You’re going to be a dad and the birth of your child will definitely be a major turning point in your life. Here’s how you can help your partner during childbirth.
- Actively acquire knowledge. Take a course that prepares a dad-to-be for childbirth and talk to fathers who have experienced it. You should also find out exactly what your partner expects from you during labour. If you know what’s happening, you’ll find it easier to get involved.
Read this exciting birth story!
- Some couples hire a doula, who also makes sure the parent not giving birth is involved.
- Do a dry run! Make sure you know how to get to the hospital (and not just to the main entrance – all the way to the delivery ward). Check with the hospital staff about your participation and presence in the event that a c-section becomes necessary.
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You can’t breastfeed. So do what you can do instead.
You can both be involved in breastfeeding. It’s a brilliant way to show that you’re both committed to your relationship with each other and with your child – and it increases the likelihood of successful breastfeeding! Here are 3 golden rules for the non-breastfeeding parent.
- Be supportive. It can be exhausting to breastfeed. Fetch your partner a glass of water while she’s breastfeeding and be willing to do more things around the home than you might do normally. This will have a positive effect on both breastfeeding and your relationship.
- Make the most of every opportunity for closeness with your baby. Cuddle skin-to-skin, give your baby a bath, sing to them and let your baby snooze on your chest – it strengthens the bond between you in a similar way to breastfeeding. And you learn how to interpret your baby’s behaviour and crying.
- You can’t breastfeed. So do what you can do instead. It can be your job to burp the baby. A dad can spend as much time holding their baby as mum spends breastfeeding.
It’s a mistake to believe that the one doing the breastfeeding automatically has insider knowledge that makes her a better parent.
Four common feelings
You’re going to be a dad and no one expects you to be an expert from the word go. When you feel unsure and wonder things like: How do I change a nappy? You learn by doing. How do I comfort a crying baby? You learn by doing!
The more time you spend with your child, the more confident you become as a dad. And this makes it easier to deal with these very common but unwelcome feelings:
- Worry about not creating as close a relationship with your baby as the one who’s breastfeeding.
- Feeling superfluous and less important as a parent.
- Bitterness over the baby “coming between” you.
- Mistakenly believing that the one breastfeeding automatically has insider knowledge that makes her a better parent.
Sources: Fathers’ group instructor Mats Berggren and BabyCenter
Please get in touch if you have more tips for expectant fathers who want to be involved from the word go. Send an email to us at email@example.com