Much to the dismay of the moms among us who hate pregnancy, storks do not make or deliver babies. That task is left to humans, though fortunately for most of us, that task is usually sex and, when done right, sex is awesome. While most of the information on trying to conceive (TTC) is geared toward women who want to get pregnant, men have an important role to play in this process (besides the obvious, hopefully fun part). There are plenty of ways men should help when trying to conceive, that any grown-ass man makes sure to keep track of when he and his partner decide to become parents.
Of course, not everyone who is trying to get pregnant is in a relationship or partnered with a man. However, for the majority of folks who are, ensuring dudes know how to contribute to this process — beyond being awesome, sex-positive sex partners — is really important. For one, there's more to achieving and maintaining a pregnancy than just making sure mom is healthy; dad's health matters, too. Furthermore, while most people can conceive the "old-fashioned" way, many folks can't or won't, so it's better for everyone involved if they understand upfront that they may need to be emotionally and mentally prepared for more than just having lots of unprotected sex.
So, in the interests of helping aspiring dads know what they can do to be the best possible partners they can in this process, or just helping prospective moms know what basic stuff they should expect in a partner while trying to make a baby, here's how good dads-to-be make sure to help when trying to conceive.
They Maintain Healthy Habits
Aspiring moms aren't the only ones whose health matters when it comes to making new people. While folks don't necessarily need to overhaul their lives completely when trying to conceive, eating a generally healthy diet, making time for healthy movement, cutting out smoking or excessive drinking, and limiting stress are important for making top-notch sperm (and for overall health and well-being, of course).
They Help Keep Sex Fun
When you're trying to make a baby, it can be easy to get caught up in the timing and functional aspects of sex, but that's a kind of a bummer. Grown-ass men know it's important to keep the romance humming in their relationship, too, so that trying to conceive doesn't turn sex into a chore.
They Go To Any Necessary Medical Appointments
Unfortunately, it sometimes takes more than lots of good ol' fashioned sex to make a baby. So if the whole TTC process isn't going exactly as expected, grown-ass men make time to attend necessary medical appointments if at all possible, even if only to support their partner. (And of course, if IUI or IVF are needed to conceive, they make their contribution to that process.)
They Get Tested If Needed
Male-factor infertility accounts for around a third of infertility cases, so good dads or soon-to-be dads understand that they, too, may need to undergo some testing if conception just isn't happening in a timely fashion.
They're Supportive If The Process Is Stressful For Their Partner
Making the choice to start a family can be stressful, even if you're really excited about it and it's part of your life plan. It can also be hard to spend your whole adult life trying desperately to avoid pregnancy, only to struggle to get pregnant once you start trying to do so on purpose. That's especially true for folks who have medical or other factors that make getting pregnant more complicated. Grown-ass men know how to listen, offer comfort, and support if that's what their partner needs.
They Ask For Support If The Process Is Stressful For Them
Dads care about this whole process, too, and it can be hard on them — especially if they or their partners are having difficulties conceiving. If needed, they let their partner know how they can help, and/or talk to trusted friends or a therapist so they can stay emotionally well and keep their relationship healthy.
They Read Up On Pregnancy
If all goes according to plan, the next step in the TTC journey is pregnancy. Since myths about pregnancy abound, and since there aren't a ton of great cultural models for what it means to be fully supportive of a pregnant partner, grown-ass men read up on the topic so they can be ready to support their pregnant partner if and when conception happens.
They Learn About Labor, Childbirth And Postpartum Recovery
Grown-ass men know that if they helped put a baby in someone, it's their job to help when it's time for that baby to come out. They start learning about how to be a great birth partner as soon as possible, so they can help their partner be as safe, healthy, and comfortable as possible during and after birth.
They Read Up On Parenting Stuff
Good dads know that parenting isn't all instinct; a lot of it is knowledge, and knowledge is something people have to work to acquire. That's why grown-ass men don't leave their partners to do all the reading and learning when it comes to child safety, nutrition, discipline, or anything else. They make a point of being informed and engaged on all things parenting so they can contribute equally to their future child's well-being.