DEAR MR. DAD: My pregnant wife has been bugging me to go to all her doctor’s appointments. I want to be an involved dad but I can’t see any real reason for me to go. Can’t I just find out what I need to know by reading books?

Answer:
Most guys – unless they’re hypochondriacs – don’t look forward to seeing a doctor. And seeing someone else’s doctor is even farther down their list of fun ways to spend a few hours. But going to your wife’s medical appointments is really important.

Here’s why:

• It’ll help you be a better dad once your baby is born. Guys who get involved early and stay that way right to the end have been shown to be as connected with their babies as their expectant wives are.

• It’s a great opportunity to ask a lot of questions and about exactly what’s going on with your growing baby. Sure, you’ll be bored out of your mind some of the time, and yes, you may be able to find some answers by reading a few books, but being there will take you from being a spectator to a participant in the whole process.

• Going to the OB will go a long way toward demystifying the process and making it more real. Hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time (in about the third month), and seeing his or her tiny body squirm on an ultrasound screen (in about the fifth month) are experiences that words on a page simply can’t describe. You just have to be there.

• As time goes on, your wife will get increasingly dependent on you and she’ll need tangible evidence that you love her and that you’re really going to be there for her. Going to see her OB together isn’t as romantic as a candlelit dinner and dancing under the stars, but it’s still an ideal way to show her how committed you are and to remind her that she’s not going to be alone.

• Finally, the more appointments you go to, the more seriously the OB and his or her staff will take you and the more they’ll support you in your efforts to stay involved.

Armin Brott is the author of many best-selling books on fatherhood. His new DVD, “Toolbox for New Dads,” has recently been released. Find resources for fathers at www.mrdad.com or by e-mailing [email protected] Try DaddyCast, his new, twice-weekly podcast (http://www.mrdad.com/daddycast).


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