Fathers: The Second Trimester
by Robert G. Rodriguez
the second trimester you will have a chance to hear your baby's
heartbeat and possibly see your baby through ultra sound. These
experiences usually bring a heightened sense of reality...we are
really going to have a baby!
our society we tend to value men's financial contributions to our
families more than our emotional contributions. It is understandable
then why concerns over money or financial security become the focus
of many expectant fathers. It may also become an acceptable "male"
way of expressing concern for your partner and unborn child. It
is usual to begin to think about how your finance will be changed
by having a baby, but if you become preoccupied with money concerns,
something deeper may be troubling you. If you feel that dealing
with "the money" is all your responsibility it may be
touching on deeper issues of competency or security. It is important
in this second trimester to discuss your finances with your partner
but also to keep them in perspective. Developing a little "tolerance
for uncertainty" is a useful skill both in pregnancy and parenthood.
expectant dads report that during the second trimester there is
a change in the sexuality with their partners. Each expectant mom
will respond differently to the hormonal changes her body is going
through. For some women it pregnancy can intensify their sexual
arousal, while for others it appears to diminish it. As a father-to-be
it is important to see that in this second trimester many of your
partner's responses may be driven by the changes her body and hormones
are putting her through. At this point in the pregnancy you may
begin to feel concerned about how your relationship with your partner
is fluctuating. You may begin to notice how the routines you have
taken for granted are changing.
often share basic routines around meals, leisure time and household
chores. A simple habit, like a Sunday morning breakfast may no longer
be desirable to your partner if she has morning sickness. If you
both use to enjoy going out weekend evenings and now she feels too
fatigued, how are you going to respond? You may feel disappointed
to discover the partner you felt you knew and understood and depended
upon is not quite the same person.
couple experiences these changes differently. Try and talk with
your partner about the changes your feel the relationship is going.
Try and be understanding with each other about all the happiness,
guilt, anticipation, ambivalence and frustration that is now going
on in your lives. Establishing a pattern of "open communication"
with your partner at this time in the pregnancy will allow the both
of you to move toward the birth in a more supportive and positive
are here are a few practical tips that pregnant dads have shared
with me during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy.
Start to take-on more of the chores around your house or apartment.
Let your partner know she is going to be a great mom.
Let your wife know that you and her can talk about both the positive
and negatives about being pregnant.
Talk with two other new fathers about how they are feeling as parents.
Begin to visualize your life with a son or daughter. Picture you,
your partner, and your child as a family, doing things together.
for a walk with a friend who will listen to you talk about how you
about being a "pregnant dad."
Remember that you'll be experiencing different anxieties, wishes
and fantasies as your relationship to your partner begins to change.
Support the change and know that all expectant dads experience this
same sense of new territory.
Rodriquez, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a psychologist and research expert
with over 30 years experience working with expectant couples. Dr.
Rodriguez is available for conference speaking engagements, seminar
presentations, and training sessions, including Continuing Educations
Unit programs. For more information, visit: www.DrDad.info