As the third trimester begins the idea of the baby becomes a much more real one instead of one in the abstract. You may now begin to wonder what you will be like as a father. Will you be able to meet the expectations you have from yourself?
If you have been actively involved with all the stages of pregnancy from the beginning, you will probably be a little more confident than otherwise. Even if you have not been around as much as you would have liked to, you can now plan to do so. With the third trimester, the mother begins to tire out more easily than before. The baby gains weight significantly during this trimester and so this time may be an uncomfortable one for the mother. She may need to rest more, and be unable to do as much as she could during the second trimester. You can share the house work with her at this time.
The role of the father has changed more over the last few decades than that of the mother. The father today is much more involved in the day to day childcare duties than they were before. Speaking to your friends or colleagues who are fathers and have been through the ordeals of childbirth with their partners will give you a good idea of what to look forward to and what the days ahead will be like.
If you have been taking prenatal classes with your partner, then you have a good idea of what to expect during the birth. You can both start preparing to experience this together. Visits to the doctor are more frequent during the third trimester. Familiarise yourself with the plans as they are being made. You will be supporting your partner by doing this as well as building a rapport with the people who will be working with you during the birth. Discuss your role during the labour and go through the exercises taught in the pre-natal classes together.
It is a good idea to take dry runs to the hospital from your home at various times of the day to estimate the time that it takes to reach there so that when labour begins you would have done it a few times and are sure of the best route to take.
If your office has paternity leave policy, inform them of the expected birth date early so that you can train someone to take on your work during your leave. If there is no paternity leave in your office, then apply for leave in advance around the expected date.
Not only is childbirth a physical trauma for the mother, but it is also a period of psychological trauma for both partners. Do discuss any concerns that you may have with your partner as well as the medical staff ahead of time ,so that you know what to expect. Support your partner and work with her and the doctors so that you both come out together at the end and have a memorable experience of the birth of your child.