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Aug 29, 2013

Healthy Living teams up with NCFC to discuss parenting

In tonight’s segment of healthy living, we continue to build on our collaboration with the National Committee for Families and Children and the Office of the Special Envoy for Women & Children to focus on parenting tips. This week’s segment provides advice to expectant dads.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

After the pregnancy test and the doctor’s visit, a woman begins to accept that for the next few months, her body will be morphed into an incubator for a new life.  Pregnancy is widely regarded as an experience that “happens” to women but very often missed in the equation, is the role of the expectant dad.


Dr. Mauricio Navarette, Obstetrician/Gynecologist

“You don’t see as many dads – who we’d want to see in the consultations. You do see some – many dads are very involved but it’s not the rule it’s more the exception than the rule. Many moms come in to the consultations alone, the whole pregnancy and some moms even come to deliver on their own with another family member, a mom or a sister. For women it’s really important that they have the support of the father – again not only financial support but also emotional support as all women that have been pregnant know. Pregnancy is a very emotional time.”


Mauricio Navarette

The obvious question is: if all the tangible changes during pregnancy will take place with mom; then what can dad do – other than wait for nine months? Dr Navarette shares his advice. Firstly, keep her active.


Dr. Mauricio Navarette

“It’s difficult sometimes for women to get out there and exercise by themselves. What I encourage dads to do is take your wives – pregnant wives – for walks. Twenty minutes three times a week at least that actually is what we recommend for women to do and dads can actually go along and take them along walks.”


Also, help mom stay healthy with proper eating habits.


Dr. Mauricio Navarette

“Women always have cravings yes, but we always encourage a healthy diet and share in that. Cook for her if you can or eat what she’s eating so she doesn’t feel that she has to eat different from the rest of the family.”


Lastly, realize that the mood swings will occur.


Dr. Mauricio Navarette

“Know that women will have mood swings during pregnancy and be supportive, don’t put her down but encourage. Again, be there at the doctor visits, sometimes we have questions as men that we might be afraid or reluctant to ask or our wives can’t answer these questions. So being at the doctor can actually solve some of these questions. The most common thing dads tend to ask is about sexual activity. Many of them are afraid so it’s good for them to come in and hear from a professional the fact that sexual intercourse or activity is OK and for us to explain to them what times is OK for how long during the pregnancy need to be taken and what precautions need to be taken.”


Helping your expecting wife or partner through her pregnancy will directly impact the health of your newborn; but he or she can get acquainted with dad before leaving the womb. The unborn child can also benefit greatly from active involvement of expectant dads.


Dr. Mauricio Navarette

“It’s been shown that babies can actually hear sounds from as early as twenty-five to twenty-seven weeks. So dad can actually talk to their baby; babies cannot understand of course but they can hear them and when the baby is actually born; the baby will have a memory of that tone of voice much faster. So I would say to dad’s read to your baby, talk to your baby not at twelve weeks but at twenty-five weeks and throughout the rest of the pregnancy; get more involved as pregnancy goes by.”


Dr. Navarette encourages expecting dads to enjoy the experience. While the focus during pregnancy is keeping mom and baby healthy, dad’s involvement during this time is also crucial


Dr. Mauricio Navarette

“The biggest advice is: It’s a couple’s pregnancy not a woman’s pregnancy.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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