This is a guest post from Janell. She is a mum and business owner of Baby Button. Today she shares her wisdom for expecting dads.
Expectant dads, this post is for you. Let’s just call it a few tips, words of wisdom, or little take home tools for you now that you are expecting.
Life as you know it is going to change. In a big way! It is going to change for both you and your partner. But don’t think for one second that she too is not scared. She is probably S**t scared too! But this is your journey together; your path together. And with a little extra love and support, it can make the pregnancy, birth and mothering of your new born a little bit easier for you, your partner and bub.
So here are a few tips for you to help you through this journey:
Get involved in the pregnancy is often a challenge for many first-time dads because they don’t know what to expect. Truth is, your partner probably doesn’t know exactly what to expect either especially if this is her first time being pregnant. Attending obstetrician visits with your partner can help you get a better picture of the changes that are happening to your partner. Pregnancy is a great time to strengthen your bond with your partner because now you have something so important to share – a child! Take time discuss your parenting techniques and what you want for your child. Try taking birthing classes with your partner. This can help prepare you for what’s coming ahead and show you how you can be a part of the birthing process.
You are responsible for half of the parenting. If the mother of child stays at home with the baby and you have to go to work, it’s very easy to push all the baby related responsibilities onto her. Remember that as the father, you are responsible for half of the parenting and spending time and caring for your little one during the first few months of life is very important in forging the father/child bond. Skin on skin isn’t just for mums and babies enjoy contact with their father just as much. Just because your baby is breast-fed does not mean you can’t take part in feedings. Breastfeeding especially right after birth is a challenge for both the baby and mother and there are a lot of ways for the father to help. Women who have the support of their husbands during breastfeeding are much more likely to continue nursing their babies. If you’ve had a long day at work, mum probably had a long day with the baby so try giving her a break by taking the little one for a walk or to your favorite hang-out places. Having a schedule can help distribute parenting tasks evenly between you and your partner and can strengthen your relationship with mum and little one.
Respect the changes in your partner. Your partner has gone through the immense task of carrying your child and then giving birth to it. That’s a lot of stress her body has undergone. Most women are aware of these changes and may feel insecure about the changes in their body after birth. She may feel unattractive or a loss in sexual desire. Make sure you give her time to recover and encourage her to feel good about herself. While baby blues and some crying is normal, some women go through post-partum depression which needs medical help. Observe the changes in your partner and try to be a strong positive force in her life.
Remember to take care of yourself. The first few months after baby’s arrival can be very stressful and challenging. You will be sleep deprived, running from store to store to find wipes, diapers, and food and may spend hours driving little one in the car anxiously hoping for him to fall asleep. Amidst all of this chaos, it’s very easy to forget to take care of yourself. Your body has needs so make sure you take the time to fulfill them. Eating healthy and finding time to relax is very important for both the mother and father. Have a babysitter, a friend or a relative on hand to take baby when things get too stressful or you feel you can use a break.
When you support each other, it makes the journey a little easier. It is a scary journey, a new journey, but a journey of many great and wonderful experiences and feelings. And once that baby comes, believe me, you will ask yourself “how did we every have life without this little person?”
What are your tips for first time dads?
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