Resources for New Moms
Your New Baby and Dad
Encourage dad to hold your baby gently, softly, and often
You or baby’s dad might hear that holding a baby too much will spoil the baby, but that’s not true. Infants need to bond and have skin to skin contact with both parents, if possible. Both mom and dad can hold baby directly on your chest without a shirt on to help baby adjust to their new world.
Talk about how you will share responsibilities for baby
Consider asking dad to bathe baby or to wake up with you during the night to help care for baby. Dads can do all the parenting tasks that mom can except for breastfeeding!
Enjoy your baby together
A new baby brings a lot of excitement, but also new challenges for you and dad. Be sure to help one another as much as you can to enjoy this special time – your baby is this tiny only once! Remember to take deep breaths when you get frustrated. Talk through any problems you might face and work through them together.
Support breastfeeding baby together
Studies show that the attitude of the baby’s dad is one of the most important factors in whether a mother continues to breastfeed. Dad can help get baby set up on a pillow for breastfeeding. Drinking water helps you stay hydrated and helps with milk production – ask dad to bring you a glass of water whenever you’re nursing. Nursing goes best when you are relaxed and feeling good. Talk with your baby’s dad about how he can help create a relaxing feeding time. If you have other kids, ask him to play with them while you nurse.
Tell your baby’s dad if you are not feeling like yourself
Talk to your baby’s dad or someone you trust if you are feeling sad, angry, or just not feeling like yourself. Pregnancy and birth change your hormones and may make you feel sad. Below are signs to look out for:
- You have feelings of anger or irritability
- You are not interested in the baby
- You notice changes in what you eat and how you sleep
- You cry and feel sadness
- You have feelings of guilt, shame, or hopelessness
- You don’t have any fun or like any of the things you used to like
- You think of harming yourself or your baby
If you notice you have any of these symptoms call your provider right away. If you are thinking of harming yourself or your baby tell someone you trust and go immediately to the hospital or call 911.
Talk about birth control
It is ideal to wait at least 18 months between having children. If you are in a relationship and feel comfortable, ask dad to come with you to your six-week check-up and talk about birth control options to figure out what works for you both.