Need Advice?


First Time Dads

Posted In Dads - By KidsMug On Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 With 0 Comments

Much of the information available on pregnancy and birth centres around the female partner and her, and the baby’s, needs as they jointly move into their parent and child relationship. But dads need reassurance too.
Take part in your own bonding process
Share in the cuddling immediately after birth, along with your partner. You may even have more of an opportunity to do so, while your partner delivers the placenta or receives stitching. Don’t worry if you feel completely unprepared for this event, or that your baby will reject you — your voice will probably already be familiar from baby’s days in the womb.

Try not to feel that you’re “on the outside”
In the beginning it may feel as though your partner has more of a role in caring for your new child, and especially if she is breastfeeding. But being part of the new family unit means being a team: your role in looking after the house, any pets and fielding all those telephone calls when your partner is trying to get some sleep is just as important to the family unit as feeding the new baby.

You may feel that you’re more part of the family unit if you get involved from the very beginning — attend antenatal classes, try to be at the birth, learn how to change a nappy. As well as helping your partner, it will help you to feel part of the parenthood process.

Don’t forget that your partner needs hugs too — give them and you’ll probably get them back! This doesn’t necessarily mean that full-blown sex is on the agenda straight away. You will both probably have to wait until the dust has settled somewhat. Helen, mother of two-year-old Lucy, says, “Sex was completely off the agenda for ages. Even once the caesarian scars had healed and Lucy managed to stop crying for more than two hours at a time, I still felt completely unsexy. It’s even difficult to find a position that’s comfortable when your boobs are full of milk and about to leak all over the bed!”

And it’s not just mums who can feel that way. Although men don’t have the physical battle scars to heal, they often have the mental ones — the transition from man to dad can often leave men feeling curiously asexual. Some men find that the birthing process temporarily turns them off their partners. As with many of these early feelings, this phase often passes once sleep is restored and a new family equilibrium is gained. Counselling should be sought if the negative feelings persist.

Create your own routine
As the new family gets used to each other, dads often find that they have their own routine. Your partner, in time, may find that it’s easier to express breast milk using a pump — this allows you to be able to give your baby his or her feeds, or to use bottle formula. Many working dads like to give their babies their evening bath each night, as a way of feeling close to them and having some fun time together.

You may feel sad, too
Dads are also liable to get a dose of the “baby blues”, despite not physically giving birth themselves. Some studies have shown that male partners experience a surge of female hormones around the time that their babies are born, and what goes up must come down. Not only that, but the responsibility of financially providing for a young and growing family can be quite overwhelming — and even in this day and age this largely falls to the father. Your relationship with your partner is in the process of changing, and you’re so tired you wish that the bed would swallow you up whole.

If you feel down, try to eat as well as possible and take regular exercise — this will also help to manage feelings of fatigue. If your feelings continue to be down over a period of time, it’s a good idea to get professional help.

Support networks
Just as friends in similar situations can be a great help for new mothers, the same can be said for fathers. Finding a support network, from friends or antenatal classes, can make you feel reassured and provide you with a learning forum about how you can do things with your partner and new child. You may find that you become closer to your own parents, as a better understanding of their complete role in your life is gained.

Original Article published on

Tags: ,

About the Author