Top Tips for Partners Post-birth

Copy of Love from baby (1)
The number one question I get from partners in post-birth prep session is "What can I actually do when the baby's here?"
Here are my top ten tips for expecting partners and supporters.
1. Be there.
Take as much leave as you can, skip Friday drinks and soccer training. Your reassuring presence is supremely valuable.
2. Be her bodyguard.
Some visitors are energy vampires. Keep an eye on the clock and wrap up visits if she's fading. It's also on you to step in if someone is peppering her with unwanted advice or making her feel awkward about feeding her baby.
3. Be the organiser.
Take charge of shopping lists, getting laundry done, bills, and coordinating older kids. Permanently keeping some of these jobs and more evenly sharing the household admin and labour will likely lead to a more harmonious family household long-term.
4. Provide water and snacks at every breastfeed.
It's thirsty and hungry work growing a baby! If she's breastfeeding, she is the baby's life support machine. You are supplying the power to it. Keep bringing food and water, and you'll all get through.
5. Take care of the bottom end.
She's looking after the top end after all! Whenever you're around, you're on nappy duty. Yes, even in the night.
6. Tell her how well she's doing.
A few kind words really do help when you're feeling fragile.
7. Look after yourself.
Physically - if you've go a headache, take some painkillers and lie on the couch with her, but please don't tell her how sore you are when she has just ejected a watermelon from her body.
Emotionally - keep in touch with your friends. Actually tell them what it's like to have a baby - they'll either understand or thank you for the heads up if they eventually have kids.
Mentally - Call on support from professionals and friends if you're finding birth and family changes hard to cope with. Seeking help is a show of love for your family, not a sign of weakness. The PANDA and Pregnancy, Birth and Baby phone helplines are good places to start for partners who want to check in about their mental health.
Sexually - Honestly, she might not be up for it for a while. Do what you gotta do.
8. Take your shirt off
Skin-to-skin with Baby isn't just for mums. Skip deodorants and cologne - Baby wants to know your smell, and being able to smell them helps your brain rewire too, making for stronger bonding all round.
9. Master the baby carrier, pram, bath time and book reading.
These are all breastless bonding opportunities. Be the one who knows how the pram folds down, and be on call to explain it to her by phone when she's out by herself and can't remember how to do it.
10. Listen without trying to fix anything.
This one is the hardest, but will earn you the most thanks. Let her talk through the problem and her options, offer advice only if she asks for it, and support whatever decision she makes.
Congratulations, and good luck!


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