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Couple and pregnancy

9 months to become … father!

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The nine months of pregnancy serve the future dad to prepare for the changes of role and priorities, and for the transformations of personal, couple and family balance that the birth of a baby brings.

During pregnancy, the man also lives a storm of new and intense sensations. Man’s emotions about birth are often not recognized or valued, first and foremost by the same man, who tends to deny them and is not accustomed to expressing them. And then, for society, which often places the sphere of feelings outside the area of ​​male interests. Welcoming one’s emotions and sharing them with the partner is an important step for a better understanding of the couple.

The experience of men and women during pregnancy is very different from each other. During those nine months, the future mother has a visceral and exclusive relationship with the baby that is growing inside her. The bond is greater and more immediate concerning that of the future father who, therefore, and especially in the first period of pregnancy, may seem more “cold” than his partner. Talking about it is the only way to prevent misunderstandings or disappointments, and to meet the needs and expectations of the partner.

This also applies to the level of sexuality. The man may feel a little inhibited by the maternity of his partner and his excitement could be misunderstood by her, who is afraid of not liking her. Or, on the contrary, the intense attraction he feels towards the pregnant couple may not be reciprocated as he wishes. Dialogue and debate are the only keys to understanding.

Also, it must be said that each man can also experience doubts and fears in the face of an event as important as the birth of a child. Some wonder what life will be like “after”, how their relationship with their partner will change, or who thinks again about the son he was and wonders about the type of father he will become. Participating in a childbirth preparation course is a good opportunity to meet other future parents, discover that certain questions are normal and, thus, feel more aware of their feelings.

Get informed and participate

To be next to the pregnant woman and live fully the experience that is the arrival of a child, the man must be informed about the dynamics of pregnancy, possible physical discomfort (nausea, tiredness, back pain, etc.) and of the particular emotional state of your partner. Everything the future mom knows, the future dad also has to know: how the start of labor is recognized, how to manage the breakage of the waters, how to handle possible emergencies, etc. For this, it may also be helpful to participate in the childbirth preparation course.

Another valid suggestion for all prospective parents is to participate as much as possible in the important moments of pregnancy (for example, ultrasound controls). The future father must be aware of the fact that wherever he leaves a space, there will be someone else (the mother-in-law, a relative, a friend) who occupies it. In this way, however, a door opens to a series of external interferences that are not easy to stop afterward. It is better to become accustomed, since pregnancy, to train in the role of father and to live as a couple everything that concerns the child they have in common.

Being in the delivery room: yes or no?

Once the first months of pregnancy have passed, childbirth becomes one of the main thoughts for future parents. On the other hand, the experience of childbirth represents a fundamental stage in the life of the couple; but is it necessary that they live it together?

Historically, man has always been excluded from the event. In recent decades, the situation has changed and men and women can share the emotions of childbirth. However, care must be taken: the presence of the father in the delivery room must be the result of an election and not an imposition. The man should not feel compelled to be next to the woman just because that is how it is done today; and vice versa: the woman should not feel obliged to have her partner next to her if she feels more comfortable with someone else nearby.

What if the wishes of future parents do not correspond? What if the woman wants her partner to be with her in the delivery room and he prefers to wait outside? In this case, the first important mediation will take place in a couple of parents: the important thing is that each election is the result of open and calm dialogue and that the dialogue between the couple never diminishes or disappears.

Maternity leave and paternity leave

Also in Spain, men who become parents can enjoy special permit of work for the birth of your child. The man has the right to a paternity leave consisting of 2 days (the day of delivery and the day immediately after) and, for a few years, he has the right to 13 more days, which can be taken after the original 2 days or later, within the following 16 weeks (the same as the mother’s maternity leave). Also, if both parents work, it can be either that is taken these 16 weeks, although not both. If the couple decided that it was the father who took the 16 weeks off due to the arrival of the baby, the mother could also enjoy 4 weeks of mandatory leave immediately after birth.

In other countries, there is also mandatory paternity leave. This is the case in Sweden, where the father is entitled to 30 days of paid leave; or from France, which guarantees 11.

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Couple and pregnancy

Being a single mother

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It is not a simple experience, and you have to have a lot of confidence in yourself and a good dose of courage.
Also to ask for help. We offer you some tips to face this situation as well as possible.
Face motherhood when you are alone because for any reason,

the future dad will not share this experience with you, it is a situation in which the future mom must fully develop her potential and demonstrate all her strength and determination.

