Dads and pregnancy

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Are we leaving dads out of the equation?

This question crossed my mind a few months ago. It dawned on me that everything that I was writing about (and virtually everything that I was reading at the time), was centered around a woman’s journey through pregnancy and that little, if anything, was being said about the expecting father.

So I sent out an email to few dads that I know to ask them about their experiences as first time dads.

Dads and pregnancy

While I invited everyone I contacted to simply tell me about their experiences as an expectant dad, I did provide a few guiding questions. I asked the following:

  1. They say that a woman becomes a mother when she hears a second heartbeat but that a man doesn’t become a dad until he holds his child. Was this the case for you?
  2. Do men have a ticking biological clock?
  3. Where did you go for advice? Friends? Books? Internet? Prenatal classes?

The sheer variety of answers that came back to me shouldn’t come as a surprise. For why should we think that every father’s journey isn’t as unique as every mother’s?

Most men who responded told me that they felt more like helpful husbands rather than doting dads during their partner’s’ pregnancy. However, they all admitted to ‘nesting’ and/or feeling a growing awareness of their greater roles as husband and ‘protector’. A few told me that they felt very involved in their partner’s pregnancy but most claimed to have felt very much like passengers on this trip. Only one expectant dad told me that he donned the cloak of fatherhood the moment he learnt that he and his wife were expecting. Most admitted to only really bonding with their babies once they could physically hold them. One dad told me that he didn’t really feel connected to his child until the mother had stopped breastfeeding.

When it came to seeking advice, some dads-to-be deferred to their partners. Others went along to prenatal classes and the like. Nearly all sought out advice from other ‘dad friends’. Those who were the least satisfied with the information they got, perhaps (not) surprisingly, went to the bookstore. As one dad wrote:

I was reading a few books on being a new dad but none really appealed to me. The ones I read seemed to have been written by saps who wanted to show that men can be sensitive too.

It would seem to me that there are a lot of men out there looking for the plain truth on what to expect when their partners’ are expecting! So if there are any dads out there reading this… and you think that you have it in you to write an honest, no holds barred, account of expected fatherhood, I encourage you to start writing!

For those dads who would like to relate a summary of their experience, feel free to leave a comment below.

And for those dads who want to chronicle their ongoing experience, here are some links to some of the best “Daddy Blogs” as chosen by

  1. Babble’s Top 50 Dad blogs of 2012
  2. Babble’s “Fatherhood” blog
  3. Readers’ Choice Awards- Daddy blogs


Photo Credit: AdamSelwood via Compfight cc

My name is Jodie. I'm a 38 year old Canadian working and living in Bangkok, Thailand. My husband and I are both international teachers - though I'm taking this year off to be a full-time mom.

When we're not busy with other people's kids, we try our hand at raising our own very curious nearly four year old son and his 9 and half month old brother. When it comes to parenting, like most of us, I’m making a lot of it up as I go along .

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