According to the Guttmacher Institute, unintended pregnancies are categorized as either mistimed or unwanted and amount to 45 percent of all pregnancies in the United States. This rate is actually slightly higher than many other developed countries and is generally higher in the South, Southwest, and heavily populated states. The U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reports that many of the men studied were young, financially insecure, involved in unstable relationships and did use, or ensure their partner used, contraception effectively. Over the last few decades, men have become more involved in the family planning regarding unplanned pregnancies. If you’re an expectant father, unplanned pregnancy questions about your role will arise. The Role of an Expectant Father During Unplanned Pregnancy Whether the pregnancy was mistimed or unintentional, the expectant father still needs to play a role throughout the pregnancy should the mother opt to deliver and raise the baby. According to the NCBI, the “ideal father” is present, accessible and available during the pregnancy. As an active participant, you will care about the pregnancy and be physically and emotionally supportive of the woman carrying your child. The expectant father will also: Assist with important decisions regarding the child’s birth plan and name. Build confidence in the woman’s ability to positively overcome this new challenge. Provide an equal interest, investment and responsibility in the pregnancy and child’s life. Understand the hormonal changes a woman faces and support her through these emotional fluctuations. Protect the mother and the baby throughout the pregnancy. Make her as comfortable as possible by taking on household duties and tending to her needs. Ensure that she maintains healthy behaviours by managing her diet and exercise responsibly through each trimester. Be prepared to support the woman financially should she have pregnancy complications that prevent her from working. Emphasize your togetherness with the woman to assure her that she is not alone. Be present at all pregnancy-related engagements like prenatal medical appointments, parenting, and Lamaze classes. Be an active participant in the delivery room by emotionally supporting the woman, cutting the umbilical cord, ensuring her and the baby’s safe delivery home, and taking care of any medical administrative work for the woman and child. Expectant Father, Unplanned Pregnancy For an expectant father, unplanned pregnancy requires that they take on significant responsibilities. The role of expectant fathers during unplanned pregnancies involve tending to the physical and emotional needs of the woman carrying his child. As she progresses through pregnancy, the expectant father will need to assure the woman that he is an active participant in the pregnancy, that he takes responsibility for his role in the child’s conception and that they will address all challenges and changes together.