While we are on the subject of advice, pregnancy, PPD and the works in some forum, I came upon an older post of mine in draft. I found it to be extremely angsty and therefore I had never published it. So I am giving the post a 360 degree makeover and turning it into an advisory list from a certified rant.
On a side note, this worries me- if I am making posts out of archived thoughts, am I running out of ideas? Does it mean I am not expanding my knowledge but converging towards past wisdom?
Anyway, I digress...
So this is for New Dads & Dads to be- I have taken up your cause before so now for some words of wisdom from women who have been through it before.
1. You (and everyone else) would have treated your pregnant wife like royalty and the moment the kid is born all attention will naturally gets directed to the kid. While this is normal, you as her husband and soulmate must, in no circumstance forget that she is your first priority. Otherwise you would undo all the good work done by you during the pregnancy. She might, in a fit of anger just turn back and accuse that you did it for your selfish interests- the child(ren).
2. Post pregnancy, whether CSec or normal delivery a mother is exhausted and requires a care taking equated to 6 months of illness.
Imagine getting up after hours of gruelling labour or waking up few hours post any surgery and going about the business of feeding/ cleaning/ comforting a newborn. Yes, a mother forgets all about her pains & well deserved rest and sets to look after the child right away. Can you even think of doing it?
So make it up to her. Offer a helping hand as often as possible. Be part of the process and proactive rather than a casual bystander helping whenever convenient.
3. Give her emotional support
Talk to her, spend time with her, especially if she is cooped in a room nursing the baby and the rest of the household is laughing, gossiping and joking away in the living room. Don't treat her as a baby making and nurturing machine. She is still a living, breathing, full blooded woman who is your wife first and then a mother. It doesn't hurt to ask her how was her day or what did you do the entire day in office, whom did you meet or update her with the latest.
4. Let her have her space- with herself, her thoughts etc.
people tend to crowd a new mother with their advice, presence and constant talk. Keep a watch and disengage such people when you feel it is becoming a "too much". She will be unable to blatantly tell people to push off because all of them are well meaning people who have come to bless the baby(ies).
5. Contribute to the home management
bunking maids, messy home, unwashed clothes, nappies, folding washed clothes, filling water bottles, other hygiene issues that the wife is expected to be done. Find alternative support or pitch in yourself. Remember she is on a full time job now unlike your part time office work
6. The new born(s) will wake up many times in the night.
Even if you have to go on work next day, you must work out a schedule where in you take turns to wak up and check the nappy before handing over to her for feeding. Imagine being rudely woken up everytime you try to sleep- this happens to her the entire day- morning & night.
6. Be by her side if anyone critisizes her
The baby does not always fall sick because of the mother's diet, bath schedule etc.
7. Make time for her. Insist that she gets a break
Take her for a romantic dinner, movie etc
8. A welcome home / thank you gift (for giving you the baby(ies) ) would be a nice touch.
9. She might yell and lose her cool for no reason with you or ILs or anybody else
Be her sounding board without quarreling/ arguing back (This comes from wise Sue in another forum)
10. Take off from work from time to time just for spending time with her and the baby(ies)
11. She may not cook anymore.
Don't throw a tantrum for that
12. There is something called Post Partum Depression
see 10, 9, 7,6,4,3 above
13. Make it a rule to not go out and socialize without her
it makes her feel all the more left out. She might encourage you to go alone but refuse vehemently saying you will not go without her!
14. With the multiple changes in her body, her self esteem may reach an alltime low
Give her mental/moral/emotional/physical boost
Do post your PPD memories on my comment space or send me the links for me to make our case stronger