Dads & Partners
Becoming a new parent is exciting, but it can also be quite daunting. The focus is naturally on the ‘mum to be ‘ and the changes she is undergoing , however both parents have a lot to deal with and pregnancy can stir up a mixture of thoughts and emotions . For more information , click here
Your role as an expectant parent is hugely important – whether you are in a relationship with the mum-to-be or not, your support can impact on to how things turn out for both mum and baby.
Before the Baby is born
• Talk, read, and sing to your baby-to-be. Babies can hear during the second trimester of pregnancy, and recognise voices in the third trimester—including yours!
• Attend appointments as much as you can. These appointments can help you both feel connected with the baby. The midwife will discuss options for birth , the wellbeing of mum and baby and you will hear the baby’s heartbeat
• Support healthy habits. Your encouragement helps your partner eat the right foods and avoid smoking and drinking during pregnancy. For example, research shows that your support makes it easier for the mum m to begin and continue breastfeeding.
• Be there for labour and Birth if possible. Both parents naturally worry about the labour and birth process. Studies report that being present at your baby’s birth has a positive impact on both yourself and on the relationship with your partner and baby, although some felt anxious witnessing labour pain. Discuss any fears or worries you have with your midwife. Read up on birth and labour and help your partner make choices around birth preferences. Practise massage and relaxation techniques together, before the big day. Do not underestimate the importance of your role. Mums report that having their partners in the birth room reduces their anxiety and pain.. Find out more about supporting your partner during pregnancy, labour and birth by reading about pregnancy, birth and beyond for dads and partners.
After the Baby is Born
Skin to skin: it is important that the baby has uninterrupted skin to skin with your partner for the first hour of life. However, it is also recognised that both parents should be encouraged to have skin to skin time with their newborn.
Research has shown that skin to skin at birth with both parents is important. This is your opportunity to begin a bond with your child. Research studies have shown that even 30 minutes of skin-to-skin increases dopamine and oxytocin and lowers testosterone, ensuring that you will have an automatic positive association from close contact with their baby.’
• Continue to Talk, read, and sing. You’ve been talking, reading, and singing to your baby for months. Now enjoy seeing her responses for the first time!
• Figure out how to share responsibility for the baby. New dads can do almost everything new mums can do: Change nappies, give baths, share stories, and take your turn walking and soothing when the baby is crying. If your partner is breastfeeding, you can participate by bringing the baby to her, or burping him when he’s done. Sharing these responsibilities right from the start gives you a chance to get to know your baby and builds a strong basis for your relationship with him.
• Pay attention to your baby’s cues. Over time, babies develop their own ways of telling you want they need—through a particular cry, look, or movement. By spending time caring for and playing with your baby, you’ll start to decode her cues.
• Lots of people will offer you new-dad advice, but the most important person to listen to once the baby arrives is your partner. Encourage her to tell you how she’s feeling and what she needs and she’ll likely do the same for you. You are both in this together!
Please see the below list of resources that we have compiled especially for Dads.
https://www.dadsrock.org.uk/calendar Practical workshops as well as live chats over Zoom and Facebook.
https://www.dadsmatteruk.org/ Advice and support for Dads https://m.facebook.com/events/1364360287082598 Facebook Live chats with advice and support from other Dads.
The Dad Pad
https://thedadpad.co.uk/ A practical guide to gaining the confidence and skills necessary to be the very best dad you can be, developed with the NHS.
The Fatherhood institute
http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/2020/help-and-advice-for-dads-during-the-covid-19-crisis/ Guide for dads during Covid 19.
Advice for dads to be:
https://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/pregnancy-and-baby/becoming-a-dad/advice-for-dads-to-be/ Advice for dads to be
https://www.bbc.co.uk/tiny-happy-people/dad-life Covers every aspect of being a dad.
https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a549379/new-dads-survival-guide New dads survival guide
Support for mental well-being:
Parent Infant Foundation
Samaritans telephone support available 24 hrs:
Call 116 123 Free or email support on firstname.lastname@example.org (response within 24 hrs)
Shout Crisis Text Line:
Text SHOUT to 85258 to text with a trained crisis volunteer 24/7
Anxiety UK advice and helpline:
03444775774 (9:30am–10pm Mon–Fri 10am–8pm Sat & Sun) or text support on 07537 416 905. There are also regular online support groups you can register for http://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/coronanxiety-support-resources/