New Baby? What Every New Dad Needs to Know
Having a baby is one of the most wonderful and hardest things a woman will experience in her life. It's impossible for an expectant mother to know just what she may go through postpartum. No matter how many books she reads, every birth and postpartum experience is different. I remember how worried I was about breastfeeding when I was expecting my first baby. I believe I purchased three different books on that topic alone.
Many moms are so focused on their birth and what to expect postpartum that they don't think to discuss issues they may have with their husband/partner. When you are in the throes of new mommyhood, you often feel like you do not have the energy or the time to have a discussion about what you need or how you are feeling.
In looking back, there are several things that would have helped me cope with a new baby if my husband knew beforehand. I asked other veteran moms what they would tell their husbands if they could go back to the weeks before giving birth to their first born child. Here is what they had to say:
“You will be up at night if I'm up at night, and you will change diapers. Cooking? You better learn how to if you don't know how.”
Alithza Martinez, mom of two
“No matter how many kids we've had — or how many we've nursed — there will always be that point at about 1-2 weeks that we are convinced that our babies aren't nursing properly or we aren't producing enough milk, and we will then have a major emotional breakdown. Every.single.time.”
Rhyannon Curry, mom of three
“There will be times when I don't know the limits of my own anger or how I can go from totally fine to freaking-out-panic mode so fast. I need you to hold my hand, let me cry, and help me breathe. Remind me that I'm alive and that there are certain things that are outside of my control. Remember that this is not me, not who I truly am, and has no bearing on the wonderful father I think you are to our kids.”
Shannon Moyer Szemenyei, mom of two, doula and blogger of Sweet Stellas
“The hormone shift is terrible! Be really nice to me because I will cry very easily.”
Jamie Smith Davis, mom of four
“Pregnancy brain is for real. My husband didn't believe me when I was pregnant with our first until someone at work warned him. This was after I also mixed up three business orders for my side business.”
Melissa Dell, mom of two and pregnant with baby #3, blogger at melissadell.com.
“Be supportive and understand my frustration when breastfeeding isn't working as planned. Don't let me give up!”
Melinda Machado Caldwell, mom of 2 and blogger at Homemade Interest
” … sexy time is the last thing on my mind and it's not because I don't love you. We're dealing with lots of feelings and hormones and even get touched out. Don't make me feel bad because my boobs are not for play right now. A friend is going through this right now and the guilt she's getting is horrible.”
April Kinney, mom of 1 and expecting her second baby in December
“Don't let me NOT let you help. I will feel the need to be in control and do everything. When I say ‘I got it', or ‘I'll do it' try to find a way to help anyway.”
April Kinney, mom of 1, expecting 2 in December
What do you wish your partner would have known? Share in the comments!