Saturday, 16 February 2013

Don't forget dads!

Being pregnant is great, in my opinion. Sure, I have been very lucky to date - touch wood - with no sickness or anything really serious to worry about (a bit of heartburn now and again and some soreness in my hips at night). I am certainly getting bigger and things are a little more of a struggle but really, so far so good.

I'm proud of my bump and it is nice to have something to talk about, even with strangers, who are keen to pass on their well wishes and to ask you how you are, do you know what you're having and so on.

But there's often someone missing when it comes to squeals of joy and the Spanish inquisition - the dad-to-be. As a mum-to-be, I am very conscious of including Stephen as much as possible, sharing the feelings I have, telling him when baby moves and discussing decisions together. But when you look at baby magazines, websites and programmes, the dad is often an afterthought.

Two friends of ours have just become parents and the dad said that the day his son was born was the most wonderful and the most traumatic time in his life. He could see what was going on and he felt powerless to help his wife. I can't help but think if the magazines, websites and programmes tried to speak more to dads or to show their side of the pregnancy story a little more, dads, mums and children would all benefit as a result.

Stephen often reads up on things and makes suggestions to me but it must be hard to know where to go for information. This article on handbag.com/babybag was an interesting read for mums-to-be and this book sounds like it would be a good source of information whilst being a fun read for dads too.

Comedian Jason Manford last year wrote a touching blog on the subject of daddyhood, following negative posts he received on Facebook by some idiots. In short, the internet trolls said in response to the best wishes Jason sent to Gary Barlow and his wife when their daughter was sadly stillborn, that 'losing a child who hadn't been born wasn't as tough as losing a child who had lived properly'. Obviously this is a highly sensitive topic but the response Jason posted was beautifully written and hit the nail on the head. As well as covering the devastation of losing a child during pregnancy or otherwise (something my family has unfortunately experienced), Jason portrayed the feelings and emotions that dads go through from the moment they know their partner is expecting and I thoroughly recommend you read his blog as everyone can learn something from his story.

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