By: Kyle Lasalita
Being a new dad isn’t the same thing as being a new mom. While there’s no reason to compare, some mothers beg to differ. As the father, you’re only as good as helping create the baby, but it’s the mothers who have to carry them inside their body, nurture them, and give birth to them. Let’s not even get started on how excruciating the pain was for them.
As fathers, I have to be honest that we do have it easy. But, this level of comfort shouldn’t be taken advantage of. As soon as our child is born, it’s time for us to step up to the plate and adopt more roles. It’s only natural for you to feel clueless and maybe even helpless at this stage. But, doing something about it is far more admirable than leaving every aspect of child-rearing to the mother. Here are five ways on how you can help with your newborn child:
- Take turns
Your wife will most probably be the one doing the night feeding which means you get to have enough sleep. In the morning, let your wife get some more sleep while you take a turn and do some feeding time on your own. The few extra minutes you give her for sleeping can have a tremendous effect on her mood and her overall emotional health. There’s nothing more terrible than a mother who’s cranky in the morning.
Additionally, don’t wait for her to tell you to take your turn. In most cases, you should be proactive about it. Most mothers will shy away from confrontation as they’re far more occupied with the child. For instance, if you notice that your wife is getting restless, get the baby from her while she puts some time to take care of herself. No matter how small the act is, if you both equally share the responsibility, nobody’s going to feel left out.
- Take on more roles
As mentioned above, you need to adopt more roles in the house because Mom is trying to focus all her energy to your newborn child. Here’s what you can do:
- Do the budget – In most cases, it’s the wife who handles the budgeting task. Take it from her for the time being, no matter how tough it is. Get tips from her and let her know that everything will be taken care of. It’ll be a big load off her shoulder as she knows the household is still functional.
- Handle the other kids – If you have other kids at home, make sure that you take full responsibility for them until Mom has fully recovered. Let the kids know what changes are going to happen, so they don’t feel neglected. It’s also the perfect opportunity to teach them about more responsibilities inside the home.
- Clean the house – A clean house is a peaceful house. You’d want to give your newborn child the best environment, and that’s not possible if you have loads of laundry and dishes piling up. Maintaining a clean house is another thing that your wife will have to think about, so give her a break and tidy up while you’re at it.
- Support Mom with breastfeeding
After giving birth, most hospitals will require your wife to breastfeed the baby. In public hospitals, they are allowed by the Department of Health to confiscate any formula milk and feeding bottles, so don’t even think about bringing those to the hospital. While there’s nothing wrong with using formula milk, breastfeeding gives all the necessary nutrients your newborn child needs. If your wife wishes to breastfeed, support her by doing the following:
- Be vocal about your support by reassuring her of what she’s doing.
- Prepare breastfeeding-friendly food for her.
- Make sure she drinks enough water as breastfeeding can leave her dehydrated.
- Don’t let her get up, take the baby to her.
- Take charge of burping the baby so she can rest even for a few minutes.
Pregnancy, giving birth, and breastfeeding can have a toll on your wife’s physical and emotional health. The human body can only handle so much. It should make you wonder how mothers can do all of these and still have more to give.
- Stay intimate and loving
It goes without saying that as her partner, you shouldn’t forget about intimacy. Yes, this can be difficult especially if you have other kids to take care of, you might think that there isn’t enough time for that. But, staying intimate and showing your love can be done in many ways.
- Give her back rubs or better yet, send her off to a spa and handle the house for a couple of hours.
- Consistently ask her how she feels and if there’s something she wants to talk about.
- Bring her some flowers, or anything for no reason at all; she’ll love the surprise.
- Avoid pressuring her to have sex.
- Be patient with her and let her vent out if she needs to.
- Reaffirm her feelings for you by telling her how much you love her.
Postpartum depression is real, it usually starts two weeks after your wife gives birth, and it can manifest in many ways. Be gentle with her and look out for any signs that she may need additional help. Finally, you have to remember that even after giving birth her body is still in ‘pregnancy mode’, so expect that she’ll still have mood swings and other hormonal imbalances.
Mommy is recovering from giving birth, and doing the best they can to attend to your baby’s needs. Pitch in and do your part as a parent. Maintain the house and support your wife with everything she needs. I know you have a lot of things going on in your life too, but a little help from you goes a long way in filling her love cup.
My name is Kyle and I’m a father, a writer, and a struggling entrepreneur. I believe that dads are just as awesome as mothers, only cooler. When you don’t see me changing my son’s diapers, you can see me on my blog – Daddy Set Go.