Expectant fathers are always full of questions, especially when it’s their first child. We asked a dad who is expecting his first child for his 5 most pressing concerns. Here are his questions:
1. At what point in the pregnancy should we assume that the baby can be born at any time?
A baby is considered term once it reaches 37 weeks or 3 weeks before the due date. Most babies born after 36 weeks are considered ”safe” in that the majority will be able to breath without respiratory support, will be able to maintain their body temperature and will be able to eat and suck well. Babies born earlier than 36 weeks may have issues with these and require admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
2. What are the chances that we won’t get to the hospital in time and I’ll have to play MacGyver and deliver the baby on my own?
Most parents fear that they will not be able to make it to the hospital in time for the baby to deliver. This fear comes out of Hollywood’s representation that in most deliveries the water breaks and the baby is ready to come out 15 minutes later. While it is true that some women have very rapid deliveries the majority of women are not so lucky. For first time mothers the average labor is around 24 hours and for second time babies around 12 hours. Definitely plan to make your way to the hospital when the 5-1-1 rule applies, contractions 5 minutes apart, 1 minute in duration and this lasting for 1 hour. However, you do not have to run red lights or have a police escort in the majority of cases.
3. Is there anything specific food-wise or activity-wise that my wife should avoid in the last 2 months of her pregnancy?
Even in the last two months there is little that the expectant mom needs to avoid. She can continue to exercise and have intercourse as long as she doesn’t have conditions such as: placenta previa, preterm labor or preeclampsia. As far as food goes, the same food restrictions at the beginning of the pregnancy should be followed.
4. What are the most important things I should remove from the house for the safety and health of my wife and unborn baby?
There is really nothing in the house that can affect the pregnant mother or unborn child. If there are chemicals, paints or cleaning agents just keep them closed tight, but nothing has to be taken out of the house.
5. My wife and I are receiving all sorts of baby gadgets and clothes. Are there any products that aren’t safe and we should avoid using altogether? It’s hard to tell if something isn’t safe when you’ve never seen or used this stuff before.
Most baby gadgets are safe and the newborn baby will not require much until it is mobile. However: cute comforters, pillows, stuffed animals, blankets should be kept out of the baby’s crib and bassinet because they can smother the baby.