Having gone through the initial stages of becoming a dad, now the role of being a dad comes into action. As a dad one may think that it’s an easy task to handle, but think again, you will know if you did a fine job raising your children when they grow up, start a family and thank you for being such an awesome father… Do you agree? Who knows everyone has his own opinion of what are the most essential traits of being a father, that is why today I will be interviewing Lara-Marie and discussing what are the initial roles of the father when their child is born?
MalteseDaddy: Lara thanks again for last weeks interview, seeing the feedback we got from a lot of people, it did very well. Keeping up with the initial stages of the child’s birth, what can you tell us about a dad’s role after the baby is born?
Lara: I am glad that we are passing on this message to not only dads, but everyone to understand the role of a father which is essential even at child birth and that brings me to your question, his (father) role in the early stages of birth is not only good for the newborn, but also for the partner/wife. We all heard of this stereotypical phrase the man works and the wife after work does all the dishes, laundry etc etc? We heard that right? Unfortunately that’s history and the dads need to roll up their sleeves and start learning to be self-sufficient and know how to do all the chores to help out.
MalteseDaddy: Agreed 100%, not only in the beginning, but yes as dad we need to do all the necessary chores and this will put off a load from your wife/partner’s shoulder, but Lara what general points to start off with we can give to our new dads?
Lara: They might not like what I am going to say, but no-one said it would be easy becoming a dad, but here are a few points:
- Be prepared for sleepless nights
- Due to the arrival of the new baby, dad might feel left out or feel sad (signs of paternal postnatal depression): keep your energy levels up, rest and eat properly, speak to your partner and if needed, seek help.
- Rest as much as possible. Although mum has been through the process of labour, even you need your rest.
- Time to get those parent craft lectures going: learning how to change a diaper, learning to make bottle feeds, learning to bathe the baby
- Be confident, (but not overly confident). If there are any questions or concerns, speak to a midwife
MalteseDaddy: Yes that is why, preparing yourself before the baby is born is essential, read a book, ask your father or any other guy who has kids of his own. Knowing on how to start to support your new family, may be a start of a healthy relationship with your child. Let’s talk about on how to support the family as everyone has his own way of how he can support his family, but what are the key points?
Lara: Good question, as you mentioned very well support is the main ingredient on how to start on the right path of building a foundation for your child, as if they see you not supporting your wife/partner why should they? So these are in my opinion a few key points a dad should take note of:
- Take turns during the night: help the mother bring baby to breastfeed or help making a bottle feed
- Even though baby is breastfeeding, be present, even if just to change the diaper
- Prepare good meals for you and the mother
- Keep an eye on her mood (Baby Blues/ Postnatal Depression) : know the signs. Debrief the process of labour: what you both expected, what might have gone differently, any views, etc.
- Support her during the first 2 weeks: mum may cry a bit more, she may feel overwhelmed. This is not depression: it’s baby blues. Blues usually last for two weeks.
- Avoid fighting: Communicate well together
- Breastfeeding might be difficult to tackle: bring her snacks and a drink during breastfeeding, massage her shoulders, encourage her
- After a cesarean section, mum will need more support, especially handling. Mum can be in more pain. Dad can help by bringing her some pain relief (Always consult with your midwife) and helping her to take a bath, help her to look after her sutures, etc.
- Compliment her: tell her that she’s doing a good job
MalteseDaddy: Going through all these points, makes me realise that the first month is no easy task and supporting your wife essentially is the bread and butter of a solid relationship. Last question for today and we can wrap up this interview with a nice ending, how can we dad’s be more present?
Lara: I always tell the dads, put yourself in the mother’s shoes, what would you want to expect? So it’s all about foreseeing, what will be beneficial to do if the baby is crying? Ignore him/her until mum gets him/her? No be proactive and try to give attention to your child, but I will be telling our readers some ways on how they can help:
- Go with her to the next doctor’s appointment and paediatrician appointment
- If during the day the mother is sleeping, and you had a good rest, look after the baby during the day while mum is resting.
- Celebrate as a new family: go out together as a family, or invite family and friends over to show off your new baby. However, know your limits: take charge when guests come up at inconvenient hours.
- Be patient: especially to get back to normal life including having sexual intercourse. Recovery is at least 4 to 6 weeks: communicate when it’s the best time for you both.
- Take your newborn for a walk, by giving mum a break
- Make time to listen to what mum has to say.
MalteseDaddy: That’s it for today and thank you Lara-Marie once again for having time to fit me into your busy schedule😊
Lara: The pleasure is all mine and thank you for letting me pass on the message from a midwives perspective.
To all our readers, stay tuned for another interesting interview with Lara-Marie and do you know anyone who wants to collaborate with my blog? Contact me and to all dad-to-be’s remember you don’t have to worry, you’re already on the right track if you started reading this post on how your role will be like when your son/daughter is born.