Friday, September 30, 2011

Parenting - Prenatal Care (Father's Responsibilities)

Having a child in a family is a blessing. Parenting starts even before the child is born. One of the most important times of child caring is prenatal care. This starts when your spouse gets pregnant. This brings great joy of not only completing the family by bringing a wonderful, healthy child into the family but also the joys of fatherhood in general.

I have been told time and again about the very basic concept of prenatal care - If the mom looks happy and healthy, the child she is bearing will be healthy and happy as well. Therefore, the main objective of prenatal care is to take care of your spouse wholeheartedly. There is no short cut. And its better if the father takes care of his wife himself. Don't leave it to the extended family or her parents or your parents or anybody else for that matter. It's your child. So, show some love and care and be a responsible dad.

Once it is confirmed that child is on the way, make sure to find a good OBGYN doctor nearby. Get an appointment for initial checkup. Provide all the details to the doctor and ask any questions you might have. Don't leave it to anybody else to answer your questions. Have no ambiguity or second thoughts about anything. Keep track of your visits. Try to be present in the room  with your wife during the checkups as well. I know it is not looked at favorably. But it is better to know things in person rather than be told by other people about your spouse and child.

Be mindful of the fact that pregnancy takes its toll, both on yourself and your wife. There are three trimesters for pregnancy, i.e., first, second and third. First one is quite difficult. There will be many mood swings during the first trimester. Therefore, patience is the key. There will also be weird requests for food and things to do. Just try to understand that your wife is going through something that you would never be able to get through. That's how much difficult it is. Therefore, just keep your cool.

During the first trimester of pregnancy, your spouse eating is not really favorite chore. The nausea kicks in. Exhaustion is there. So, there are all kinds of bodily changes happening. So make sure her diet, living, and other aspects of life are up to the par. For things like calcium, iron or hemoglobin deficiencies, the diet is provided accordingly. There is always some help available for your wife. And most importantly, the doctor appointments are kept on track.

As mentioned earlier, having a baby is a blessing either boy or a girl. Somehow, Pakistani fathers are kept at distance during pregnancy and other people jump in for help. However, I think fathers have a great role to play.Not only the spouses have to go through changes in their lives, the dads also need to make some basic changes in their attitudes, behaviors etc.


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