The New Dad
There is so much focus on new moms because of the many physical, emotional and hormonal changes that she undergoes to become a mother.
But this article is about the important role of the father in pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. Although it is not uncommon for men to feel some of the same symptoms of pregnancy as their partners, there are other feelings unique to them.
Men often have a sense of wanting to provide and care for their partners, yet they may feel little control over what is happening to their partner during labor and birth. I have found that some fathers who participate in prepared childbirth classes and attend prenatal visits feel a bit more a part of the event.
Fathers may become concerned over the financial impact of having a child late in the pregnancy and/or fear of losing their partner during the birth experience. These are things that they may not want to share with others.
It is a good idea for both of you, during and after pregnancy, to discuss your feelings over what is happening to your family. As a midwife I love involving fathers in the birth experience as much as possible. If your nurse is doing a back rub or positioning you during labor she can also teach dad how to do this to make you comfortable.
Father’s often love bonding time with their newborns soon after birth and can be positioned skin-to-skin just like we do with new moms if they like. Once baby is home you may want to discuss infant care times that are special “daddy” parts of the day. Loving fathers are very important to the health and safety of children’s lives and the sooner they develop a relationship with their newborns the better!