me to dump all of my appointment details on him. Knowing Baby and I were fine was what really concerned him.

Where Does Dad Fit In During Pregnancy?

My husband put together enough pieces of furniture to fill a warehouse, hung pictures and shelves and a million other things. He even helped me plant flowers when spring fever hit me with pregnancy vengeance.

He Prepped In His Own Way

Adam prepared for labor and delivery in his own way. While I soaked in Epsom salt and picked through pregnancy blogs, Adam was getting our car serviced. He was repairing and maintaining our home, and growing his business in preparation for added expenses.

Adam timed the drive from our home to the hospital (practically down to the second), and developed a strategy for transporting me to the hospital.

When it was time to tour the labor and delivery wing of the hospital, he went with me. That was an incredibly stress-relieving decision. It put context to our plans and gave us a visual for where things were located. We learned what to expect when we arrived (which we blew out of the water when labor came. Read about my 16-minute birth story).

Simply Mama Fearless

Looking back, some things clearly stood out.

Where Does Dad Fit In During Pregnancy?

I Had To Learn To Appreciate His Differences

Adam didn’t want to be treated like my “pregnant friend”. In his vernacular, he didn’t relate with pregnancy that way, and never would, because he’d never be pregnant. Clearly stated and duly noted.

He wanted reassurance that all was well, but not an onslaught of details. That was between me, the doctor and my mother.

If I felt strongly about something, he was a happily listening ear, but Adam’s focus was doing things in his own way to prepare our home and our lives for the arrival of our son.

Like the pool. He prepped and filled the pool and maintained it throughout the summer.

When I hobbled outside one day to get some relief in the water, Adam had a nice-quality, floating raft, complete with attached head cushion and cup holders. He inflated it and then brought me a fizzy water while I floated around the water, round and sassy.

It Created A Beautiful Combination

That’s the beauty of it, you see.

The things Adam accomplished for our baby are things that didn’t cross my mind or even phase me. He provided something that completed the picture.

When I was huffing and puffing my way to the car during labor, I wasn’t thinking about when it had last been serviced, but it had been, and it was in good working order with plenty of fuel.

That meant no breakdowns or car troubles on baby’s birthday (which was good because if we had been delayed a nanosecond baby would have been born in the car).

When I got home, every light switch I flipped turned on, every button I pushed worked, the furniture we needed was assembled, and the yard looked amazing.

Those are the kinds of things that really matter but you don’t fully appreciate until you don’t have them. Like the toilet or the refrigerator–both of which were in perfect working order.

Adam also picked up extra chores around the house, during my pregnancy and right after Kai was born.

Your Top 5 Questions About Pregnancy

We Learned New Skills

I could have chosen to be upset that he didn’t want to hear details about dilation and effacement, or about my latest blog read. In fact, sometimes I did get frustrated, especially in the beginning.

But as time went by, I learned how Adam felt about being part of the team, and the things he contributed were wonderful additions.

If I spent my entire pregnancy trying to control how he could be apart, we’d both have been miserable and I would have missed out on some great things, too.

Likewise, Adam learned that he just wasn’t going to be able to relate with me on every aspect of pregnancy, which meant I experienced some of it alone.

When baby made his grand debut of visibly kicking my tummy, it rocked Adam’s world and brought so much delight. I had been experiencing flutters and movements for at least a month before then, but now Adam could be apart, too.

And some things were mine, and mine alone. He learned to respect and appreciate that.

We certainly didn’t get it all right. We had some tough times of learning, of being too distant and then stepping on each other’s toes. But we developed a connection that worked for us.

We’ll continue to hone those skills and concepts throughout the rest of our child-rearing days.

Now, not every spouse is geared the same way. Some dads would probably like to hear about the ins-and-outs, while others may get squeamish about the very idea of talking detail.

The key is that we are a team, but separate players with different positions. Those different positions make a beautiful combination of driving toward the goal. It can be a happy dance if you turn it loose.

Where Does Dad Fit In During Pregnancy?

Here are some extra tips to help you find that happy balance.

  • Talk about it. There’s nothing healthier than a good, open conversation about how to work as a team
  • Don’t try to force your expectations on Dad. He probably already has some ways he feels he can contribute, and they’re probably different than what you had in mind.
  • Learn to value what Dad brings to the table. His ways of helping, though maybe not what you thought, will add some serious value to the team.
  • Be flexible with Mom. Some of the help she needs may not be your idea of helping out. Still, if you can manage to do even a few things she’s specifically requested, it will help her out a lot.

Where Does Dad Fit In During Pregnancy?

Practical Ways Dad Can Help Prep For Baby

It’s easy to feel left out of the pregnancy and preparation process. But there are plenty of helpful things that Dad can do!

  • Prepare and maintenance the car. As Baby’s due date approaches, make sure the car is fueled up at all times.
  • Help assemble baby furniture, hang pictures and move the heavy stuff around in the nursery.
  • Take on some of the heavier-duty chores during nesting.
  • Make sure the house is baby-proofed with electrical outlet covers, baby gates and cabinet locks. Even if you don’t necessarily put everything in place, have them prepped for when you decide to use them.
  • Make sure the hospital bags and diaper bag are in the car when it’s time to go to the hospital.
  • Find out what Mom will want to take to the hospital during labor (ie birthing ball and other items) and make sure they’re loaded in the car.
  • Find out if you get paternity leave! Newer laws are now giving dads more time for baby bonding and being at home with the family.
  • Surprise Mom with her favorite takeout when you can see she’s exhausted and not up to cooking.

For more ideas, read 10 Ways Dad Can Help Mom During Pregnancy.

Mama Fearless
Let's Be Friends! Follow me on Insta, Facebook and Pinterest!

Elizabeth Jimenez

Let's Be Friends! Follow me on Insta, Facebook and Pinterest!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Sorry, this content isn\'t up for grabs. Thanks anyways :)