How New Dads Can Support New Moms

Bringing home a new baby can be overwhelming for parents, in particular for dads who are unsure of how to care for their new child and also how to best support their partner. Most new dads are unsure of what to do; wanting to bond and wanting to help, but not sure how and feel quite nervous about doing something wrong. Here are some tips on how to best support your amazing partner as you both transition to parenthood.

Draw Her a Bath
Your partner has gone through a lot – she has grown a baby and given birth to that baby and her body needs time to heal. Regular baths filled with healing herbs are a necessity for a new mom. Brew some healing perineal tea, draw her a bath, help her in and then close the door while you tend to the baby. Quiet, healing rest is crucial and so appreciated by the new mom.

Use Your Muscles so Her Muscles Can Heal
Something as simple as getting in and out of bed can be incredibly difficult for the new mom. Her abdominal muscles that typically offer support to her spine and help her move are stretched and weakened. Her pelvic floor that supports her spine, pelvis and internal organs has been through a lot – her core is compromised and needs to heal. Every time she moves, her core is called upon so instead of her doing all the work, use your muscles to help her in and out of bed, the bath or up from the chair. Make it as easy as possible for her so her core can recover.

Proud Papa, Proud Partner
You will be beaming with pride for your newborn, but remember the mother of your child as well. Tell her how proud you are of her, how much you love her and how she is amazing. Women are hard on themselves. They can feel their weakest when they have demonstrated incredible strength. By feeling honoured and appreciated by you, her spirit will be lifted and she will find strength in herself.

Slow Her Down
Your significant other will be in a hurry to do things herself, get back into her skinny jeans or return to the gym. You play a key role in making sure she slows down and embraces the new life you have created together. Encourage her to rest as much as possible, ensure she does not go to bootcamp at six weeks postpartum and remind her that she has just accomplished an amazing feat and there is no need to rush.

Core Breathing Coach
One of the best things your partner can do to help support her healing is core breathing and you can be her coach – in fact, you can do it together. Connect to your own core and connect with hers at the same time. Inhale to expand, exhale to engage. Say these words softly and gently to guide her in restoring her core (note, this only needs to be done once a day for about a minute).

The best thing a new dad can do for his new family is offer appreciative support to his partner by just being there and letting her know that you care. A new baby is a time to come together as a family to allow mom to heal and for all to bond together in this amazing new journey.

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Kim Vopni
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Kim Vopni The Fitness Doula – Author of Prepare To Push™ - What Your Pelvic Floor and Abdomen Want You To Know About Pregnancy And Birth, Owner of Pelvienne Wellness Inc, and Co-Founder of Bellies Inc. Kim is a mom of 2 boys and is a Certified fitness professional who also trained as a doula. She combines the support aspect of a doula with the principles of fitness to help her pregnant clients ‘Prepare To Push’ while postpartum she helps her clients optimize healing and regain their core confidence for motherhood. She has taken specialized training in 2 pelvic floor fitness programs - the Pfilates Method and the Hypopressive Method. In 2009 she created a women’s health event called Kegels and Cocktails (that is now running across Canada and into the USA) designed to empower and educate women on the importance of pelvic health. You can find her on-line at www.pelviennewellness.com and www.belliesinc.com on facebook @PelvienneWellness and @BelliesInc and on twitter @FitnessDoula and @BelliesInc Kim is also a contributing writer for the Globe and Mail's online Health section.
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