Birth: Your Role becomes more Active
You have two active roles
now: labor coach and new father.
Your Job as Labor Coach
If you’re nervous about
going through labor with your partner, you’re normal. Keep in mind
that your main job is to support her. Just having you there will
- Talk in advance about
what’s important to her about giving birth in terms of pain medication,
birth positions, etc. Discussions like this can help you during
labor, when your wife may have trouble focusing on things.
- Be flexible as labor
progresses. Things don’t always go according to plan, and being
able to go with the flow is important.
- Ask her often what
you can do for her—back rubs, ice chips, etc.
- Don’t hesitate to
ask healthcare providers questions. Don’t be shy!
- You’re probably going
to be in the hospital for a long time, so think about taking some
New Father: Make the
Most of Limited Time
The more time you spend
with your new baby, the better for everybody. The baby will feel
a close bond with you. Your wife will love seeing you caring for
your infant. (It’s true—there’s nothing like a nurturing man to
melt a woman’s heart.) And you’ll enjoy the closeness in ways you
The Beginning can be
can be hard when the baby first comes home from the hospital. Your
wife may be exhausted, with little energy for anything but nursing
and caring for the baby. There may be lots of visitors, and maybe
even houseguests staying for a while to help out. The best thing
for you is to plunge right in and start caring for the baby too.
- Set up routines for
just you and the baby—maybe a bath at the end of the day, dressing
the baby for bed, reading the baby a story at night. (They’re
never too young for stories.)
- Spend time alone with
your baby on a regular basis. Weekends are a good time to make
sure your wife gets a little time to herself. She can get out
of the house while you and the baby go for a walk, a drive or
just hang out in the house.
- Make sure that packing
up the baby gear is something both of you do. When it’s time for
a visit with grandparents or even a trip to the mall, take charge
of loading up the baby bag.
- Sign up for Father/Baby
classes. These can be especially helpful if you’re a first-time
father and feeling intimidated by the whole thing.
Sex after the Baby
In general, most physicians
recommend that women not have sex until six weeks after giving birth.
If your wife had a cesarean, she may be able to have sex a little
sooner. Naturally, this all depends on how you and your wife are
feeling. Talk it over together.