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How are you feeling?

  • Becoming a parent is a life-changing event. Studies show that parents-to-be go through stages and typically feel shock, euphoria, acceptance and responsibility.

    As you begin to realize that your life will never be the same again, you may feel joy, confusion and anxiety.

    Expectant fathers and partners often have concerns such as:

    • Will my partner stay well and be OK?
    • Will I be able to support my child financially?
    • How can I handle all this responsibility?
    • How can I deal with my partner's mood swings and emotional needs?
    • What if I don't know what to do during labor?
    • Will seeing the birth be exciting or make me sick?
    • What if my relationship with my partner is never the same?
    • Will she ever again have time to focus just on me?
    • Will I be a good parent?
    • What if our baby isn't healthy?

    These normal feelings are signs that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing—exploring what it means to be a parent.

    Physical changes

    You may also be having some physical changes. Some expectant dads and partners have changes such as weight gain, fatigue, nausea, food cravings, toothache, headache, dizziness and mood swings.

    These tend to go away after the third month of pregnancy. They may return in the eighth month. These physical changes are known as couvade or sympathetic pregnancy. They may be an expression of your empathy.

    If you are worried about your health, get a checkup. It's important that both you and your partner know that you are healthy. You can use the tips in the pregnancy chapters of this online manual to help you deal with your changes.

    It's important to take good care of yourself. Your good health is especially important right now. Your partner and your new baby are counting on your support and energy.

    Just like your partner, you should eat nutritious meals, get enough rest and exercise regularly. Having a healthy lifestyle will help your child have one, too.

    If you smoke, stop now. If you can't stop, smoke outside. Don't expose your partner and growing baby to tobacco smoke. Your newborn will be healthier if you don't smoke after your baby is born.