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Daddy's do's: A guy's guide to the next 9 months

May 21, 2015

Sure, she’s the one sporting that baby bump. But you, too, have important work to do in the months ahead.

As a father-to-be, you play a key role in supporting your partner and helping ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Here are some of the ways experts say you can be more involved:

Find out what it's all about.

From books to websites, try to learn more about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. You and your partner might quiz each other and share pointers.

Go to her prenatal care visits.

At one of the earlier appointments, you may hear your little one’s heartbeat. Later, you can even see the baby— and perhaps learn whether you’re having a girl or a boy.

Enroll in childbirth classes at the hospital.

It’s a great way to learn what will happen during labor and delivery and how you can help your partner when the time comes.

Dont light up.

If you smoke, you may never have a better reason to quit. Secondhand smoke can harm your baby even before he or she is born. In the meantime, be sure not to smoke around your partner. Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting.

Help prepare for the new arrival. 

You and your partner can decide how to set up the baby’s sleep area. You might also shop together for a crib, baby clothes, and other items you’ll need for the baby.

Help her have a healthy pregnancy. 

 There are a lot of other ways you can help your partner and the baby stay healthy. For example:

  • Take walks together, as long as it’s OK with her doctor. It’s a great way to bond and help her get some healthy exercise.
  • Help her steer clear of things that may be especially harmful to her now. For example, if you have a cat, you should clean the litter box.
  • Eat a healthy diet together, avoid alcohol, and don’t do illegal drugs so it’s easier for her to do the same.

Get Cooking!

QUICK 8-VEGETABLE SOUP

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 cups vegetable broth or fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth

½ cup frozen baby lima beans

1 can (15 ounces) no-salt-added black, Great Northern or navy beans

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

½ cup frozen tri-colored bell peppers

2 teaspoons dried oregano or thyme

Pinch of dried red pepper flakes

1 cup frozen broccoli florets

Salt, to taste

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, and cook until translucent, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add broth, and bring liquid to boil.
  4. Add lima beans; reduce heat; and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
  5. Add canned beans, mixed vegetables, peppers, oregano and pepper flakes, and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
  6. Add broccoli, cover, and cook for 5 minutes
  7. Add salt to taste

ketteringhealth.org/maternity