Recently we had a visitor to our Dads2b classes as Thomas’s wife Rachael aka the photographer behind Beautiful Bairns Photography popped along to take some photos for us to use on the website. When there a few of the dads jumped on the chance to ask a mum for her opinion on a few things and we thought it would make a great blog post.
Over to Rachael -
A few weeks ago I visited the Dads Rock dads2b classes to take some behind the scenes photos for the DR website and blog. Shortly after I arrived one of the Dads approached me to ask me “as a mum” what they could do to support their partners and “not p*ss her off” which I thought was a great question!
I think for dads to be it's a difficult position to be in as many can feel helpless and a bit removed from everything. So what can Dads do to help? The simple answer is - lots! No you can't push the baby out, you can't take her pain away, but you can do a lot of things to support your partner throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond. So here are a few of my top tips which I hope are of help!
Pregnancy support - how to support your partner in pregnancy
Feed me, feed me now!
No really, pregnancy is hungry business! I never knew what “Hangry” meant until I was pregnant with our eldest son Lewis. At times I think Thomas felt like throwing food at me like a lion in the zoo, he knew I was hungry as I would be mega grumpy for absolutely no reason! This can be hormonal but can also be related to growth and both make pregnant ladies hungry and if we don't get fed we can be shall we say, less pleasant than usual ;)
So you will score HUGE brownie points if you can preempt her hunger, take snacks with you when you go out (its training for when you have a hungry toddler, trust me!) and try and make her dinner once or twice a week. But mainly just try to remember its not her being a grump, she is growing your child which is hard work and tiring!
The itchy and scratchy show!
No, not the quirky cartoon but instead the relentless itch that can come with pregnancy and drive us slightly demented! One of the less than fabulous side effects of pregnancy can be itchy skin. For me it presented mostly on my legs and was always more annoying at night when tired and wanting to get to sleep. So if your partner suffers the same you will score major brownie points if you can grab a nice massage oil and massage it into any itchy areas so your partner can relax. There isn't much that's more frustrating when you're enormously pregnant that lying in bed writhing in discomfort while your other half snores soundly next to you in complete oblivion.
FEAR!!!!! Feel the fear and do it anyway?
Believe it or not us mums to be feel it too, so one of the biggest things you can do is to talk to your partner with honesty about your fears and concerns. Not in a way that will scare the bejesus out of her but in a way that makes her feel like she isn't the only one feeling that way. By sharing your concerns and worries you can open up and talk about the kind of parents you want to be which can only be a great thing. What do you want for your child? What are you scared of? I bet there are things that terrify you that she is excited about and v/versa!
Labour and Birth - Holy Moly now what do I do?!
My waters have gone - aaarrrggghhh!!!!!!!!!!! Panic Stations! We are go! Baby is coming! Oh wait…. Maybe not…..
Man its confusing - has labour started or not? Do we need to get to the hospital or not? well for the most part I will say you should call the hospital once her waters break so they know you are getting started and then take it from there. As labour progresses its a good idea to refer back to your birthing plan to check in with what you and your partner discussed previously.
Comfort is key so do what you can to keep her comfortable in terms of temperature, pain, hydration, hunger, space, noise etc. This will vary wildly for each woman so ask why she needs and truly listen. If she is happy and comfortable to go to bed for a few hours then you should too. You will both need your strength soon!
Baby is here - what now?
Well first of all - congrats! You're a daddy!
You probably already have your hospital bag on hand with the key things so here are a couple of personal recommendations of products that we have used that got us through those first few months.
- Arnica tablets - I tell all of my mums to take these. No matter the method of delivery mums body needs to heal after birth. Much like arnica cream heals bruises the tablets heal all areas of the body that need it. 100% natural and completely safe to take when breastfeeding. Buy in your local Boots/Holland & Barrett.
- MAM self sterilising bottles - no need for a bulky steriliser you just need a microwave. If you decide to use formula these bottles are fab and make trips to friends and family much easier.
- Aldi nappies & wipes - their mamia range is cheap and awesome!
- Love to dream swaddle bags - buy on amazon or from mother care, they allow baby to lie in a natural position with the ability to self soothe, Ollie slept SO much better when in one!
- Coconut oil - great for baby massage, don't bother buying pricey ones Aldi does 100% organic cold pressed for £3.99 a jar and its just as lovely and melty as the £15+ stuff!
- A baby swing chair is a godsend when they're little, you can pop it in the bathroom so baby can watch while you shower, take into the kitchen when making dinner. Easy to pick up 2nd hand for round £15 you don't need a fancy one with 45 functions, a simple swing is fab
- White noise! Babies love white noise as its never quiet in the womb so a white noise app can be great for car trips and to use at home. Plenty of free ones to choose from so find one and try out the different noises to see what your little one finds the most soothing