The test has been positive: what do I do now?

When it comes to an unexpected pregnancy, the emotions are very strong and contradictory.

It is appropriate not to be in a hurry and possibly not be discouraged by the situation. Facing motherhood without a partner is not easy, but it is possible, especially if the future mother does not isolate herself and seeks support in the family and loved ones.

The objective is to live the best possible months of waiting, adapting our life to the new circumstance and accepting it little by little.

The difficult moments, when the absence of the father is most noticeable, will not be missing, but, concentrating on the baby and the joy of being a mother, the woman can make this experience an opportunity to grow and strengthen her character, discovering, to Sometimes, it has unexpected resources.

Ultrasound: alone or accompanied?

In the gynecologist’s waiting room, all moms are there with their partners by their side: a very pretty image that can hurt a woman who, instead, is living alone these moments.

The first ultrasound is an important appointment for all future moms and represents a special occasion because it allows eye contact with the baby.

If the thought of going alone to have these controls or exams is painful, we can ask a family member or friend to accompany us, or even our midwife.

Other reference figures

Creating a potential support network is essential. If the couple is not there, there may be other important reference figures.

It is not about replacing the father, but not being alone when facing the different stages of pregnancy and motherhood.

This may be the perfect occasion to discover, surprisingly, that someone is willing to offer us your help.

When a situation of great difficulty arises, the most frequent reactions are either “leaking” (from people who, as they do not know what to do, prefer to move away) or from great support (from people who do everything possible to offer to the future mom all the help and encouragement she needs).

Labor: how to organize

Without a doubt, the first periods of childbirth are very hard for everyone. The future mother has to face fatigue, a peculiar hormonal situation and thousands of doubts and uncertainties.

Also at this stage, the advice is the same: avoid isolating yourself and asking others for help.

It is appropriate, for example, to participate in a childbirth preparation course to talk with other moms who have the same doubts and difficulties.

The information and suggestions received here will help to face the first months with the baby.

Each woman can decide whether to share her experience as a single mother with the other mothers. If you don’t feel prepared, you don’t need to tell your own story.

To “protect” the need for privacy, you can ask the staff for help. In the case where the experience is preferred, the moments with the support group can offer a valuable space for assimilation and reworking of the situation.

If these initiatives do not exist in your city, you can look for situations to meet other moms, for example, by going to the park or by contacting a mother in the birth preparation course.

If the negative feelings and melancholy become too strong, rather than the joy of motherhood, it is better not to wait and ask for help without hesitation, if necessary also by going to a psychologist.

In case of economic problems

Many times, one of the problems that the single mother must face is the economic situation, which can be a source of stress and worry.

It is important to inform yourself through the institutions about the aids and facilities provided for single moms.

The discrimination of the single mother?

In Spain, almost 400,000 women are single mothers and more than 80,000 families are single parents. However, single parents have virtually no social or fiscal assistance.

One in five women who attend an assisted reproduction clinic does so without a partner.

Despite this increase in the number of mothers without a partner and the number of single-parent families, this family model is one of the most discriminated by social and fiscal policies.

In general, the single-parent family:

– It does not opt ​​for equal adoption to national adoption.

– Women without a partner are not admitted in all autonomous communities in public health to opt for fertility treatment.

– There is a specific “reduction by joint declaration” that is applied on the tax base of what the tax identifies as a “family unit”.

This reduction is higher for biparental families (3,400 euros) than for single parents (2,150 euros).

– There is discrimination between autonomous communities.

– While some contemplate the single-parent family card, give specific help to single mothers or support social security treatments, among others, others obviate that there are single-parent families.

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Couple and pregnancy

How does dad live the pregnancy

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During pregnancy dad’s anxieties and expectations go to the background, but he also lives it in a very special way.
We explain how!

When talking about pregnancy, the undisputed protagonist is the future mother: it is with her that the baby creates a unique and special relationship, thanks to a symbiosis that, for a time, is physical and emotional.

But what does it mean to wait for a baby for a man? What emotions, fears, and reflections do you expect in him? Here are the psychological mechanisms that characterize the gestation of the future father.

The test is positive!

