15 Tips for Clueless Dads-To Be

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Location: Upper Lobby Asian Hospital & Medical Center, Filinvest Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines

Tel. No. 771-9204; 771-9000 loc. 8103 Mobile No. 0917-806-3339

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Dr. Rebecca B. Singson, M.D, FPOGS, FPSCPC

Many Dads get excited about the thought of having a baby yet are unaware of what it takes to support their wives during the pregnancy and postpartum process. Here are a few tips on how to maximize your role in the childbirth process:

1. Suggest taking childbirth classes with your wife. It is a very empowering experience since it defines your role during the childbirth process.

2. If you are unable to because of time constraints, just read up on books and the internet about the pregnancy and most especially, about the breastfeeding process so you can support your wife all the way through.

3. Accompany your wife, whenever you can, to her pre-natal checkups.

4. If you’re a first time Dad, practice carrying a baby using a doll so you won’t be too afraid to handle your own baby on the day of delivery. Ask your Mom, aunt, cousin or sister who is knowledgeable to teach you.

5. Help your wife prepare her birth plan and, organize the things required on the day of labor, and what type of hospital room to choose.

6. Moms experience a lot of discomfort and mood swings which may be hormonally related. Acknowledge her complaints and ask her what she would like you to do to help her. Most of the time, she just wants to be heard but is not looking for you to solve them. Be sympathetic at all times.

7. Surprise her by sending her flowers or a nice basket of fruit (or a combination of both) on the day of her delivery with a love note telling her how much you appreciate her for

fulfilling your life by bearing your child.

8. Moms are so insecure about how they look during pregnancy, labor and after childbirth so keep reassuring her that she is just as beautiful and sexy in your eyes.

9. Have a routine with your baby at a certain time like a feeding activity, or bathing with him daily or a regular playtime so you don’t feel left out.

10. If you are still feeling left out, talk with your partner about it instead of harboring ill feelings and keeping it to yourself.

11. Don’t be afraid to express your emotions. Talk to her doctor about your fears and concerns, if any. It’s also ok to cry as an expression of extreme joy at seeing your baby for the first time. For us women, it is not perceived as a sign of weakness but rather as a positive sign of sensitivity, which many men sorely lack.

12. Support your wife throughout the breastfeeding process by encouraging her and letting her know how proud you are. Defend her from negative comments from well-meaning relatives about breastfeeding. Many relatives still carry the mistaken notion that cow’s milk is just as good or is even superior to mother’s milk.

13. Your wife is in for years of many sleepless nights. Treat her to a pampering pre-natal or postpartum lactation massage. Rebirth Spa has therapists that can relax and support your wife through with her back pains and leg pains prior to giving birth as well as offer her lactation massage and counseling in the postpartum period. You may reach them through 7719204/06 or 0917-8063339. She will love you for it!

14. If you have other kids, attend to them while Mom is attending to the baby. Your wife will appreciate your efforts in minimizing her distraction. Teach your kids that Mom needs to be in a relaxed state so the milk will flow to feed the baby. When Mom is tense, this can cut off the milk supply. That way you empower your kids to support Mom, too.

15. Take out your wife to a romantic dinner without the kids at least once a month to help her regain her focus as wife and not just as a mother. She will appreciate the time away with you alone.

Having babies is a magical way of cementing your relationship and creating a stronger foundation of togetherness. Don’t let experience heighten your insecurity as a father or husband but rather use it as a platform to evolve to another level of maturity with your spouse. It can certainly do wonders in helping your relationship last a lifetime!