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Published on August 12, 2015

Father holding child

Top 5 pieces of advice for new dads

  1. Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding are far from easy.
  2. Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding are difficult work, and they're even more difficult when her hormones seem to be changing with the speed of light. But, do her a huge favor and don't say she is acting irrational – it won't help. Instead, listen to your partner's feelings and acknowledge the challenges she is facing. Remind her of two things: things won't always go as planned and you'll always be right there beside her. Also remember that just because you didn't give birth doesn't mean your role as dad is any less.
  3. Tell her it's okay to rest (and forget the housework).
  4. Many new moms can be reluctant to ask for help or take time for themselves because they think it reflects poorly on them. But sleep is one of the best things for mom. Point out that baby is sleeping and it might be a good time to rest, too. The housework can wait. Or better yet, offer to clean the bathroom, make dinner or enjoy the company of baby while she naps.
  5. Remind her how beautiful she is.
  6. A woman's body undergoes countless physical changes during pregnancy and childbirth. After all, she grew a human being! Now, her clothes don't fit and she barely has time to brush her teeth or comb her hair. Do her a huge favor. When she is standing in front of the mirror feeling frustrated or down, tell her how beautiful she looks. Offer to watch the baby while she goes shopping for a couple hours.
  7. Be her protector – and the one to say no.
  8. Saying no is never easy, especially after having a new baby. So many friends and family want to meet your new bundle of joy. But too many visitors in the first weeks can be overwhelming when you are both already tired. Do a big favor for your new family, and limit the number of visitors and phone calls. You can also help answer well-meaning questions from family and friends.
  9. She may be obsessed with baby but she still loves you.
  10. She probably spent hours perfecting the nursery. Now, she spends every waking minute with baby. Though her attention has shifted to baby (and she may want less time in the bedroom), don't take it personally. It's part of this new stage of your life. Down the road, you'll realize your love is stronger than ever before.

Often it's the little things that dads do that make all the difference. Whenever possible, help mom with baby's care, and reassure her that she is doing a good job and that you appreciate her.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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