They may not be going through the same physical changes, but dads-to-be have their own pregnancy and parenthood journeys too. Here, UAE-based fathers share tips and insights they’ve gleaned from their own experiences to help other Dads-to-be…

Simon & Roo

Simon Greenhalgh is husband to Hannah and father to Roo, 11 weeks

Simon and Roo

 

The biggest surprise about pregnancy was…

“How amazing a woman’s body is. The way it is built to change and alter naturally over pregnancy and during the birth. I have a new-found respect and admiration for all mums. Hannah was a superstar and I couldn’t be more proud of my wife. Also, we decided not to find out the sex of our baby. There are very few true surprises in life, so keeping this a surprise from ourselves made the nine months and the birth even more exciting.”

If we did it again…

“I wouldn’t have all the tests done on my pregnant wife and unborn baby. They put a huge amount of stress and worry on us as new parents. A baby is a blessing and you need to trust in the natural process a woman’s body can provide.”

I wasn’t prepared for…

“The lack of sleep! Parents always joke about not getting any sleep, but now I am one... and it’s not a joke. So, any soon-to-be parents out there, get your hours in now.”

My favourite thing about parenting so far has been…

“Seeing Roo smile and laugh for the first time. Parenthood is tough, there’s no doubt. But when you get your baby girl smiling, it melts your heart and makes it all worthwhile.”

To expecting mums and dads, I would say…

“Jasmine and Amy at Love Parenting UAE were amazing. It wasn’t just learning about hypnobirthing, but all things pregnancy and birth. The relaxation techniques, affirmations and understanding the dad’s role in birth were all imperative in ensuring my wife Hannah had the best birth possible. If anyone is contemplating hypnobirthing, get in touch with them – you won’t regret it.”

"It hit me the first night in hospital: My role in life, my reason for being here has now changed"

Simon and wife Hannah with baby Roo

 

The hardest thing about being a dad so far is…

“Understanding that you are second to mum. A mother’s bond with her baby is something special. I am in admiration of Hannah and Roo. Hannah can calm her down in an instant when I struggle – that’s tough! But my time will come when she will be Daddy’s little girl, I’m sure of it.”

The moment it hit me was…

“The first night in the hospital. Hannah was asleep and I was just lying there thinking how my whole life had just changed. I now have someone who is solely reliant on us as her parents. My role in life, my reason for being here has now changed.”

The best buy so far has been…

“Our sling wrap. Roo loves it. It keeps her close to us and makes her feel safe and happy. It also keeps our arms free to carry on with the endless ‘to do’ list around the house, or simply just to eat!”

My number one top tip to other dads is…

“Trust your instincts. Everyone will have an opinion and other advice, but you will know what’s right. And if you don’t, the mum will.”

Parenthood in three words:

“Blessed, life-changing, rewarding”­­

Darren & Alva

Darren Mullins is husband to Sabrina and dad to Elliott, age five; Theo, age two; and Alva, ten weeks

Darren is a father of two boys and a baby daughter

 

The biggest surprise about pregnancy was…

“How each one was so different. From the cravings and the mood swings to the challenges of each birth. You think you know what to expect after the first, but each had its own surprises, challenges and rewarding experiences.”

If we could go back in time…

“We would do hypnobirthing from our first birth. We did hypnobirthing classes with our third and it was a great learning experience and made the birth a more relaxed experience for both of us for the most part. We aren’t planning to have any more children, but if we did, we would have a hypnobirthing water birth if possible.”

"Get help: We tried to do it all ourselves and it was tiring and difficult"

Darren and his children: Elliott, Theo and baby Alva

 

The biggest surprise about birth is that…

“No matter how prepared you feel you are for it, it never goes the way you expect. The emotions also are stronger than you can ever imagine. Plus seeing your baby crowning is an image that you will never forget.”

The biggest surprise about the newborn stage was…

“How small and fragile your baby is and how much they depend on you. Even after two children, it was still a shock with the third.”

What we would do differently would be…

“Get more help. We tried to do everything ourselves and it was tiring and difficult.”

For soon-to-be parents…

“Be prepared as much as you can, but don’t forget to stop and enjoy the experience. It goes by so quickly.”

Parenthood in three words:

“No better feeling”

Darren with wife Sabrina and their three children


Read more:

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