First time dads have to be prepared to support their spouses or significant other prior and during the childbirth process. This is rather demanding and can cause fears in many.
Many fathers at child bearing classes become part of the team in the delivery room. They know the expected date of the baby’s delivery. Before hand, they have had a sonogram which they hang proudly on their refrigerator. Depending on the obstetrician, a determination is made concerning if the baby has to be delivered naturally or through a cesarean birth. But if it is a natural childbirth, some fathers are prepared to help their wives with their breathing exercises and by comforting her under these circumstances.
Once there is adequate dilation and junior is pushed and guided out of his mother’s birth canal into the world, his umbilical cord cut, there is often joy and much merriment especially if there are no complications. The first thing a couple does with junior is to bond. They look him over carefully, marvel at the miracle and good luck that has befallen them. I remembered my experience when I felt as though it was literally Christmas in August, on the month my son’s birth. Having a child of your own is an extraordinary gift.
When discharged from the hospital, there are some things that should fall naturally in place. As a father you are prepared like the mother to take care of your child. A good idea is always to wash your hands before handling him or use sanitizers. As you pick up your child be sure to support his head and neck. At no time should you attempt to shake or bounce him up or down. He is not ready for rough play and is delicate. If you have to make trips be sure that you are familiar with the proper way to use a stroller, carrier, or baby seat. Many DMV booklets have instructions for travelling with such young children in a car. Your baby has to be in the back seat of your vehicle.
A father has to support his wife in learning more ways to take care of junior. He has to know to change diapers, be informed about the basics of giving him a bath or sponging him. A decision has to be made concerning if he is going to be circumcised. Some couples may do, while others see the procedure as something they will rather not put their child through.
Umbilical cord care is vital to know and so are details about feeding and burping. New fathers and their wives should never forget about the sleeping patterns of their child at this young age. Many parents find these demands taxing, since they will be unable to get a good night’s sleep. But it is good to remember that this only happens for a few weeks before junior begins sleeping through the night. Some worry about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). These are all issues which by now you would have discussed with your pre-natal specialist, in childbirth classes, and friends. Some further guidance can be obtained by Googling: “First Time Father – A Beginner’s Note,” and “When Does Fatherhood Begin?”
Published in: Family