Do you feel like the only thing you have learnt about pregnancy so far is how to prevent it? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most men possess limited knowledge about their fertility and factors affecting their reproductive health.1 However, reading explanatory books or watching informative videos about pregnancy can be the first step towards closing this knowledge gap. and gearing up for fatherhood.

This blog aims to do just that with some useful advice for dads to navigate through the preconception and pregnancy stage with their partner with ease!

 

Preconception Healthcare Tips


Let’s look at some important healthcare tips for men who are trying to conceive a baby with their partner.

 

1. A Healthy Diet Is A Must


You should try to increase the intake of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats (present in seafood and nuts), fish, chicken as well as whole grains. These food items are known for improving semen quality and overall male fertility in general.2,3 Another common piece of advice for dads is to avoid unhealthy food like pizza, french fries, red and processed meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages. These items can have a detrimental effect on your sperm.4

 

2. Regular Exercise Can Be Beneficial


It’s no secret that being physically active can improve your fertility.5 Research shows that even the simplest of physical activities like walking or jogging for 30 minutes, 3 to 6 times a week can be beneficial for sperm motility and morphology.6 So, it's best to incorporate exercises in your day-to-day routine to improve your chances of conception.

 

3. Reconsider Your Smoking And Alcohol Consumption Habits


Cigarette smoking is significantly associated with decreasing sperm count and quality.7 In addition, habitual binge consumption of alcohol also proves to be harmful to your sperm.8  Expert Here's some expert advice for dads - reconsider your smoking and alcohol consumption habits if you want to make the preconception journey easier for you and your partner.

 

4. Get Tested


Your fertility doctor is your best friend while planning a baby. Seek appropriate medical advice and get tested proactively to find out your fertility status. You can get a semen analysis test, a hormone test, and a carrier test to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward to embrace fatherhood in the near future.

 

6 Tips For To-Be Dads 

 


Hurrah, you’ve just heard that you’re going to be a DAD!

Big news!

But, what next?

 

Here’s all you need to know to be a supportive partner during pregnancy.

 

1. Be There For Your Partner


Your physical and emotional presence can make a huge difference for your partner. Moreover, women prefer their male partners to accompany them to antenatal clinic visits.9 So the best advice for dads is to engage in activities with their partner, like going to doctor’s appointments, prenatal workshops, and shopping for the baby.

 2. Learn About The Process


Your partner undergoes immense physical and psychological changes during pregnancy.10,11 It is of utmost importance to educate yourself about their experience to help them during this transition. What’s more, your knowledge and awareness of pregnancy-related care can help and encourage them to seek better maternal healthcare during pregnancy.12

 

3. Help With Household Chores


While dividing the household duties should be a regular practice, you must lend a helping hand at home especially when your partner is pregnant. So, participating in household activities will help them free their time which they can utilize to rest and plan their antenatal care visits.

 

4. Take Care Of Your And Your Partner’s Mental Health


Depression is common and treatable in women during and after pregnancy.13 However, new dads can also face bouts of depression and anxiety due to factors like lack of sleep, emotional or social support, and excessive stress.14 So the best advice for dads is to prepare themselves emotionally and seek appropriate help from professionals if they feel low or feel that things are getting out of control.

 

5. Ask For Paternity Leave


Research has established that a supportive stance from their male partners can make pregnancy better for women.12 However, juggling everything at the same time may take a toll on the male partner. Check if your employer provides paternity leaves to help you contribute more at home once the baby arrives. 

 

6. Having A Birth Plan


Though charting a birth plan comes all the way towards the end of your pregnancy, it can be the most important step. This is a piece of important advice for dads as you have to take charge and prepare for your child's birth while your partner is having contractions. Discuss the game plan with your wife beforehand to do this efficiently. You can talk about signing up for medical procedures like cord blood preservation, packing your hospital bag with all the necessary items, and keeping the doctor’s numbers on speed dial.

 

In A Nutshell


Parenthood can be the most joyful yet challenging aspect of your life, more so when you are planning your first baby. The above-mentioned advice for dads can be helpful when you are coursing through uncharted territory. Start with these as the foundation and make your own path towards happy fatherhood as you embark on this beautiful journey of life!

 

References:

 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5193328/ 
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28333357/ 
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22888168/ 
  4. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2761546?utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_term=022120#zoi190810r32 
  5. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-011-2304-6 
  6. https://rep.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/rep/153/2/157.xml 
  7. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-018-6319-3 
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4185337/ 
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4633194/ 
  10. https://www.ifwip.org/psychological-changes-during-pregnancy/ 
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928162/ 
  12. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-biosocial-science/article/abs/men-in-maternal-care-evidence-from-india/70C3FA25DEAA90810AD97D9CE80A09BB  
  13. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/features/maternal-depression/index.html 
  14. https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/fathers-and-depression 

References