Taking care of your newborn at home and sex after pregnancy.
Leaving the hospital with the new responsibility of a baby can be overwhelming. Take time to learn more about adjusting to new roles.
New dad manual
Dad's role in breastfeeding
While breastfeeding will be the mom’s job exclusively, your support is an important factor in breastfeeding success.
Learn the benefits of breastfeeding. Know that it is the healthiest choice. Go with mom to a prenatal breastfeeding class or clinic.
Be aware of mom’s feelings. Although it is natural, breastfeeding may not be an easy task for new mothers. It takes time and practice to learn. Understand her concerns especially when it comes to feeding in a public place. Be verbally supportive and encouraging.
Offer to help:
- Bring her the baby when it's time to feed.
- Watch her while she sleeps with the baby skin-to-skin. Or keep the baby skin-to-skin with you while she sleeps.
- Fetch her glasses of water when she's nursing (breastfeeding moms get surprisingly thirsty).
- Take the baby after the feeding, if she wants to go to sleep.
- Do anything that reduces her workload so she can get lots of rest. That means cleaning, shopping, laundry, screening visitors (if that's what she wants).
- Keep her company. Read to her from the newspaper, have a chat or just hang out with her while she's nursing.
Assist with meals. Meals are really important to breastfeeding mothers. Prepare food in advance for her to have throughout the day. Sometimes an extra pair of hands isn’t available for mother to get lunch. A few slices of cheese, cut-up vegetables or fruit and a sandwich (that is, anything that can be eaten with one hand) waiting in the refrigerator are an easy way for her to get nutrition.
What if your partner can't breastfeed?
Sometimes moms run into breastfeeding problems and have to give up as a result. Understand the loss of breastfeeding can be very emotional.
Most mothers wish to breastfeed, so when a mom has to give up it can be devastating. She feels like she’s missing out on an important experience or feels judged by others for giving her baby something other than breast milk.
If breastfeeding still just won’t work, your job is to be supportive regardless of how things turn out. Continue to seek help and support from your local public health unit no matter how your baby ends up feeding. We are here to help.
Some mothers become depressed and need some extra support, both practical and emotional. Make sure you know how to spot the symptoms of depression and anxiety and where to get help.
You may also feel overwhelmed or overtired. You should not ignore your own feelings. Communicate with your partner and talk to other friends. Life almost always gets easier in time. Learn more about coping with your changing emotions.
Sex after pregnancy
Doctors typically recommend waiting six weeks for mom’s body to recover. However, having sex is more than just waiting for physical recovery. A lot of other factors come into play – exhaustion being a key one. Learn more about sex after pregnancy with your partner.