Consumed by bouts of fear? See our list of most common fears explained.
As soon as you are told of your partner’s pregnancy, you will enter a new world. And unless you’re a qualified medical professional there will be a stack to learn as your involvement in the pregnancy and birthing process begins. For many men this is a time of great excitement but also a time of fear. Many fathers-to-be say they sometimes feel confused, sad, anxious and angry – which is perfectly natural.
Below are seven common fears expressed by fathers-to-be:
- Financial fear
- Mortality fears
- Fear for your partner or child’s health
- Relationship fears
- Fears of ‘pregnancy medicine’
- Performance fears
- Paternity fears / Am I the real father?
This is a very common concern for a lot of men and one that is deeply entrenched in our culture. Many men are worried that they will not be able to protect and provide for the family. In many cases, it will be a time of shifting from two salaries to one, a difficult burden in today’s world. There are also long term financial considerations for the family that are likely to be playing on your mind. Like all financial planning, decisions should be made to fit into budgets and be a practical as possible. Remember just about everyone worries about money!
The impending arrival of a baby may trigger thoughts about your mortality. It’s common at the beginning of a life to think about the end of a life. Apart from occasional thoughts about this issue, you will probably find you’re a little more cautious about risking your life in dangerous pursuits. If you’ve spent most of your life thinking you are immortal or invincible, this will be a big change.
Fear For Your Partner’s or Child’s Health
Childbirth is a nerve-wracking time and it’s common for your own mortality fears to extend to your partner and child to be. Frightening things can happen to the person you love most – you could lose your wife and have to bring up the baby yourself, or lose the baby. Just remember that childbirth isn’t as dangerous as it was even 30 years ago. Today, medical science offers a high level of safety for women giving birth and this should be a comfort.
Will she love the baby more than me? It is a more common fear if one does not fulfill one’s role during and after the pregnancy. If the mother is left with the sole responsibility of looking after the baby then it can sometimes lead to the situation when the father feels he has to ask permission to spend time with the baby. This can often be resolved by taking a full and active role during the pregnancy and afterwards.
Each parent brings different strengths to the relationship and it’s important to work out the dynamics so everyone in your family benefits.
Fears Of ‘Pregnancy Medicine’
Men are generally unfamiliar with the obstetrician or gynecological profession and can find it like a foreign language. Apart from not understanding it well, hospital examining rooms make many men feel uncomfortable.
Being prepared – making decisions before hand about the kind of care you want will help tremendously. Try and participate in the birth plan and ask questions when you’re not sure.
The great amount of information to process during a pregnancy is part of the purpose of the ninemonths.com.au site.
It’s very common for men to worry that they may be inadequate at handling their partner’s emotional changes. Furthermore, it’s natural to worry about not being able to perform when their partner is in labour.
During the first pregnancy in particular, chances are that you’ll see a side of your partner that you will have never seen before – no matter how close you are. Hormonal shifts will bring about strange emotions. But don’t forget it only lasts for nine months! Also, every woman reacts differently so there are no set rules. A word of advice is to be as sympathetic as you can – and don’t just blame it on the hormones. Pregnancy can be difficult for many medical reasons including increased weight, fatigue, digestive unease and circulatory problems.
Many men are afraid of passing out, throwing up, or feeling queasy when they see blood and bodily fluids during labour. The more you comprehend what is going on inside your partner the more prepared you will be. And the more you know the more you can assist in decisions that need to be made and actions that need to be taken.
Interestingly enough, research shows that while a lot of men expect to fall to pieces during the birth, very few do. If you really can’t stand blood, then it may be a good idea to step out of the delivery room. Also, talk about your fears with other fathers and see if you can work through them.
Am I The Real Father?
Surprisingly, this is not an uncommon question, which many men fleetingly ask. While the world is full of successful and unsuccessful paternity cases, caution is best when dealing with such a delicate topic.