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Spare part parent

Since my wife got pregnant she's suffered from morning sickness and a few other problems, and I know she's scared about the birth, but I don't know what to do to help.I feel like a bit of a spare part watching her go through things I can't really understand – it's like everything is happening without me.I'd like to be there for her, but she doesn't seem to need me.

It's easy for fathers to feel sidelined during pregnancy. It isn't you who develops weird food cravings, after all, and nobody stops to pat your belly and ask how things are going. At the same time you're on the same emotional rollercoaster as your wife. With this in mind, you can ride it together.

Only one of you may be getting all the attention, but if you haven't opened up to your wife then she could be feeling quite lonely. Even if it seems like you're a spare part in this pregnancy, chances are a conversation will tell you otherwise. There's no shame in letting her know that you're feeling left out, so long as you're prepared to get more involved.

If she's feeling uncertain about the birth, for example, then take steps together to speak to your doctor or midwife. Find out what lies ahead and ask any questions you may have. What's more, should you intend to be present when the baby arrives then you'll be playing a vital role in terms of emotional support. Don't be the dad who dodges the delivery room moment. Get up to speed now and you can only help ease your wife's anxieties as well as your own.

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