Last Reviewed: April 2017
Important signs to watch for if you are pregnant
- Bad cramps or stomach pains that don't go away.
- Bleeding or a trickle or gush of fluid from your vagina.
- Lower back pain/pressure or change in lower back pain.
- A feeling that the baby is pushing down.
- Contractions or change in the strength or number of them.
- An increase in the amount of vaginal discharge.
- Fever, chills, dizziness, vomiting or a bad headache.
- Blurry vision or spots before your eyes.
- Sudden or severe swelling of your feet, hand or face.
- A significant change in your baby's movements.
Go to a hospital right away and contact your doctor/midwife if you have any of these symptoms.
Adapted with permission from:
Best Start: Ontario's Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre
Just for Dads
Pregnancy & dads
So you are going to be a dad...
Do you think you have what it takes to be a great dad? Well, you are off to a great start! The fact that you are looking for information on fathering means you care enough about your new role and want to learn how to be the best father you can be.
Your role as a father begins during pregnancy. Your involvement is important during pregnancy, birth and throughout the life of your child.
Research shows that being an involved father has a positive impact on a child’s overall health. An involved, responsible and dedicated father is critical to the development of his children. Children with involved fathers are socially and emotionally more healthy. They also tend to do better in school.
Benefits for children:
- Improved self-esteem. Children feel better about themselves and see themselves in a positive way.
- Increased emotional well-being which allows children to build trusting relationships with others
- Increased learning abilities, contributing to success in school
- Improved readiness to learn as these children tend to be more ready to explore
- Increased social skills and fewer behavioural problems
- More opportunities to experience success
Benefits for dads:
- Increased self-confidence as a parent
- Increased understanding of child development and milestones
- Closer bond with child
Below are some ways you can be involved in your child's life.
- Go with your partner to see her doctor/midwife
- Become informed by reading and asking questions related to pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding
- Attend prenatal classes with your partner. There is a lot of information to know
- Discuss issues/concerns related to your new role as parents
- Help with planning for the arrival of your baby
- Discuss how having a baby will impact your finances and work flexibility
- Start to think about your future child-care needs. There are many child-care options available. Some may have wait lists
- Be healthy together. This includes eating healthy meals and being physically active
- Support and comfort your partner during labour. You can learn about comfort measures by attending prenatal classes
- During labour, praise and encourage your partner
- Learn what pain relief options are available during the birthing process
- Support your breastfeeding partner. Bring the baby to her, change the baby's diaper and help with burping. Go to a breastfeeding clinic with your partner
- Spend time and get to know your baby
- Hold, touch and cuddle your baby
- Bathe your baby
- Talk and sing to your baby
- When home from the hospital, help with meal preparation, laundry and cleaning
- Get to know other fathers by attending parenting programs and play groups
- Make time for yourselves as a couple. Find someone you trust to watch the baby and have fun!
Adapted from “The Father Toolkit’” with permission from the National Project Fund on Fathering.
For more information:
Region of Peel-Public Health
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216
To speak to a Public Health Nurse
Just for Dads - Baby's First Year
This Peel Public Health site offers tips for fathering during baby's first year
Dad Central Ontario
National Centre for Fathering
Boot Camp for Dads