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Father’s Role in Pregnancy
Dr P Lakshmi Reddy
Pregnancy can be an exciting time both for the expectant mother and the father. There is no doubt that the expectant mother needs support during her pregnancy. We sometimes forget that the expectant father needs support too.

There was a time when the father’s role in pregnancy was limited only to driving his screaming partner to the hospital, and waiting nervously outside the labour room. Those days seem to have gone forever. It is good to get involved during the nine months of pregnancy not only to assist the partner though the suffering, but also to feel a sense of participation for themselves.

Keep track of your baby’s growth - listen to and feel your baby. Let your wife know how much you enjoy seeing the changes in her body during pregnancy. If the husband is a smoker, he should give up smoking for the sake of his wife and their baby to be born. Help her with the housework and prepare her whatever she wants to eat. The father can play a role in selecting the baby’s name, decoration for the nursery, kind of things to buy for the baby, etc.

Going to antenatal classes can sometimes help the husband understand what he needs to do to assist his partner in trying to relax during the birth of their child. They can also interact with other fathers-to-be in the class.

Helping with birth is relatively a new phenomenon for most men but is now accepted as a common practice in western society, and is catching up in India too.

With the exception of carrying pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, fathers can do everything for the child, what mothers do. There is no doubt that mothers play the leading role in the lives of their children but fathers also play just as important a role in the physical and emotional development of a child.

Dr P Lakshmi Reddy is Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Apollo Health City, Hyderabad.
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