New mums need to be held, loved and supported. So if you’ve just had a baby and feel support is lacking, here are some things your partner can do. You are in this together – remember that!
By Mia Johnson
Nothing compares to having a baby. You need, need, need support. First-time mums, you know what I’m talking about.
When you’re in that baby bubble, everything is an unknown and it’s bloody hard taking care of a little human.
“First-time parents need to adapt to new routines and new ways, but you can enjoy the process.”
And you may find yourself overwhelmed with new obligations and surging hormones. That’s where your partner needs to step up and help.
You are partners, so act like it. Support each other and understand that there’s no chore reserved for one of you only. You are a TEAM!
1. Let them get up first in the morning
Come together and work out a plan. If you were the one to get up in the middle of the night for night feeds, then it’s only fair that your partner is the one who takes care of your bebe in the morning.
Even 30 minutes of uninterrupted slumber goes a long way.
If your partner has a busy day ahead, they can wear bub in a sling or a carrier and make breakfast. Not only does this help you have some mama ‘me time’, it creates a special bonding time for your partner and bebe to enjoy on their own.
2. Create new routines
The fact is, you won’t ever go back to your old ways before your baby was born. So introducing new routines can help the whole fam run like clockwork (or at least try!)
Maybe your partner can be responsible for the grocery shopping and doing the laundry. It’s about letting them take ownership of some of the household chores and you need to relinquish some control.
3. Find balance with breastfeeding
If you are breastfeeding, you’ll need time to adjust, and even though it’s you who is breastfeeding, it doesn’t mean your partner can’t support you and be of any help.
Let them observe your first few breastfeedings, they might be able to notice things you couldn’t – like seeing which position suits the baby most, and help ease the process.
Also, if you need to see a lactation consultant, bring them along because they will be able to help you remember the advice… because, baby brain!
4. Share your feelings
As a new mama, you will have to face a lot of challenges, including the hormonal storms.
You will experience sudden changes of mood, the urge to cry, get angry or simply feel inadequate from time to time.
Now is the time for your partner to recognise if you need support and comfort. Having them by your side when you need them most is how you regain your confidence.
It’s also for your partner to monitor the signals of potential postnatal depression.
If you continue to experience lack of sleep (outside the norms of having a newborn!), cry frequently or feel highly irritated, then they should encourage you to chat with a professional and go with you to your appointment.
You will not be the one to realise you are depressed, it will be the ones closest to you.
5. Let them prepare meals
Suggest your partner prepare meals that can be easily eaten with one hand, so you can hold your bebe if you need to, while eating.
Another tip is for them to cook and freeze some meals so you have them on hand whenever they’re needed.
6. Help your partner connect with your bebe
It’s important for them to get creative when he needs to soothe your baby.
Making silly faces, singing relaxing songs or finding their own special technique of rocking the baby will go a long way.
In time, your partner may even become a better baby whisperer than you!
The point is for them to find out what works with your baby and what doesn’t. That way, they will be able to calm bub down when you’re not around.
In return, you will be relaxed because you’ll know your partner can handle it on their own.