Becoming a Father: How You Might Feel and What You Can Do

Couple ready to be parents

Fathers can have many feelings about pregnancy and being a parent. You may find that your feelings are sometimes very mixed. Your feelings may also change as the pregnancy ends and the baby’s birth gets closer. It is normal to have questions about becoming a father. You are not the only man who feels this way. The things you worry about and the feelings you have may not be the same as someone else’s, but they are normal.

How You Might Feel

  • Excited, proud, and full of hope.
  • Concerned about your partner, wanting to protect her. Is she sick? Will she be okay? What can you do to help?
  • Wanting to protect the baby. Feeling love for the baby. This may happen after the baby becomes real to you for example when you feel the baby kicking or hear the baby’s heartbeat. You may find yourself wondering what it will be like to be a father. You may also worry about whether you will be a good father who can take care of the baby.
  • Concerned about practical things. Will there be enough money? Do you need a bigger place to live? A bigger car?
  • Worried about how your life will change. Will your relationship with your partner change? Will your partner focus so much on the baby that she won’t have time for you? Will she love the baby more than she loves you? Are you selfish for even thinking about this?
  • Concerned about sex. Will having sex hurt your partner or the baby? Is it okay to still want sex? Is it okay not to want it?

What You Can Do

  • Talk about how you feel. Your partner is the best person to talk to. Share your joy and excitement as well as your worry and concern. Listen when your partner talks about her feelings. Talk about the kind of father you hope to be.
  • Read and learn about pregnancy and birth. You might go with your partner to one of her visits to the doctor. Meet the doctor. Ask the questions that you have been thinking about. Listen to your baby’s heartbeat.
  • Make plans together. Plan for the birth. Decide how you will feed the baby. Breastfeeding is best, and your partner needs to know you will support her if she decides to breastfeed. There are many benefits of breastfeeding. Deciding to Breastfeed, for more details. Talk about how you will divide the work, responsibility, and fun of a new baby.

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