Postpartum is one of the most difficult and confusing stages of motherhood. It is that period after childbirth in which we adapt to all the changes experienced after pregnancy and the arrival of the baby.
During the first days, mom and baby will need all the possible support to be able to start this new adventure together, and a key figure who is also part of this new path is the father. Although in the postpartum period it is the mother who is mainly in charge of the baby, especially if she is breastfeeding, there are many ways in which he can also participate actively. I share nine things that dad can do in the postpartum period, that mom and baby will appreciate .
Help the mother in her recovery
After the birth of a baby, the physical state of the mother is very vulnerable and sensitive . In addition to a new change in hormones that occurs due to the arrival of the baby, there are possible physical consequences such as episiotomy or cesarean stitches, among many other changes.
Therefore, it is extremely important that the mother rest as much as possible and thus have an adequate recovery after childbirth. In the first few days, she probably needs to lean on others to get up, go to the bathroom or even to carry the baby, so at this point the father’s role is to help her so that she makes as little physical effort as possible.
Postpartum visits usually fall into two categories: we either want them or we avoid them. For some mothers, receiving visitors is something nice because it helps to get out of that exhausting routine of the first weeks with the baby at home. But for others, it can be something that really generates stress or anxiety, because many prefer to maintain their privacy and rest as much as possible without being interrupted , but they don’t know how to say “no”.
This is when the father comes in as the manager or administrator of postpartum visits : from coordinating the days and times when they can arrive (especially so that they do not fall by surprise or without warning), to preventing them from staying at home during a long time, politely asking them to go away so mom and baby can rest.
Of course, there are special cases in which postpartum visitors can be of great help , such as those who bring prepared food for the new parents or those who spend an afternoon helping with the housework so that the family can rest and relax. one day.
Although in many homes responsibilities are shared, this is not always the case. Perhaps at home the mother was the one in charge of preparing the food for the family, so now, that dad begins to take care of this responsibility will be of great help for the family dynamics.
Or take turns and some days take care of the baby while mom cooks, if she feels like it. During the postpartum period, delegating tasks like this helps mom and baby get the rest they need.
Continuing with the point of delegating, in addition to food, there are many things that must be done at home and that, although perhaps they divided them between the two, it is time for dad to be the main person in charge of doing them .
Housework such as ordering, cleaning, shopping or doing the laundry are some of the things that dad can take care of at home while mom rests and adjusts to life with the baby. If you can’t take care of everything, you can always ask family or friends for help , or if possible, hire someone to help you so that these tasks are one less concern.
Go for a walk with the baby
If the weather is good and we do not have any medical indication that orders us otherwise, it is possible to take the baby out for a walk from the first days of birth , taking certain precautions such as avoiding going to closed places with many people, noise or harmful environments. .
So a great way in which dad can begin to foster a bond with his baby is by going for a walk with him , which will also serve so that mom can rest, take a bath quietly, sleep alone or if she wishes and has energy if you do, pamper yourself a little.
Do not ask what to do, but propose and do
In most families, the mother is in charge of everything, mainly because of that mental burden that never ends and is always on her mind. During the postpartum period, in addition to the tiredness and exhaustion caused by those first days adapting to the baby and recovering after delivery, it is best for her to be as relaxed as possible and with as few worries as possible .
For this reason, we recommend parents to take a more active role not only to do things, but to go one step further and have the initiative to propose without asking the mother what needs to be done .
Being active and involved in the needs of the baby
Dad can also be an active participant in many of the needs of the new member of the family. Actually, he can get involved with everything, except maybe breastfeeding.
So being active and involved with the baby with tasks like changing diapers, holding the baby, doing skin-to-skin , helping to prepare the baby’s bath, changing clothes and putting the baby to sleep will not only help the mother get some rest more, but also, so that father and baby can begin to create a strong bond from the first days.
Support the mother emotionally
As I mentioned at the beginning, postpartum is a stage full of changes and above all, of many fears and insecurities . In it, the mother may feel lost or doubt her ability to do things well. Dad will be a fundamental piece to accompany her emotionally , listening to her concerns and telling her that she is a good mother, reaffirming that she is doing things well and helping her find information that makes her feel calm.
It is important not only to show her understanding and emotional support , but also to be aware of possible symptoms of postpartum depression , so that if it does occur, it does not continue to worsen and you can help her.
And last but not least: take pictures. Perhaps postpartum is not the most comfortable or tender stage of motherhood, but the baby will never be as tiny as it is now. So it doesn’t matter if the house is a mess or if they have dark circles all over her face. Take many photographs, because time flies and sometimes until we see those old images, we realize everything we have experienced.
Of course, these are just some suggestions of what dad can do during the postpartum period to support mom and baby , but each family will choose and distribute the tasks and activities at home as they work best for them.