Friday, June 23, 2023

Healthy Habits - Fathers and Prenatal Visits


Prenatal visits are vital and can provide valuable information about your baby's health. But did you know that one highly experienced OBGYN made a habit of inviting fathers to prenatal visits as well?


OBGYN and Maternal Health Expert “Rural Doc” Alan Lindemann, M.D., is author of the forthcoming book "Pregnancy Your Way," and has over 40 years of experience in delivering over 6000 babies. He shares the five reasons he invited dads to come to prenatal visits.


“One of my highest priorities as a physician is to build families,” says Dr. Lindemann, “so not only did inviting fathers help prepare the family for a major change, but it gave me an opportunity to watch and monitor the family dynamics.”



1) Bonding: “I’ve always said 90 percent of getting dad to bond to his wife and child is to welcome him at every single prenatal visit. Bringing mom and dad is an excellent springboard for a safe and happy pregnancy and preparing for the time at home after delivery. There should be no more postpartum walking of the plank, but rather adequate time preparing to get ready for embracing a new life together and bonding with your newborn.”


2) Determining the Better Caretaker: “By watching family dynamics, you can easily tell if mom will be a good caretaker, or if dad is actually better suited for the job. A good caretaker is calm and confident in managing the family dynamics. A poor caretaker yells at the children, bribes them to keep them quiet, or complains about their behavior. If mom shows few signs of being a good caretaker but dad does manage the children well, I may encourage mom to work outside the home and let dad take care of the children instead.”


3) Emotional Dependency: “Some fathers are emotionally dependent and see the newborn as competition for mom’s affection. This is a recipe for disaster. Fathers can become jealous, indifferent, and seek attention in greener pastures, making them of little or no help at home. I invite dads to prenatal visits to observe how much the couple supports each other. A dad being distant, aloof, or absent for prenatal care are all red flags for me.”


4) Not Being a Partner: “Some dads are not active partners throughout pregnancy or parenting. They neglect to take their fair share of early morning feedings or have something ‘more important’ to do when mom asks for help. Selfishness or immaturity are the likely culprits, but dad may also be going through emotional turmoil from not successfully having grieved for the loss of his old self (before pregnancy). Dads as well as moms need to grieve for their loss of self and consciously choose their new selves as partners, parents, and caretakers. Again, a dad being distant, aloof, or physically absent from prenatal visits are big red flags.”


5) Signs of Postpartum Depression: “There are subtle signs of postpartum depression (in mom and dad) that are best seen while observing the family together. One of the biggest signs is someone who needs to control everything and is unable to adjust to changes in routine. With help, a controlling person can begin being comfortable with at least some unplanned changes in routine. This is important, as the hallmark of a good pregnancy, labor, and delivery is the ability to adjust.”


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About Dr. Lindemann:

An obstetrician and maternal mortality expert, “Rural Doc” Alan Lindemann, M.D. teaches women and their families how to create the outcomes they want for their own personal health and pregnancy. A former Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota, he is currently a clinical faculty member available to serve as preceptor with medical students in rural rotations. In his nearly 40 years of practice, he has delivered around 6,000 babies and achieved a maternal mortality rate of zero! Learn more at and

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