Jan 8, 2012

Dad’s Gift to the Newborn

by Stacey Greaves-Favors | Saudi Life
Link to original article: http://saudilife.net/motherhood/21480-dads-gift-to-the-newborn

ANY new Dads often wonder just what their role is when their wife has a baby. They often feel even more lost when their wife is breastfeeding the baby. They may wonder, “What can I do?” or think, “This is my wife’s time.” Little do they know, they can give their wife, and in turn their baby, a wonderful gift- the gift of support.

Did you know, breastfeeding moms who have the support of their husbands are more likely to achieve breastfeeding success? That means that they are more likely to breastfeed, and they breastfeed longer! (For more information, see Aisha Al-Hajjar’s article, “Husband’s Role in Breastfeeding”.) Woo-hoo, Dads! So jump in and get started.

Aisha (ra) said that Prophet Muhammad (saws) said, “The best among you is he who is the best to his family, and I am the best among you to my family.” (at-Tirmithee and ad-Daarimee)
So, now that you realize how important your role really is, you ask, “What can I do? How can I support my wife?”

Get Educated
One thing that you can do is something that is also suggested to new moms. Educate yourself about the breastfeeding relationship (the whys and the hows). Breast milk is the absolute, hands down, best food for your newborn baby. (In fact, it continues to be the best food for your baby right up through and past the first year.) It is the standard which human babies were designed to consume. Nothing else comes close to it. It is liquid gold. I often liken it to someone coming to your door and handing you the keys to a brand new, fully loaded, special design sports car. For free! It’s that good. I could go on, but we’d be here forever. For more information about breast milk, please see my other article “ ABCs of Breastfeeding.” Once you know the many reasons why your baby should be breastfed, you will have a vested interest in ensuring a successful breastfeeding relationship.

Express Interest
Show your wife that your concern is her well-being and that of your baby. Ask her how her day has been, how your baby was. Show an interest in each aspect of her day. If she is having breastfeeding difficulties, do some research for her. Encourage her to talk to a professional who is trained in solving breastfeeding problems. Remind her not to delay in seeking help because as problems go on, they may get bigger and harder to solve.

Acknowledge Her Commitment
Understand that the early weeks or months might be a difficult time for your wife. Acknowledge her hard work and commitment. She might be feeling sleep-deprived which is hard on anyone. If she is having difficulties she may be sad or even depressed. Her emotions may run high. Let her know that you are there for her, and that you know this may be a rough time. She has been through a wonderful experience and may feel overwhelmed. A new mom is easily discouraged. Do not ignore any negative feelings. She needs you more than ever right now. Be aware of her emotional state. Any woman is susceptible to post partum depression (which can occur up to a year after delivering a baby). Stay connected with her in case she is really suffering. She will appreciate your closeness.

Physical Support
Show your support physically as well. A comforting hug at the end of a long day can be very welcome. Tell your wife you love her and thank her for doing her best for your baby. If she is tense, rub her shoulders. If she looks tired, hold the baby and tell your wife to take a nap, even for 30 minutes. Assure her that you will wake her if the baby cries. Find ways for your wife to relax. Bring her pillows to support her back or the baby when she is breastfeeding. Put her feet up so she can be comfortable. Offer to burp the baby after she breastfeeds to give her a few minutes rest. (She might bolt for the bathroom, so move over.)

The House Can Wait
During the early months Mom must focus on Baby. She is working hard to establish confidence in breastfeeding . Tell your wife, “People before things.” Let her know that the most important thing for you during these times is that she and your baby are doing well. Offer to wash dishes, cook dinner, fold laundry. Let her know the housework shouldn’t be her priority right now. You will help her. If you don’t know how, what a great time to learn! Buy plastic plates and cups to lessen the number of dishes. If anyone asks how your wife is doing or what gifts your baby needs, tell them, “Dinner.” Understand that she has to get the hang of this relationship before she can move back into her old schedule. Do not push her, and do not let her push herself. Encourage her to take it easy.

Be the Dad
Finally, do not forget that this is your baby also. Cuddle with him or her. Recite Qur’an to him or her. Hold, talk to, sing a lullaby to the baby. Carry your baby. Babies thrive on touch. Don’t forget that your baby knows your voice, too. He or she heard you from inside the womb. Remember that this is a wonderful time for both you and Mom. These early days will never return, and you may miss them if you do not make the most of them. Before you know it, this baby will be bringing his or her own baby home, insha’Allah and you will wonder where the time has gone!


jazakallah.very educative.

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