Father's support from positive pregnancy test to birth - Part 1

For many fathers a pregnant partner and a new baby can feel overwhelming. This is perfectly normal. You may feel unsure of the physical changes that occur during the pregnancy, confused by the emotional changes, and wonder ‘what’s happening?’ You may feel helpless and excluded. There are many things you can do to be involved during the pregnancy and birth that will give you the tools to help you and your partner navigate this exciting and special life event, and any challenges that may occur along the way. Your partner will appreciate your support and involvement. Here are tips that can help a Father-to-be:


Part 1. Father's support during pregnancy.

Photo by Nadu Kumar


  • Learn how Pregnancy/Maternity care works in New Zealand.
  • Help find and choose a Midwife or other Lead Maternity Carer (LMC)
  • Know how to contact your LMC.
  • Go to the antenatal appointments (pregnancy check-ups) when you can. This way you’ll learn about what’s happening and get familiar some of the ‘medical language.’ Write down any questions you may have, that way you’ll remember what to ask.
  • When possible, attend any other appointments like scans or specialist checks.
  • Help find antenatal classes and go to them with your partner. You will meet other couples and along with the educators you will learn a lot.
  • Talk with your partner about the birth plan that you will make with your LMC and discuss alternatives if the plan needs to change. Also talk to your partner about how she’d like you to help her when she’s in labour. Doing this will prepare you to make decisions during labour and birth that you feel comfortable with.
  • Find out about taking leave from work. How much can you have and make sure your employer/boss knows. Check about Parental leave.
  • Learn about a car seat for your baby as, legally, they must have one to travel in. Check it is ‘in date’ and make sure it fits in your car properly (not all car seats fit all cars). Make sure you know how to alter the straps and how to fit it in your car before you need to use it.
  • Discuss and plan where your baby will sleep at home and learn about safe sleep for baby.
  • Do a tour of the Maternity Unit where you’re planning to go for the birth. Get familiar with where to park (check if you need to pay for parking and how to do this), the ‘birthing’ entrance and/or after-hours entrance. It’s good to do this even if you’re planning a home birth.
  • Check you know what is in your partner's ‘hospital bag’ when it is packed so you can find things when asked.
  • Pack a few supplies for yourself in case you are at the hospital for a couple of days. Things like a spare change of clothes, a drink bottle, and some snacks.  
  • If planning to keep baby’s placenta/whenua talk about how you will store it until ready to bury.


Disclaimer: The information provided herein is the author’s opinion and provided for entertainment purposes only. While You and Baby Limited strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, You and baby Limited makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this site, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this site. You and Baby Limited are not providing medical advice and encourage readers to seek professional maternity or medical assistance.

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