All the attention falls upon the Mum-to-be and her baby bump when she’s pregnant. But what about the often-bewildered Dad-to-be? We come to his rescue with a list of what the Mr needs to know when the Mrs is expecting
So many men go into fatherhood clueless. Most girls have been preparing for the day she becomes a bride and then a mother since she was five years old. Boys, however, mostly busied themselves with toys, games and later, chasing skirts. Often with little inkling of what comes after they win the hearts of the belles wearing those skirts!
So ladies, please share this Dad-to-be ‘survival kit’ with your beloved, so that he is better prepared to understand and support your shared journey towards parenthood. Men, you can thank us later!
From Sweetheart to Basket Case
Once the notion that you will be parents in about nine months’ time has settled in, the very first thing that you should know is that she is about to become a raging hormone monster. It varies from woman to woman, but all pregnancies involve crazy levels of hormone fluctuations. As a result, MOOD SWINGS! Pure joy one minute can turn into buckets of tears the next, followed by hell hath no fury…you get the idea. Mood swings are most common during the first and third trimesters. Just hang in there, be extra understanding, and don’t hold the crazy things she says against her. You should have your darling wife back to normal soon.
To Eat or Not to Eat
Wait, you come home with her (usually) favourite snack and she throws it down the chute? It gets better. Next thing you know, she’ll have you traipsing across the island to hunt down a packet of oyster omelette or tau huay (soybean pudding). At 2am in the morning, no less! Yes, her appetite, food cravings and aversions may be just as volatile as her moods. While there may really be no explanation for this one, some believe that it’s the body’s way of calling for certain nutrients. But when some mums-to-be crave the smell of petrol and shoe polish, it’s definitely debatable! Again, be patient and keep a list of food stalls that stay open 24/7!
An important duty for any Dad-to-be through the next nine months is to accompany her to a series of doctor’s appointments. There are regular prenatal check-ups to ensure that both Mum and Bub are doing well. She will also require various blood tests and ultrasound scans, and will need you to hold her hand through it all. She may also sign up for prenatal classes to help prepare her for birth and teach her how to care for a newborn. It would be good for you to participate in those. Do your best to fit your schedule around all her appointments and you should do just fine.
Baby-on-the-way Prep List
There’s loads to do during the nine months to get your home – and life – ready for Baby. For instance, decorating and furnishing the nursery (or what used to be your man cave). After choosing the paint or wallpaper, you’ll need to purchase big ticket items like a crib and stroller. Then there are clothes, a bath tub, toiletries, milk powder and diapers? Get Mum’s hospital bag ready by the third trimester too. Remember that you may not always have time to run out and buy something you forgot. So Dad-to-be, consider this the first test of your parenting abilities – no pressure!
Baby Poop Arsenal
Once Baby comes along, the learning curve will be steep – prepare for much poop and little sleep in your near future. Here’s a gentle heads-up: Baby poop really, really, really STINKS and STAINS and goes ALL OVER THE PLACE. Diapers and baby wet wipes may be enough for Baby, but you may want to stock up on your biological warfare kit. We recommend N95 masks, disposable gloves, protective goggles (especially if you’re having a boy – yes, they spray, you pray), an “I Am Your Father” apron and fabric refresher spray.
On a more serious note, parenthood is truly a huge responsibility. Taking on the job of bringing up a child to the best of your ability also requires you to be financially prepared for everything that comes with it. Many of us budget for daily expenses, childcare and school fees, some even thinking as far as university education. And while we never want to think about having an unhealthy child, we have to be prepared for rainy days as well. What if Baby needs attention in the NICU? If Baby has a birth defect that requires surgery, can you afford the medical bills? It’s important to research and purchase suitable insurance coverage for your newborn and family now, if only for your own peace of mind.
AIA Baby Care is a unique plan that pays a daily hospitalisation benefit ($500 per day) in the event that your newborn is admitted to the neonatal ICU due to any of the listed 20 congenital illnesses in the first year of life. What’s unique about it is that no underwriting is required. You will automatically receive complimentary Baby Care coverage upon signing up for your maternity package at participating hospitals here – yes, it’s free!
Even better, AIA Baby Care plan complements MediShield Life, meaning parents can benefit from both AIA Baby Care and MediShield Life in terms of bill coverage. At the same time, your entire family gets personal accident coverage for a year with AIA Family Care, at no additional cost!
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