The first and foremost of the father’s responsibilities during pregnancy is to be present. According to (then) Senator Barak Obama in his infamous Fatherhood Speech at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, “children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit a crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools, and twenty times more likely to end up in prison.” Those are not good odds! If you made the baby, your first job is to be there for the child – not just during the pregnancy, but for the formative years of his life.
While the mother is pregnant, you cannot continue to blow secondhand smoke into the lungs of the mother, and therefore to the baby. It’s not fair. The American Lung Association clearly says that secondhand smoke can damage the baby, too.
And you can’t continue to be addicted to drugs or alcohol. Of course, you can rightfully say that what goes through your bloodstream does not go through the baby’s bloodstream. However, your actions affect the mother. If your addiction causes her stress, anxiety, fear, or anger, all of those emotions affect the baby.
Your actions are a major contributor to the emotions of the mother. The second most important of the father’s responsibilities during pregnancy is to provide a healthy, secure environment for the mother, in order to provide a healthy, secure environment for the child. You should do whatever it takes (legally) to provide for the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of the mother. Obviously, tobacco, drugs, and alcohol are not in her best interest, so you must quit or reduce your consumption around her for the sake of the baby. You should encourage her to eat good food and share those foods with her, to make it easier for her to follow the plan. You should not subject her to mental, emotional, or spiritual duress by doing things to upset her – whether that be yelling at her or cheating on her. You must take extra care not to do anything that will cause a flood of negative emotions to surround your baby.
Face it, her hormones will be raging enough due to the pregnancy. She will barrage you with a constant series of illogical requests (actually demands) due to cravings for specific foods, bouts with loneliness and depression, and the actual physical pain and discomfort of carrying the baby. Why push this emotional strain on the both of you to another level by being a jerk?
As a father, you can no longer be concerned about your own needs and desires first. You cannot even be primarily concerned with the needs of your wife. You now have to consider the baby’s needs first, your wife’s second because what happens to her happens to the baby, and that leaves your needs and desires in third place. That’s how being a man is different from being a boy.
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