Ten Tips for the Postpartum Dad

A new baby can turn your world upside down. Signs of paternal postpartum depression and more from Active Duty Dad.

When a new baby is born dad may feel lost. There is no perfect way to handle every baby because every situation is different but hopefully some of these tips will help a father in need.

  1. Keep an eye on your mate. Postpartum depression has come to the forefront in recent years. If your mate seems to be having trouble with emotional recovery give her two weeks to try and recover with the support of family and friends. After two weeks you need to contact your healthcare provider. For more info on postpartum depression, take a look at this link.
  2. Keep an eye on the man in the mirror. PPD (Paternal Postpartum Depression) is the lesser known masculine form of depression triggered after the birth of a child. The symptoms are similar and are believed to be onset by the added stress of fatherhood. For more info take a look at this link.
  3. Tell your mate how beautiful she is, even more often than usual. Her body needs recovery and her hormones are far from balanced. Even the most confident of women will feel like self conscious about her body during this time period. Do your best to make her feel like a queen, for your sake.
  4. Budget, budget, budget. Whether this is your first child or your tenth, a new child can reek havoc on your wallet. A short term break in any income from mom coupled with the added cost of diapers, formula, and other baby necessities can be overwhelming.
  5. Sleep. What’s that? Say goodbye to a normal sleep schedule. Whenever the baby sleeps don’t try and get your honey do list done: take a nap.
  6. Take responsibility for a few extra chores around the house. Mom is going to be tired especially for the first few weeks. Take some of the things off her plate.
  7. Give the other child(ren), if any, some time alone with you. The new addition will mean there will be a major adjustment for siblings. Give them some of the attention they need by giving them a chance to express their feelings away from all the chaos at home. Something as simple as a ride to the grocery store can mean the world to a child who feels ignored.
  8. Be patient when it comes to intimacy. I cannot believe that I’m saying this …do not rush your mate into sex. She needs time to recover.
  9. Enjoy having a baby that depends on someone else to do everything. Take your time and bond with the baby. The first few months are a time of discovery. Learn as much as you can because it only gets increasingly hectic from here.
  10. Talk to other fathers. Experience is the best teacher. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of fathers who have gone through this transition already.

 

This was previously published on Active Duty Dad.

Read more in the Real Fatherhood series.

Image courtesy of the author

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About M. Theron Bostic

My name is M. Theron Bostic. I am a proud Soldier serving in the capacity of tanker in the United States Army. This means I get to operate and shoot the most lethal direct fire weapon in the world, the M1A2 Abrams tank. I'm the father of two sons and one daughter who keep me on my toes at home. In my spare time I write for my blog, Active Duty Dad, which is a blog about my experiences trying to balance military life and fatherhood.

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