Postpartum Advice + Tips for New Dads
Eleanor is almost 2 months old — wow! I seriously can’t believe it’s flown by!
Learning my daughter’s cues, cries, and slowly appreciating the life I have come into has made me love being a mom more and more everyday. I’m slowly accepting my new body, and appreciating the beautiful life it gifted us!
I honestly could not do it without my husband by my side, and my amazing village of friends and family. It does take a village to raise a child. To think you can do it all on your own is crazy! I give it up to all the single moms, including my mom. I don’t know how she did it some days.
But, in today’s post, I want to highlight the dads. Why? Well, for one, to give them credit, and two, to maybe help them through a little. I will admit that some days my husband feels a little helpless in the feeding department, since my daughter is breastfed, but he helps out in so many more ways! So, men, if you’re listening, take notes. Your wife is tired, she needs help, and she’s exhausted from delivery. It takes 6 to 8 weeks to heal and get back to semi normal.
My gift from my husband was a clean house! He had the house professionally cleaned before we arrived home from the hospital. I came home tired, sore, and overwhelmed with a little baby in tow, but stepping into a clean house made me so happy. I haven’t met a woman yet who doesn’t love a clean house! Men, are you still taking notes??? Ok, just making sure.
Since then, my husband has picked up the duties of dishes (well, he always was better at them than me), he makes dinner every once in a while when he comes home from work, and he fetches me water during the night feedings, because, if you don’t know, breastfeeding makes you really thirsty.
So, men, be patient, be kind, and be helpful. She is SO sore. And when I say sore, I don’t mean an “Ow!” kind of sore, I mean a “can barely sit down” kind of sore. Think about it: she just pushed a living, breathing human out of her, or had her abdomen cut open. Seriously, she’s a rock star. Realize that. She will bleed, and not normal bleeding, a lot of bleeding. So, strap in guys. You will see more of her than ever. Fetch her pads (LOTS OF THEM) and ice packs. If she leaks breastmilk all over herself, fetch nursing pads.
She will become emotional, too (it’s called “the baby blues” for a reason). And you both will be sleep deprived and exhausted. Breastfeeding takes time, it happens at all hours of the night, and it can cause a lot of meltdowns! It also doesn’t work out for some mothers, which can be devastating, so be her support and her shoulder to cry on when she needs it. Understand that this is normal, it’s hard, and no one teaches you how to become a parent. You just all of a sudden are one! Biggest tip is not stressing too hard, and being there to rub her back while she cries. And if she’s in pain on top and on bottom, for example, and if her nipples are cracked and bleeding, pass her the Lansinoh and say I love you.
Also, we all understand you work hard, too. Your love and commitment to your child and or children doesn’t go unnoticed. We promise to give you sex again (just give us time), and we promise to talk about you again, and to talk about something other than the baby. Just give us time. We love you.
Be her support, love her, and be patient. She is the woman who birthed your baby.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing my husband spend time with his daughter and to hear them coo back and forth while I write, and take a break for myself.
Photos: Dragon Photo Studio (top); Emily Milner (family photo)