So much of after your baby is born revolves around mom and baby, as it should. However, the father’s role is extremely important in the postpartum time. Dad’s can help in so many ways! Usually, dad is the first one to go to back to work, and this new transition can be one of stress, miscommunication, and one partner feeling like they are doing all the work. While much of this is normal, it can be an easier transition than you might assume and dad's role is vital in the postpartum period.
Dads, stay excited, be present, and focus on the mother of your child. Read these four areas to focus on, and we promise you will be helping more than you may receive credit for.
Dads, check in with her while you are at work and at home. If she seems to be having a tough time with baby, try to arrange help or bring home dinner to make the day easier. Sometimes, just letting her vent is all she needs. Communicate your needs but also listen and respond to hers. This is a time where you are both tired. Sometimes writing out an actual schedule can help make sure both of you are getting enough rest and will help make the days go smoother.
Be the hands she needs
Especially if mom is breastfeeding, it may feel like there isn’t much you can do. But that’s not true! Clean her pump parts, hold baby so she can nap, change diapers, take out the trash, do the laundry, meal prep - while it may not seem like you are doing much, being the hands she needs while nursing or tending to baby can really help take the edge off!
Take care of YOU
How does this help mom in postpartum? Well you can’t pour from an empty cup and you can’t help care for baby and mom if you are also tired and stressed. Call in help whether it’s parents or a postpartum doula. Drink enough water, nourish yourself, make time be attentive to your own feelings and needs. No one is meant to do it all, and you certainly can't take on every task every day. While for a lot of dads it can be hard to ask for help, there is no shame in asking for a helping hand when you need it.
Process with her
This may be the hardest part. You may certainly have a different experience from the birth than she had. Process these together - if she wants to keep coming back to something someone said or did, let her. There are a lot of emotions and feelings when it comes to a birth, no matter how well it went! Share with her your feelings, proud, loving, scared, grateful. Allow her to be open and honest with you. This can be the most healing of all.
The FMD Team thinks we have some of the greatest dads in our FMD family, and we always look forward to hearing dad's experience and feelings. You're doing an awesome job and we know mom appreciates you.