The mark on the stick was positive. You've been to the doctor, and it's been confirmed.
You are pregnant! Now it's time to tell friends and family.
The ladies will shed a few tears, give warm hugs and shower love and joy over the news. With the guys there will be fist-bumping, clanging of drink glasses and overall elation of the new dad's manhood.
Through the course of the pregnancy, mom is going to get a lot of attention, and rightly so. She has a big job. But don't guys, you have a huge role in the pregnancy as well.
Here is my be all, end all advice for dads to be – and also sure fire ways to earn major brownie points during the next nine months.
• Focus on your relationship. Your wife may feel insecure about the changes in her body. Make sure she knows how beautiful you think she is each and every day.
• Schedule as much one-on-one time as possible. Enjoy meals sans high chairs, and use cloth napkins. This is important because once baby comes, life will change.
• Women in stressful relationships are more likely to have postpartum depression. Don't be the cause of that stress. Understand pregnancy can result in a roller coaster of emotions – be patient with your partner.
• Attend childbirth education classes together. Just because you've seen it on TV doesn't make you an expert. These classes help dads understand what's happening and become more educated about their wife's body and the amazing accomplishment of delivery.
• Listen up on this one – sex is okay during pregnancy as long as there are no complications or reasons that it might not be appropriate. Be respectful of your partner's comfort level. After delivery, give her time to heal – we always recommend to wait six weeks.
• During labor and delivery you are and should be her biggest supporter. Delivery is a difficult, challenging and physical event. Be her champion.
• Also during labor and delivery, you are her advocate. Be educated on her birth plan, her wishes regarding medication, etc. This is important stuff to know because your partner may have trouble communicating her needs.
Through the years, I have seen guys who take their role very seriously and others who just want to cross the finish line so they can pop champagne and celebrate. Both types are perfectly okay because everyone is different.
But guys, get involved, whatever your comfort level may be. This is just the first step in the journey known as parenthood. Being an active participant reaps great benefits along the way.