How can husbands help during the breast feeding phase

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?

Rise and Shine – waking them in the morning is not a cake walk

Driven by school timings, kids generally do not have the luxury of sleeping in late. Yes, vacations and weekends do provide them an opportunity stay a-bed a little longer, but primarily they are bound by the clock and have to get into a routine of sleeping and waking up on time.

While making them hit the sack has its own challenges, we have found waking up in the morning the bigger of the twobattles.

Here are some effective tools we have managed to deploy in our favour:

• Gently nudging the child to wake up and snuggling/tickling

• Putting on the music in the morning works wonders most kids are fond of music and are likely to rise from their slumber

• Switching off the fan / air conditioner or removing the quilt /blanket depending upon which geography you are in. Yes, does sound mean but the response is fairly quick and fast.

• Last and a little extreme is to splash some water on them (again a may seem a little harsh, but do keep in mind that the little angle is also a superb actor and is probably only pretending to snuggle in to avoid leaving a warm and comfortable bed)

While, it is natural for us to take it easy on a Friday eve as there is no pressure of morning alarms the next day, avoiding a late bedtime ensures that routines are not alarmingly disrupted. Sticking to the daily schedule with only a slight variance will mean that the entire weekend can be fruitful and meaningfully deployed for catch up on studies and other outdoor excursions and, if nothing else, just bonding time with the family.

Please do remember that any of the above mentioned techniques can also be deployed by the children over the weekends when you are trying to catch up on your sleep. So if you do feel a splash of water rudely awakening you from your dreams there is no retort available as it is fairly tit for tat scenario

Father – Son combine for Mother’s Day Surprise

Mother’s day is another reason for us to thank the mom’s. Each day is actually mother’s day

Yes, Mothers are indeed special, not only on Mother’s Day but 365 days a year. According to me #EveryDayIsMothersDay. The role they play in bringing up the children, managing the household and juggling between domestic and professional demands is probably un-parallel and the toughest in the world.

So this Mother’s day the boys in the house decided to give mom a special treat; a surprise by cooking dinner for the evening.

I do have a confession to make, it’s not the first time that I was cooking. I do cook occasionally, but the caveats are that the raw materials would be chopped and ready for use by the Master Chef, a.ka. ME. Like any celebrity chef (tongue-in-cheek), my prowess lies in mixing the ingredients and giving it the magic touch.

Since it was Mother’s Day the cook too had been given an off…so that meant that my son and I would have to do everything from scratch. Chopping and dicing are not necessarily my best traits in the kitchen and since we had planned the surprise there was no getting out of it.

So after freezing the menu, i.e. Kuchumber Salad, Bhunna Chicken (my style), Cucumber Raita along with Tandoori Rotis; my son and I took stock of the raw materials to set ourselves for the evening. Capsicum, Red and Yellow Paprika, Cabbage, Carrots, Cucumber, Onions, Tomatoes, Ginger, Garlic along with Boneless Chicken marinated in Curd were the raw materials identified to be used.

Now came the most boring and tough part according to me i.e. chopping and grinding. Here’s where technology came to the rescue in the form of Philips Onion Chopper. It is God sent.

Having washed and cut the vegetables for chopping, we plugged in the Philips Onion Chopper to use. All my son had to do was put in cut pieces of vegetables for the Kuchumber Salad in the chopper, and, lo and behold, finely chopped vegetables for the salad were ready. The consistency and size of the chopping was amazing and uniform across vegetables, i.e. carrots, cabbage, capsicum, red and yellow paprika were chopped squarely and fine. Same was the case with the cucumber.

We changed the blades for grinding the Onions and Ginger Garlic for the masala for the Chicken and were not disappointed. Extremely smooth and efficient with excellent consistency of paste is what we got courtesy the Philips Onion Chopper. My son felt extremely involved, motivated and most of all proud of his part of the program, as had it not been for the Philips Onion Chopper, he would not have been allowed to use a knife and chopping board at his young age.

Needless to say the tough part of cleaning post-use was also relatively simple and easy.

After the tough part of chopping and grinding was over, putting it all together into a mouth-watering, lip smacking meal for the Mrs. was left hand’s play for the Master Chef (tongue-in-cheek). Net-net, it was a great Mother’s Day Sunday evening where my son and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves thanks to the Philips Onion Chopper.

And as expected, we got a 12/10 for my cooking from the Mrs. and 100 on 10 for not creating a mess.
My son now wants this to be a weekly ritual…along with a contest thrown in…i.e. who can complete his task faster…..phew…..tough times ahead… 🙂

Minimalistic Parenting

Minimalistic parenting is contingent to the age of the child. As the child grows, the spaces in which parental involvement is required change i.e. older the child higher is minimalistic parenting. The route with older children is around  discussions and making the right choices.

However, that said, today younger kids too are being brought up in a highly democratic environment as opposed to the earlier generations. More and more parents today involve or let the child lead the decision with regards to home spaces like their rooms, their extracurricular schedules and the choice of activities they want to pick up, what kind of a party they want to plan and the friends they want to call. They also influence to some extend the choice of family vehicles , consumer durables and mobile phones to be bought.

This empowerment only helps in the child being more confident, feeling involved and participate in decision making. The mantra is no longer my way (parents) or the highway.

Minimalist parenting does come with caveats though, as too much freedom can soon extend to more serious decision making without parents consent and involvement. This change would then result in conflicts – reigning in the child does have merit, especially when it comes to areas where age and wisdom matter more than freedom of choice.