Before The Birth

Preparation for the big day

I suggest that you, as a father to be, do some preparation in advance of the big day. It may seem like a long way away, but it comes up so fast – you’ll probably realise the due date is only a few weeks away before you even know it. Perhaps you’re working a full time job too, in which case you’ll suddenly realise that you’ve no idea what to do and you’re already on the way to the hospital!

Here is what I suggest you do, at least a month before the due date:

  1. Get your paternity leave sorted out. In the UK, you have two weeks of statutory paternity leave and I really suggest you take advantage of this. Here is some information about your leave entitlement. Two weeks, by the way, wasn’t enough for me. I wish I had booked at least another week of leave (I took my paternity leave immediately after baby was born).
  2. Read at least one book – as much to show you’re interested as for your information. You may find it helpful, I did, or you may find it all goes out of the window when your baby is actually on its way. But you tried! I read this book, and thought it was pretty good: Men, Love & Birth by Mark Harris.
  3. Go to a pre-natal class or classes. This class will probably be more beneficial to your partner, but you can show support by going. You will also likely get a chance to play with nappies, if you haven’t done it before this will probably be useful. It also gives you an idea of what to expect and how you might support your partner through the process.

Note that I don’t say “decorate the nursery” or “buy a pram” or anything. These are things you might like to take care of, but regarding the nursery – it’s recommended that baby sleeps in your bedroom to begin with. Also, at this stage baby doesn’t care what shade of yellow her future bedroom will be. If you have the opportunity or you think it’s necessary, great, but I think you’ll also get a chance to do these things further down the line.