4 Things Every Dad Needs to do for Every New Mom, According to an OB Nurse

man-housework-1_2869157bHelp your partner get as much sleep as possible – Lack of sleep can do weird things to a woman.  Add fluctuating hormones to the mix, and it’s a recipe for disaster.  Encourage your partner to rest any chance she can.  Most women are multitaskers. If there are dishes to be done, or laundry that needs to be folded, a lot of women will have trouble resting when there’s something they can be doing.  If at all possible, hire a cleaner to come once a week or at least once every two weeks. I promise you—it will be the best money you’ve ever spent. If this is just not in your budget, then do an extra job around the house that she normally takes care of and encourage her to go to her room and rest. And gently remind her that there’s always something that needs to be done. If anything has to be sacrificed, it should be the clean clothes sitting in the laundry basket at the bottom of the stairs, not her sanity.  I think there’s this misconception that if a mother is not working outside of the home, her house should be tidy and she should selflessly tend to every need of her family.  The truth is, this is exhausting, even if she is on maternity leave.  And let’s face it, in the United States you’re lucky if you get a decent maternity leave. You basically blink and it’s over :/ Cut her some slack. She just had a baby, she’s sleep deprived, and you can’t choose your baby—some of them cry all the time, some want to feed all the time, and they’re all just so needy!

 

You should not be expecting any kind of (that kind of action) 😉 – So it goes without saying, a baby either came out of her vagina or came out of her abdomen after major abdominal surgery.  Give her a minute to heal! And by a minute, I mean 4-6 weeks, unless she tells you otherwise (some women “bounce” back quicker than others 😉 Talk to your partner, talk to her provider, and make the right decision for you and your family.  Oh, and p.s. — there’s this widely held belief that women are most fertile after delivery 😃

One of the most important things you can do for your baby is to support your partner’s breastfeeding goals – There are actual risks with giving a newborn formula. People don’t like to say the word “risks” because no one wants to put pressure on a new mom, but that’s the truth, there are risks to giving a baby formula.  If a woman makes an educated decision about breastfeeding, then everyone should support that decision. But a lot of women give up trying to breastfeed just because they don’t have adequate support.  If your partner will continue to breastfeed just by having you say a few encouraging words, that’s one of the easiest, best things you can do for your family.  How can you help her?  Voice your support before she has the baby to everyone—your wife, her physician or midwife, and her nurse.  Make sure your partner and your baby get to experience immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin.  Encourage her not to give up.  Constantly praise her, and tell her she’s doing a great job.  Continuously get her water to help her stay hydrated. Offer to be the baby bather if she’s the baby feeder 😃 If she’s pumping, offer to wash the pump parts. Get her extra pillows to make her as comfortable as possible while she’s nursing (under the arm and behind the back is great!). But the best thing you can do is to just be supportive ❤ Here is a great website for dads on breastfeeding.

Everyone needs time to themselves – Find a way to give your partner a little “me-time.”  For her, that may mean dinner and drinks with her friends (and yes, breastfeeding moms can have alcohol!). It may mean an extra long bath without kids poking their fingers through the bottom of the bathroom door. Maybe it means having a quiet house to herself for 30 minutes. Just realize that being a woman does not necessarily mean that she wants to devote every spare minute to the needs of her family or home. I knew I’d stay married to my husband forever because he would take our daughter for a really long walk and let me have an hour to watch trashy reality T.V. in my pajamas without a baby around that could smell my milk. << happy sigh >> The funny thing is…when you make sure you she gets time to herself,  you will notice that she’s happier, calmer, and nicer to you! Just try it. You will see what I mean.  And I bet she’ll “bounce” back a little quicker feeling rested and relaxed 😉

 Until my next delivery ❤

Click here for additional breastfeeding resources for dads, from KellyMom.

10 Facts about Breastfeeding


10 thoughts on “4 Things Every Dad Needs to do for Every New Mom, According to an OB Nurse

  • February 6, 2015 at 5:29 pm
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    Great article, great resources!

    Reply
  • February 6, 2015 at 9:54 pm
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    This is written assuming there is a “Dad” in the picture, which is only true about 25% of the time. There are risks BF too. Dehydration, failure to thrive…give equal time to both if its going to be discussed.

    Reply
    • February 6, 2015 at 11:16 pm
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      There are only risks like you named IF the mom isn’t getting proper help.
      Artificial milk substitute will never be equivalent to breast milk.
      I know there are moms that have to use it but there’s no need for author to include ff.

      Reply
    • February 8, 2015 at 3:34 pm
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      I don’t know where you get your “facts”, but according to the US Census bureau there is “dad” (as you put it) in the picture more than 60%…and that is just married mother/father. there are more if you include unmarried mother/father with active dads. go troll elsewhere.

      Reply
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  • February 12, 2015 at 10:49 pm
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    Love this article, haha. I showed this to my hubby the moment I read the title! A bit late for me and my 6 month boy though. I’ll be showing this to my friend who just gave birth to a baby girl last week too. Thank you!

    Reply
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  • February 16, 2016 at 12:54 am
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    You forgot an important point in the breastfeeding paragraph. For the love of God, do not say “Are you sure you have enough milk?” Or “How do you know he/she is getting anything?” Please, please! I promise she’s already thought it herself, so do not go there!

    Reply

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