Childbirth is a tough business with which one needs help to get through. It can be draining both emotionally and physically especially for the mother. About three months before my first child was born, my husband and I got deep into googling and even reading books. We watched videos on how he could help after the baby was born. We both had no clue on what to expect. Therefore we diligently attended the pre natal classes. All this makes you feel like a soldier on the battlefield ready to take over the war only up until you meet the other team, your newborn.
They are tiny and delicate. As a first time mother I was overwhelmed to the point of forgetting how to actually put on a diaper. The first poop even scared us after repeatedly being told that it was going to be black. Pushing a baby out is like you push out some part of your brain as well. After all this, the only person you are with in this journey should be able to help with the most. You should allow him. Talk to them beforehand. Let him know you need help. Some of us tend to pull some superwoman powers, don’t!!! YOU need the HELP. Include him in the journey. Teach him what he doesn’t know. It is easy for him to get home and relax on the phone because you are actually busy pretending to have it together.
I don’t know what I could do without my husband after having both my babies. Some of the things he did and still does include:
Taking the baby in the morning
Our little girl doesn’t sleep through the night yet or even take the bottle. This means I am up feeding her at least three times a night. It is just fair that the person who gets a full night sleep takes up the babies at least for an hour in the morning. On a positive note, this is a great time to bond with the child. He also gets to understand how it is like for me to solo parent the rest of the day. These 30 minutes or even an hour of uninterrupted sleep makes so much difference. Some days I go for a run other times I pull the duvet and fill the bed. Let him learn baby wearing as he fixes breakfast for the older child. We are a team
Get him involved in your breastfeeding
With both babies we literally breastfed together. No mother wants to be mansplained but I have to admit some days he had it better than I did. I got him to watch how to latch and positioning videos with me. At one point during the cracked nipples episodes I would forget the positioning and pay attention to the pain and he would be there to help. More so he would burp them after most feeds. I mean he has stronger grip to get that gas out. Do you also know those times you have seated and gotten comfortable only for the little one to fall asleep on the breast, get him to pass you your phone, remote, water or whatever you need at this crucial time of baby sleep. Some days even simple actions like wiping the vomits off your top or buying breastfeeding pads that count.
Ask him to make the meals
Despite being home the whole day, getting a window to actually cook by the time the toddler gets back is a bonus. We are fortunate to get meals from my husband’s workplace. However, those days when there isn’t any left, he takes up the task. More so it is such a romantic gesture. On some occasions he reminded me to concentrate on feeding the baby as he fed me. He would stock up healthy snacks for me to reach to for when he was at work. Any help is really big help. Remember they grow. Now I can comfortably make food and even keep a clean home.
Involve him in those diaper changes
As first time parents none of us knew the difference between the front and the back of the diaper. Needless to say, we were so sleep deprived to notice the word ‘back’ on the back of the diaper. This was fortunate since we got to learn together. I am really grateful for my husband’s open mindedness. When growing up back in Kenya, if a baby pooped while being held by the dad or even a male, they would always call the female available to change the baby. Let him understand that these times are actually a great way to bond with their babies. There are times when the significant other feels left out in the first days postpartum. This could lead to postpartum depression among the dads too. We don’t want that to happen. Sane parents equals happy babies. A break from the poop explosion is great for a mother who has had it all day.
Talk to your partners
Most time as moms we want to stomach everything and assume our partners are going to miraculously get it. He is also going through a lot of adjustments. Talk to him about what you are feeling. There are some days I cried uncontrollably after Makena was born only to remember ‘baby blues’. Sometimes we get our frustrations out on our partners. Once you settle down, let him know you have a lot on your mind. It is actually not a ‘baby brain’ it is trying juggle between which breast you fed on last? whether the baby burped before sleeping? What colour was the poop? Is the baby warm or cold? Has he napped too long? Which mall has an elevator to bring the stroller? Is it safe to take the baby out yet? Do I even have enough milk supply? Am I neglecting the older baby? What can I do to involve him? These and so many other things that cross our minds throughout the day. Let him understand you are hormonal and emotional at this time and it would be great help if he understood you. Childbirth brings so much joy but also leaves us as mothers physically and emotionally torn. Bear with us during this time, it passes.
Have him soothe the baby sometimes whenever he is around
This helps him to learn different ways to soothe the little ones. Whereas my go to solution is the breast, he doesn’t have a boob. This has actually transformed my husband into a baby whisperer. He is gentle and most times does what he has to to get that baby sleeping. It is comforting watching him play various music genres to them. This also builds confidence in him as a father.
I don’t think of house chores just after giving birth. We start sharing the chores a few months later. There are those ones I find myself taking up like emptying the dishwasher and light cleaning . Having a son, we also want him to understand there are no gender roles and there is no better way to teach him other than by doing. In our home we all do everything.
These are some of the ways in which my husband gets involved in helping out after childbirth. Remember to take it easy and know you are the best parent to your child. No one can love them like you do.
SHARE ON THE COMMENTS ON HOW YOU GET ALONG WITH YOUR PARTNER AFTER YOU HAVE HAD A BABY??
LOVE AND LIGHT