t’s a fact:  when a new baby comes into the world, mommy plays an integral role.  In fact, most books and talks are geared towards equipping and preparing the mom for this monumental change. Daddy? Well the books tend to neglect him. But that’s changing.

Often enough, dads are left to the sideline.  It’s ironic because we expect them to participate and yet they aren’t told how to do this.  Here are 8 ways moms would appreciate their partners’ help in the first few days of their child’s life:

Support breastfeeding 

Breastfeeding is one of the hardest, most painful challenges new moms must overcome in the first few days of their babies’ lives.  Most of the breastfeeding moms we spoke to said they were able to succeed primarily because they knew their husband was 100% behind them.  It truly makes all the difference in the world. 

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Change diapers

It’s not hard to do, actually.  And newborn poop doesn’t smell.  In fact, for a good amount of time, it’s just black and sticky before it gets yellow and gooey.  All you have to learn is how best to avoid the spray that usually comes when you open a diaper.

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Cook meals

In the first few weeks, mommy will need to focus on recovering from labor and delivery.  One great way to help her (and to nourish your newborn at the same time), is to cook hearty meals for the family.  Anything that is soup-based (like malunggay) should also help her increase breast milk supply.

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Take the baby and let mom sleep

In the wee hours of the morning, moms get up to nurse.  Afterwards, babies need to be burped and changed, before being put back to sleep.  It would do her a world of good if she could pass the newborn on to dad for burping and a diaper change so that she can get a few hours of much-needed shuteye before the cycle starts again.

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Take over household chores

When babies are born, dads get paternity leave.  This implies that you can be home to manage the rest of the household and ensure things don’t fall apart.  Anything from cleaning the house to doing the groceries and attending to the household help are definitely tasks that need to continue. It’s not really a vacation, but a parental duty to take those 7-10 days off.

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Care for the older children

If this is the family’s second or nth newborn, dad can take charge of the needs of the older siblings so that mom can also focus her energy on the baby. 

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Ward off unwanted visitors

Many well-meaning folks will want to come and visit and offer their two cents’ worth on newborn care.  Not all moms and newborns, however, are ready or capable of receiving such information in the first few weeks.  Dad is expected to screen and filter who can come and visit and schedule when visitors can be accepted.

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Avoid dictating and just do

Most dads we know have wonderful suggestions about how things should be done and in what manner.  The execution, however, is a different story.  In this postpartum period , the best way to help mommy is to quiet down and just follow her lead.  She will be more emotional than usual and no amount of reasoning will work to daddy’s favor.  It’s best to just comply.  Or, as some moms have expressed, if you really can’t help and be hands on, then the best help is to get out of the way and allow her to go do her thing.

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What it all boils down to is this:  for as long as mommy feels unconditionally loved and supported during this time, daddy is doing a helluva good job.



Jenny Infante Reyes

Jenny Infante Reyes blogs at www.mymommyology.com. She's a member of the Mommy Mundo SoMoms. Read more about the SoMoms here: www.mommymundo.com/somoms.

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