As an expecting parent, you probably already know what’s coming your way. Sleepless nights, diaper changes, blown up household expenses, incessant crying; every baby book and parenting blog talks about what challenges to expect when the baby comes. Heck, even your family members and friends have probably already told you numerous horror stories about parenting that come from their own experience.
However, not enough people talk about what to expect about mommy’s situation after birth, about what new dads need to know about their spouses post-partum, and this is something that we aim to change today.
Here are things that you should expect from your spouse after they give birth to your baby:
She will expect more from you
Your spouse carried your baby for nine months, went through grueling labor for hours, and is now going through the difficult process of recovery. Understandably, she will expect more from you as their spouse and the father of their baby. You will be expected to step up in many aspects of your life, including being a good provider, taking care of the baby, and doing the household chores. Thus, be ready to sacrifice sleep, time, and leisure even before the pregnancy, but most especially after your wife gives birth.
She will need time for herself
Babies naturally become semi-permanent attachments to their mother’s arms other birth, especially during the first few months. But even if your spouse is keen on handling most of the child care, they will still need time to themselves without the baby. That said, make sure that you are ready to take over whenever they need you to, whether it’s for a well-deserved mommy day off or a Pilates session at the gym. Remember that even if you are both parents now, you are still individual people that need personal time to yourselves, especially when you start to burn out.
She will expect you to know what to do
Both of you have roles to play as new parents, and that means that both of you need to know what to do when the baby arrives. If this is your first child, do your research way before the baby arrives. Read reliable resources on how to take care of a baby, possibly even dumbed-down versions if you have absolutely zero experience with child care. If you want, you can even take child care classes together so that you can both learn at the same time.
Your spouse will assume that you know what to do, which is only fair because you share the responsibilities together for the child you’ve created. Hence, don’t rely on her solely for the baby care knowledge that you should know. Pull your own weight and everything will go much smoother when the baby arrives.
She will need more reassurance
A lot of new mothers tend to be more critical of themselves after giving birth, whether it’s about the physical changes that they went through during pregnancy or the way they’re taking care of their baby. For this reason, you need to be there to offer them constant reassurance. Tell her that they look great even after all they went through, that they’re doing a great job as a new mom, and that they don’t have to feel guilty for having less time and attention for you. Reassure them that the hard part will be over in time, and you will get through it together.
She will need you to take care of her
Not only will your spouse need you to reassure them, but they will also need you to take care of them. They will be so busy with the baby that they won’t have the time nor energy to take care of themselves, and this is where you come in. Clean up after her, feed her nutritious snacks and meals, assist her in the bathroom if need be, and let her sleep as much as possible. More importantly, don’t expect them to take care of you.
She will need you to look out for signs of postpartum depression
Postpartum depression can sneak up on any mother, and your spouse may not realize that they have it until it starts to get worse. With that in mind, be on the lookout for changes in their behavior that can point to postpartum depression. Most cases are temporary, but they should be addressed nonetheless.
Being a new dad is hard, but being a new mom is even harder. While you’re preparing to be a good father to your baby, be sure that you’re also preparing to be a better spouse. Know what is expected from you when the baby arrives, and you should be able to fill your role much faster for the sake of your family.