Healthy Partner After Birth
It may feel like partners are left out of the conversation when it comes to caring for babies, but your relationship with your baby and your own self-care are so important.
What role do dads play?
Research shows that babies benefit from dads being involved in many ways, including more secure bonding and attachment, improved language development, better coping skills, and eventually doing better in school.
Dads also play such an important role in helping mothers, whether they are married or not, by supporting a mother breastfeeding, caring for the baby, and helping her adjust to being a parent.
And being a dad can help you, too. Dads are more likely to take care of themselves by trying to eat better, exercise more, and avoid risky situations—because now you have someone who depends on you to be there for them.
What can dads and partners do to help their baby grow and thrive?
Your baby just needs your time and attention. Even though they may seem small, you can start with very simple daily activities.
- Reading to your baby is a great place to begin. Your baby loves to hear your voice, so start reading to your baby early.
- Try singing your favorite songs or just taking your baby for a walk.
- Another wonderful way to interact with your baby is to spend some time each day in skin-to-skin or kangaroo care—this is simply time where the baby is dressed in a diaper and is placed on your bare chest. Your baby snuggles in close while you get to relax and watch the baby’s reaction to being close to you.
The more you do with your baby, the more comfortable you will be taking care of your baby. And research shows that the more involved dads and partners are when the baby is first born, the more involved they are later in the baby’s life.
And don’t forget to take care of yourself. We hear a lot about postpartum depression in mothers, but dads and partners can experience it, too. Bringing a baby home is a big change, and it can leave you feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and depressed. If you are feeling sad, lonely, or like you need help, talk to someone. Friends, family, doctors, and community resources are all there to help you through this time.
TIP FOR PARENTS
Partners—don’t forget to take care of yourself too!
Going Home With Baby
Here’s what to know about the first few days after coming home from the hospital.
Healthy Mom After Delivery
After giving birth, it’s important for moms to take things slowly and look after their own health.
Sex After Pregnancy
The decision to start having sex again is very personal. Here are a few general guidelines.