Any pregnancy, be it normal or complicated, is tough. Keeping the mother’s.biological and psychological adjustments aside, the ladies have to adjust to changes in lifestyle as well as giving up quite a few things that they may enjoy. In such a scenario it is up to the man to step in and make sure that the mother- to- be is comfortable and has all that she needs.
Post the delivery the situation escalates as now the mum needs more support hands-on as well as emotionally. My wife had a complicated pregnancy and c-sec delivery and I know first-hand how breastfeeding can become that much more complicated.
Traditional roles have placed Dads as the providers and mothers as the nurturers. However, one of the things fathers have to remember at all times is that they are equally responsible in conception and birth of a child. While the mother does the hard work of carrying the baby for nine months and then delivering the child, Dads too have contributed in creating a living being and, therefore, they too must take responsibility for bringing up the child.
And this is a demanding life-long journey. The first of which begins in feeding the baby numerous times a day and at odd hours. Here is where as fathers we can play a significant role to ensure that the stress on the mother is reduced and the important task of breast feeding the baby is not impacted in any way. Breast feeding goes a long way in building immunity and has numerous other benefits which have been articulated by the medical profession.
Sleeping in another room basis the excuse that the child waking up in the middle of the night and will disturb your sleep is hardly valid as it is the same for the mother. While there may be work pressure to deal with, picking up the baby in the night if it cries can only help in reducing the stress on the mother. Yes, in the initial few months, the child may wake up for a feed, but there are ways around that as well and other times too when the husband can easily assist. Having the mother express her milk and you taking the charge in the night is one such way.
When my son was born, I was on late night shift and had set up a schedule with my wife where she would express and leave a bottle ready so I could take the early evening feeding and she could sleep longer, this also gave me exclusive bonding time with my little angle. This arrangement also meant that I could take the little fellow for evening walks and not be worried about the feed and giving the wife much needed rest and recovery.
The first couple of months for new parents and first-time mothers can be fairly chaotic, with well-wishers and closet experts sharing varying opinions.
However, in all the chaos and excitement which accompanies a birth, one crucial aspect for the sake for the baby is for the mother to breast feed as long as possible and for this the husband and the eco system in the house has to be supportive
I am doing my bit as a dad and husband, are you?