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Ways How To Navigate With Postpartum

So, you’ve finally met the tiny human you helped create, things have calmed down a little and you’re probably thinking what’s next? Well, now begins the postpartum period. These first months caring for a newborn can be thrilling, scary, tiring, and amazing all at once. While mum focuses on recovering and bonding with baby, your role is holding down the fort. This dad’s guide will cover what to expect postpartum and how to support mum and bub during the critical fourth trimester.

Let’s do this!

Helping Mum Heal

Whether mum gave birth vaginally or by C-section, her body and hormones have been through the ringer. She’ll likely be sore, exhausted, and still bleeding for weeks. The best way to help? Take over household chores so she can focus solely on resting and feeding the baby around the clock. Do the cooking, cleaning, shopping and errands. Don’t wait for her to ask – notice what needs doing and chip in. Make sure she stays hydrated and eats protein-rich meals to heal.

Watch for signs of infection like fever, increased pain or foul-smelling discharge. Help her ease discomfort with sitz baths, ice packs, perineal cold therapy pads, and pain meds. Be patient as intimacy may need a break while she recovers – cuddles will nurture your bond for now. Your job is making sure mum’s needs are met so she can recover. She’ll be back to her superhero self in no time!

Mastering Dad-Baby Basics

While mum’s got breastfeeding covered, you get to master other essential baby care skills. Getting comfortable with nappy changes is priority number one. Stock up on nappies, wipes, creams and a changing mat or pad. Place everything in arm’s reach so you can change bub efficiently. Go slowly, narrate each step, and stay smiling. You’ve got this, dad!

Bathing a slippery, wriggly newborn can be daunting too. Have mum show you how she cradles and supports baby’s head during bath time. Again, narrate each step and turn it into a soothing experience by talking or singing to your mini me. Soon you’ll be a pro at these dad duties.

Helping With Sleep Routines

Newborns feed round the clock and have yet to differentiate between night and day. But you can start encouraging healthy sleep habits right away. Help mum time day feeds to be every 2-3 hours and cluster night feeds so baby begins stretching sleep periods. Keep lights dim and voices low when feeding at night. Establish a calming bedtime routine like a warm bath, book, song, and loving cuddle.

When putting baby down drowsy but awake, you can try gentle shushing, patting or “skooching” to soothe without fully waking him. Taking shifts with your partner allows you each to bank unbroken sleep. Sleep deprivation is no joke, so do what you can to help each other get rest. You’ll both need stamina in these early months. Hang in there!

Bonding Through Playtime

In between all the feeding, changing and soothing, make sure to carve out quality time playing with your little one. At this age, play encourages crucial bonding. Lie baby on his back and make silly faces – his vision is still blurry but he’ll love your animated expressions. Chatting, reading, singing and mimicking his noises builds language skills too.

When he’s awake and alert, engage him with high contrast toys like black and white mobiles and patterned cards. Try gently bouncing him on an exercise ball or babywearing in a sling for motion stimulation. Tummy time strengthens muscles when placed on his belly on a mat. Your snuggles and undivided attention during playtime fortify your connection.

Getting Out and About

While home is a cocoon right now, you’ll both start yearning for fresh air before long. Short walks around the block in the pram help mum get moving again while soothing fussy babies. Load up the diaper bag and get familiar with how to collapse the stroller with one hand while cradling bub in the other – it’s an art!

When driving, always use the car seat correctly – most hospitals won’t discharge baby unless he passes the car seat test. Meeting friends or family at a cafe is a safe first outing. Going prepared with feeding supplies, a coverup if breastfeeding, change of baby clothes and your trusty diaper bag makes excursions smooth sailing.

Trusting Your Instincts

Parenthood has a big learning curve. If you don’t have siblings or baby experience, caring for a newborn feels totally foreign at first. Rest assured that you’ll quickly get in a groove and tune into your baby’s cues. When in doubt, trust your instincts – you’ve got this! Always stay patient, loving and responsive.

Don’t be afraid to ask the maternal health nurse, lactation consultant or your own mum for help. Seek advice but remember every baby is different. Take it day by day. As your confidence grows, so will that amazing father-child bond.

Adjusting to Life as a New Family

The greatest challenge and joy of this period is learning to function as a new family. With mum devoting herself to the baby, it’s easy for dads to feel sidelined. Combat this by carving out special time with your partner daily – even just 20-30 minutes enjoying a cuppa together without baby. Tell her how amazing she’s doing. Share your highs and lows from the day. Most importantly, keep communicating.

Your relationship is the solid foundation baby now relies on. Remind yourself it’s an adjustment bringing a helpless new life into your world – and you’re all learning together. Be patient with yourself, your partner and bub. You’re embarking on the greatest adventure.

There you have it – the inside scoop on conquering the first months as a new dad. Some days will be tougher than others. But the magical moments – your baby’s first smile, giggles, recognizing your voice – make it all worthwhile. Cherish this fleeting time. Before you know it, your little ankle biter will be keeping you on your toes in a whole new way. You’ve got this, dad!

For more information on How to Support your Partner During Postpartum you can find a large amount of information on The Australian Birth Stories Website or read our article on postpartum depression for men in this here.

2 thoughts on “Ways How To Navigate With Postpartum”

  1. Pingback: Ways on How to Manage Anxiety In Fatherhood - Cheeky Daddy

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