1. Pregnancy
  2. Dads Guide to Pregnancy
  3. Middle pregnancy

Men’s feelings in middle pregnancy: not real yet?

If your partner has reached the second trimester and the pregnancy still doesn’t feel real to you, that’s OK. There’s no one right way to feel about becoming a dad. For some dads, the birth or the drive home with baby is what makes it real.

What you might be going through in the second trimester

It’s pretty common to feel pregnancy is happening at a distance. In fact, it might not even feel real yet.

Seeing the baby for the first time at the 12-week ultrasound scan is a moment when some men feel like it’s really happening. But this isn’t always the case. Most men get into it eventually, but birth could be the real kick-off – when they can actually get involved and start being a dad.

If this sounds like you, you might come across as being uninterested, impatient or annoyed. You might not want to read a pregnancy book, and pram shopping might not seem like a great afternoon out. The wait for the baby to arrive could drag as well.

That’s fine.

But the downside is that your partner might worry that you’re not into the pregnancy or she might feel you’re not supportive. This can lead to arguments or to her struggling to keep on top of all the changes. If the details rather than the pregnancy are the problem, try to reassure your partner.

Unsure about the pregnancy

If you’ve been against the pregnancy from the start or you’re not sure about being a parent, you’re likely to be in a tough spot.

It might help to start thinking about being a dad. Also, thinking about your dad and family could help you work out what kind of father you want to be.

But by itself, thinking probably won’t be enough. Have a conversation with someone you can trust, like a friend or your GP, or call a MensLine counsellor on 1300 789 978 to talk about your situation or what’s troubling you. It’s a free, confidential service.

Things you can do

  • If you’re getting frustrated with the ‘details’ like shopping for baby equipment, reassure your partner that the pregnancy itself isn’t bothering you. Be patient too. Your partner might be nesting – this is part of her feeling ‘baby ready’.
  • If the pregnancy doesn’t feel real yet, don’t be afraid to say so and bring it up with a mate or another expectant dad or new dad.
  • If you’re not sure about becoming a dad, talk with someone you can trust or ring MensLine on 1300 789 978.

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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