Just For Dads


Because Fathers Play a Role Too

It is important for Dads to support their partner before, during and after pregnancy. There are many things that you can do to make Mom’s pregnancy healthier and less stressful. When your new baby arrives, there will be plenty to do and mom needs your support.


Before Pregnancy
Before your partner gets pregnant, there are steps that you can take to help have a healthy baby. To improve your chances of getting pregnant, it’s important for you to take care of yourself too!


Things you can do to help:

-- Preconception Doctor’s Visits
-- Attend preconception visits with your partner. Ask any questions that you may have about  pregnancy.

-- Provide her with an accurate family medical history.

-- Good Nutrition
-- Encourage your partner to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
-- Set a good example by eating healthy too.
-- Remind her to take a multi-vitamin containing 400 micrograms (mcg) of Folic Acid.


Healthy Lifestyle
-- Avoid alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and encourage your partner to stop using them too. If you continue to smoke, do not smoke around your partner.
-- Get tested for STIs before your partner gets pregnant. STIs can be very dangerous to your partner and your unborn baby. Avoid having sex with other partners.

-- Avoid hazards and infections that could be harmful to your partner.

-- Provide a safe and supportive environment for her.

-- Physical Activity and Stress Management
-- Make physical activity a part of both of your lives.
-- Encourage her to exercise and do activities together, such as walking or swimming.
-- Minimize your partner’s stress by helping around the house.


Fathers During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a very exciting time for both mothers and fathers. Help make the pregnancy enjoyable for both of you by supporting your partner and encouraging her to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Things you could do to help:

Prenatal Care Appointments
-- This will give you a chance to ask any questions you may have.
-- You will get to know her Prenatal Care provider (Doctor, Midwife or Nurse).
-- During the first trimester (months 1-3) visit, you may get to hear your baby’s heartbeat.
-- During the second trimester (months 4-6) visit, you will get to see an ultrasound of your baby. - -- You may see their arms, legs, hands and you may even get to find out the sex of your baby.



-- Learn about the emotional changes your partner will experience and how you can help her deal with them.

-- Learn about physical changes that will occur. Some of the changes may include, but are not limited to, the following:

> Fatigue

> Nausea/vomiting

> Tender or larger breasts

> Increase or decrease in desire for sex

> Food cravings or food dislikes

> Aches, pains and swelling

> Frequent urination


Dads and a Healthy Lifestyle
Maintain a healthy lifestyle and encourage your partner to do the same.
Remind her to have a pregnancy that is alcohol, tobacco and drug free.


Good Nutrition
Encourage your partner to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Remind her to take her Prenatal Vitamin containing Folic Acid.


Physical Activity and Stress Management for Dads
Push your partner to continue to be physically active unless her healthcare provider advises her not to.


Minimize your partner’s stress by helping around the house. It is vital that she avoid lifting heavy objects, changing the cat’s litter box and doing jobs that require her to be up high or to use dangerous chemicals.


Encourage your partner to consider breastfeeding your baby. There are many benefits of breastfeeding for everyone.


Father Classes
Dads are welcome to attend classes with their partner. These classes will help you understand what a healthy pregnancy is, assist her to have an easier labor and delivery, and help guide you in learning about having a healthy and safe baby.


Early Pregnancy Workshop for Fathers
Receive information on what physical and emotional changes to expect your partner to experience. Learn how your baby is developing, and how your partner can take care of herself and your baby during pregnancy.


Childbirth Education
Learn how your partner can stay healthy and comfortable during the last months of pregnancy.
Find out what to expect during labor and delivery and how you can support your partner.
Review pain control options.
Know how you can prepare for the birth of your baby.


Dads Help with Breastfeeding and Nutrition Classes
Learn about how you can help her:

-- get started

-- use different feeding techniques

-- try positions

-- collect and store breast milk


Dad's New Baby
Congratulations Dad!
You have a new baby and a tired Mom. There are some things that you can do to help make life less stressful for your partner. There are also some things that you need to know to keep your baby safe.


Feeding Your Baby
Supporting your partner and her decision to breastfeed may increase the chance of success. Research shows that a father’s attitude towards breastfeeding is an important factor in whether a mother begins and continues to breastfeed.


Here are some ways you can help:

-- Help around the house. If there are other children, take care of them, so Mom can get some rest.

-- Take your baby to her for breastfeeding sessions.

-- If your partner pumps some of her milk, offer to feed your baby.

-- Do things that make her feel good about herself.

-- Praise her for breastfeeding.

-- Do something special for her.

-- Be proud.

-- Make time for just you and your baby. Skin-to-skin contact helps your baby and you bond.

-- When mom is breastfeeding, help her feel relaxed and comfortable, at home and in public places.


Fathers Taking Care of Their Baby
Remember it’s not babysitting; its parenting; Dad and Mom can share responsibilities.
You can:

-- Change diapers

-- Give baths

-- Rock your baby

-- Cuddle with your baby

-- Sing to your baby

-- Help feed you baby


For more information on the very important topics mentioned below, visit the “You and Your New Baby” section of this site.


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – In the United States, SIDS is the #1 cause of death of infants under one year of age. Help reduce you baby’s risk of SIDS by following the simple “Back to Sleep and Safe Bedding” recommendations.


Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) - SBS refers to a group of injuries to the baby that are a result from being violently shaken. These injuries can lead to permanent brain damage, disability and even death. Men tend to be the perpetrators of SBS approximately 70-80% of the time. Don’t let the frustrations of a crying baby lead you to become violent. Learn more about ways to deal with a crying baby and remember to Never Shake a Baby!


Perinatal Mood Disorders- it is normal for your partner to feel anxious or scared during and after pregnancy. After your new baby arrives, Mom may feel even more moody, overwhelmed, anxious, and restless. When these feelings are very strong and don’t go away within the first two weeks, then it may be a sign that she has a more serious mental health condition.


For more information on being a Dad, visit:
Dads Adventure
New York State Fatherhood Initiative: Being a Responsible Dad
March of Dimes: Just for Dads

Find information and resources for any stage of pregnancy:

Before Pregnancy During Pregnancy
You and Your New Baby Just for Dads

NCPPC offers a variety of Prenatal and Perinatal Services throughout Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. These initiatives include extensive outreach and education for the community and for health and human service providers.