While most of our blogs are geared towards both genders, or expecting mothers, this one is specifically for men whose partners are pregnant.
There is no feeling like the one you get when you hear your partner say “I’m pregnant.” Undeniably, this changes things! Whether this pregnancy was planned or unexpected, your world has just taken a new turn.
Those two little words may bring a flurry of emotions and thoughts to your mind. Will I be able to provide financially? How will we tell people? Am I even ready to be a dad? Questions like this—and many others—are normal. It’s normal to be excited, worried, anxious, happy, and doubtful; no two people experience this news exactly the same.
Pregnancy is uniquely different for men than it is for women (for obvious reasons), yet each partner is equally responsible, because each partner’s involvement helped create the situation. It may be confusing or even frustrating for the father to understand that legally the woman has the right to choose whether she will carry the baby to term or seek an abortion without needing his consent. However, that doesn’t mean fathers don’t have choices. In fact, their involvement is crucial.
The significance of fatherhood is something that is well documented. Statistics show that children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity. However, statistics also show that over of 1/4th of US children live in a home without their father. When a child is raised in a father-absent home, they are:
- 4x more likely to live in poverty.
- 7x more likely to become a teen parent.
- Twice as likely to drop out of high school.
- More likely to commit a crime, go to prison, abuse drugs and alcohol, and have behavioral issues.
If you had a supportive father and a great relationship with him, you know the positive impact that can make. If you had an absent or abusive father, you know the damage that can leave.
You have to ask yourself—what kind of choices am I going to make as a father? And alongside of that, what kind of choices am I going to make as a partner?
- Will you choose to be an active participant in this pregnancy?
- Will you choose to pressure your partner into an abortion?
- Will you choose to “opt out,” and say that it’s up to her, when that really just abandons her to make a big decision all on her own?
- Will you choose to educate yourself on the options so that you can help your partner process the decisions ahead?
- Will you choose to keep your opinion to yourself, or will you choose to express your feelings about the situation in an honest and healthy way?
- Will you choose to try to face this on your own or will you accept the help that is available to you and your partner, and encourage her to get the medical care that she needs?
These are questions that need not only to be asked, but to be answered. Only YOU can choose what kind of father and partner you will be, but you don’t have to face these things alone. Here at Choices Medical, we can offer medical services and support to your pregnant partner, but we can also offer them to YOU.
Choices is a safe place to think and talk through what the future holds for you and your partner (with one of our trained male advocates), and be educated on what your options are while empowering you to make a healthy choice. We care about you, and we want to support and celebrate your fatherhood!
Resource available upon request.