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Are you going to be a dad? Congratulations! Of course you are excited, but most dads also feel a little (or a lot) insecure and lost.

You have a lot on your plate after all you need to get used to the idea that you are going to raise a child, help your partner through her pregnancy, and then there are the practical preparations. Here are our top tips for dads-to-be. 

Stop smoking

Your health was as important as your partner's while you were trying to conceive. Now that she is pregnant, your partner plays the largest role in protecting the baby's health. For pregnant moms, living a healthy life includes abstaining from unhealthy habits such as drinking alcohol and smoking, as well as eating well and exercising regularly. There is one thing you, as a dad, can do to keep that baby safe. If you smoke, stop. Smoking around your pregnant partner means she inhales second-hand smoke, which is nearly as bad for your baby as your partner smoking cigarettes herself. Being exposed to smoking causes all kinds of problems for a fetus. They can include a low birth weight, premature labor, stillbirth and lung problems later in life. We're sure you know that already, but it should be mentioned in case you didn't.

Ways to make your partner feel better

Pregnancy often seems to be all about the pregnant woman. She is, after all, the one who is pregnant. That's tough for expectant dads, because it may seem as if you are a mere spectator in an event that is going to change your life forever. Being there for your partner emotionally and in practical terms allows you to play a real part in the pregnancy, and will also make your partner feel so much better. What can you do? During my first pregnancy, I was determined to be as prepared as possible and to get everything right. I read a lot of books about pregnancy, birth and parenting, and connecting with other pregnant women on the internet. If that sounds familiar to you, you may be going a little crazy at the moment. You may feel as if you've lost your partner. The best way to deal with a pregnant woman's obsession with shopping, pregnancy, and parenting philosophies is to join her. Read stuff, or encourage your partner to stop reading stuff by talking to her about the things she's interested in. Research what baby gear you may need, and where to get it for the best price. Keep in mind that pregnancy symptoms can include extreme fatigue, mood swings, insomnia, and other things that make it more difficult to be organized in life. If your partner did most of the housework before pregnancy, now is the time to take over or hire a cleaning professional. Your partner will also appreciate it if you cook for her (especially if you indulge her pregnancy cravings!), massage her back, or bring her glasses of water.

Sex during pregnancy

Some men are more attracted to their partner than ever before during pregnancy, while others have trouble entertaining the thought of being intimate with their partner while there's a baby on board. Some women have a higher libido than ever before when they are expecting, but others don't feel like having much physical contact at all. No matter which combination applies to you two, one thing will always help when it comes to sex during pregnancy talk about your needs and listen you your partner's wishes. And remember that sex during pregnancy has no chance of harming the baby, unless your partner's bag of waters has already broken or there is a serious medical problem. If you both feel like it, pregnancy doesn't need to stop you at all.

Enjoy your relationship

Yes, your relationship will change forever after the baby is born. My husband and I used to go to the theater, the cinema, for dinner and on holidays we wanted to enjoy. We could stay up all night talking about the things that inspired us in life, rather than being up every few hours to nurse and change diapers. Marriage still rocks after kids, but very differently. You'll find your groove again after a while. But you'll change, and your partner will. So, be spontaneous and do the things childless couples can still enjoy together. See art, go to sports events, go out, and appreciate the fact you don't have to hire a babysitter or be worried about how your child's presence is going to affect the thing you're at. Do talk about life after pregnancy and how you're both envisaging parenting, household organization, work and finances, and everything else that comes to mind. Don't assume you both agree about life after the baby's there, just because you agree now.

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