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Daddy Nickell

Dads-to-Be: What Changes When Your Partner Gets Pregnant (and What to Do About It)

PUBLISHED ON 12/07/2012

“There is an art to being a daddy, just as there is to being a husband, sometimes they are the same, and other times they must be treated completely separate.”

When you find out your wife is pregnant it's time to kick it into high gear and start learning the balance between being the daddy and the husband; I call it “trutina,” which is Latin for balance.

I want to lay it all out for all of you expectant daddies: What do you need to know, and how can you keep the balance during the process of pregnancy and beyond?

Although the first day you discover your wife is pregnant, she may not look any different to you, I can guarantee you her hormones are already starting to run on overdrive, and internally, her body is changing at an alarming pace, so be patient as she will likely feel very different, and as her husband it’s your duty to experience all of these new things right by her side.

Make sure to remind yourself at all times to be engaged and to listen; do not be pre-occupied: put down the cell phone, the iPod, the newspaper, and realize that even though you feel the same, your wife will be undergoing dramatic changes. She will experience simultaneous emotions of fear, happiness, sadness, and security. Do not be surprised if she starts talking about savings accounts, life insurance, living wills, etc. Your job, as husband and expectant daddy, is to just jump right in, and help get the ball rolling on each of these tasks. I suggest making lists and figuring out how you can accomplish something off the list every single day. Nine months may seem like a long time now, but trust me when I say it’ll go by in a blink of the eye.

If this is your first child, then you need to understand the “fear of the unknown” can sometimes be overwhelming. There are so many logistics to take into consideration, such as: Where will the baby sleep? Is the house clean enough? Do we have enough money? Should we move? What about college?  These thoughts are all good and healthy, and it is your job as the husband, to help step in and put the thoughts in order and begin addressing them with your wife to the best of your ability. Every concern is important and deserves thoughtful consideration from both you and your wife.

Remember the old saying, “A happy wife is a happy life”? Well during the next nine months, this saying is exponential. If she has a concern, show her you care immediately by addressing that concern however possible.

If I were to give husbands and expectant daddies everywhere a single piece of advice it would be to take everything one day at a time. There are sure to be difficult days as well as wonderful days. It takes time to transition from husband to daddy, and you're going to have to learn the balance there in-between. Enjoy all of the special and unique experiences that come with pregnancy, and  with a bit of hard work everything is sure to fall into place — just be confident.

What advice would you give to an expectant dad?

PHOTO: Veer / The Bump