The discovery that there is a baby on the way triggers intense reactions, whether the pregnancy is unexpected or has been desired for a long time. In most cases, the future dad imagines what this son will be like, who represents the best part of himself. However, for women, psychological transformations go hand in hand with physiological ones and the creation of a relationship with the baby that grows inside her happens naturally. For man, a little more commitment and effort are necessary.

In fact, after the excitement and emotions of the first moment, many men tend to continue their daily life without concentrating especially on pregnancy and leave for another time, when childbirth is imminent or has already happened, reflection on their role. Some men turn their attention to more practical and organizational aspects, linked to the future birth or eventual elections in the professional field, organizing their work activities to ensure greater income for their family.

(You are interested: Parents also get fat in pregnancy )

Time to reflect

Waiting for a son leads the man to rethink his relationship with his father on a recessive journey, not always easy, between feelings and episodes of his youth and childhood. However, things have changed a lot from his father’s generation to his. For a time, the son represented the continuation of the lineage and the father, the authority. Today, these roles have been overcome and men have a hard time imagining the father they will be.

It is important to keep in mind that the future father is physically excluded from the privileged relationship that binds the mother and the baby and, for this reason, it is useful that the woman makes him a participant and that he is prepared to participate.

The proximity of the father is important for the future mother, who, thanks to her presence, lives the pregnancy with more serenity. At the same time, it is also a very valuable opportunity for the man, who, little by little, learns to meet his developing baby. For this, the first movements of the baby are helpful, that the future dad can feel posing his hand on his belly. Very soon, the baby will learn to recognize the father’s voice and interact with him, responding to dad’s greeting and caresses with a series of kicks and pirouettes.

The feeling of being excluded

A common experience for many future parents is the feeling of being excluded. The general attention revolves around the future mother, her needs, her physical and emotional feelings. About the father and what he experiences, we care little. However, man can also feel the need to give voice to his fears and the emotions that fatherhood awakens in him.

The woman, in general, has many people around her (family, friends, midwives, etc.), but the risk is that this community makes the man feel even more excluded. Instead, pregnancy may be the ideal occasion to create a privileged space for dialogue in the couple: if the woman makes her a participant in the experience she is living, trusting her emotions, a communication channel will be opened that will allow her to meet and feel closer to each other, before and after the baby is born.

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Couple and pregnancy

‘Babymoon’, the last getaway before giving birth

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The “Babymoon” or “babymoon” is the latest trend in travel arriving from the United States.

It consists of making the last couple getaway before giving birth and becoming parents. But how should this trip be? We explain it to you.

Arrived from the United States, a country where it has been practiced for years, the Babymoon is the coolest trend in a couple of travel. This is something like the last whim the couple gives before the baby is born. During the first months of pregnancy, it is very likely that both the future mother and the future father resent in relation to the love and sex life for the changes involved in the pregnancyIn order to charge batteries, rekindle the flame of passion and return romanticism in the couple,  the Americans began to make romantic getaways before the baby was born. Today, it is a common practice in the United States and the latest fashion in Spain.

More and more hotels and resorts offer services tailored to the couple: romantic dinners, relaxing treatments, yoga classes and services adapted to the pregnant woman. Specialists advise packing during the second trimester of pregnancy, as it is the time when the future mother has more energy, has passed the discomforts of the first weeks and has not yet taken so much weight to get too tired.

What destination to choose?

Many couples opt for a rest plan, appropriate to the future mom, but others prefer to make more cultural trips and trips. In fact, this choice is ideal for the more adventurous couples who like to travel to distant countries, visit museums and exhibitions or take a road trip. All these options will be tired and difficult to perform with the arrival of the baby, so it is a good idea to choose this type of trip as Babymoon.

When choosing the destination, some basic guidelines should be taken into account, such as choosing countries with medical and political security, that are not too exotic and that do not require flights that are too long or that include adventure plans. In any case, it is advisable to carry good medical insurance and the guarantee of knowing that there is a good hospital system in the area.

Some couples choose to make trips away from home, such as a road trip along the West Coast of the United States, from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Others choose closer destinations, such as a drive through the beaches of northern Spain or escape to the Balearic Islands to enjoy the sun and rest for an agrotourism. Whatever the choice, the important thing is to enjoy romantic couple days, making the most of these last moments alone before the long-awaited arrival of the baby.

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