So she’s pregnant… Now what? Pregnancy Tips for Dad

Did she say those 3 little words? Not “I Love You”, the other 3 words. “I Am Pregnant.”

Well, it happens but the bigger question is, now what? What is your role? What is she going to do? Do you have a place in all of this? It is her body, so finding your voice in all of this can be confusing.

Unexpected pregnancy is overwhelming for everyone involved, including men. Women tend to seek support from their partners upon discovering they are pregnant, which means you have an important role to play.

As you are well aware, there are countless resources for women. However, we know guys need some resources too.

We thought it might be helpful to give you a little advice to help you navigate through the next few days, weeks, months and even years.

1. Be there and also give her space.

It is a delicate dance, knowing when to be there and when to give her space. Her hormones are going through a million changes right now and so she realistically needs both. The biggest advice, don’t take her hormone changes and mood swings personally. Understand she needs consistent support through all of these ups and downs. Although she may have had more time to process what’s going on than you’ve had, likely she still needs some time to think through what’s going on inside her body. In summary, listen first and communicate second that you will give her the support she needs.

2. Listen to her.

You have questions, but right now the focus is on her questions. Listen first. Be a safe space for her to process, talk, cry, and even be angry. Again, this isn’t personal. She likely has many questions and / or fears that she may need to get out. By listening first, she will know you’re a safe person she can talk to. Don’t correct her or shut her down. Just let her get it all out in her own way.

3. Health & Safety First: Recommend she gets a medical verification of pregnancy.

As you all are processing this news, it’s important to confirm exactly what is happening with the pregnancy. At-home pregnancy tests and online searching can only take you so far. Her health and safety is a priority. It’s important that she gets a pregnancy test and an ultrasound by a medical professional so you can make sure the pregnancy is viable, find out how far along she is, and rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

4. Take care of your mental and emotional needs.

While you are there for her, remember you need someone to be there for you as well. Perhaps it is a friend, a mentor, a family member, or even a counselor. Whoever that is, for you to be at your best, you need a place you too can turn for support around the host of emotions you are facing with this unexpected pregnancy.
If you need someone to talk to, we have men available to listen to you and help you understand your role in the decision-making process. Your thoughts and opinions matter, and if you aren’t sure how or whether you can express them, we can help.

5. Give yourself time.

This is big, but your life is not over, and neither is hers. It will take time to process the reality of a pregnancy and how that does, or doesn’t, fit into what you were planning on in life. You both have new realities and new perspectives to gain. The most important piece is to be kind to yourself. Give yourself time to process. You’re allowed to have feelings about the situation. Remember that there is a much bigger picture than the two of you can see now, and you’re not alone on this journey.No one is ever really ready for being a parent. Unexpected pregnancy is a surprise. Finding out you may be a dad is also a surprise. How this impacts your life plans can be daunting.

Remember, you have people in your life that love you and will be there for you. Ask yourself, if one of your friends was going through this, would you want them to hide or reach out? Likely, you would want them to reach out, and that is exactly what they would want you to do too.

If you are not sure where to turn or need additional resources for being that support to her as a Dad, we can help direct you in the right way. We offer a number of resources for men and their partners as they face an unexpected pregnancy. Contact us today for more information on how we can serve you at this time.