You're probably wondering where you fit into this picture of Mom and baby, especially if mom is breastfeeding.
Yep, for a while, her world will really revolve around the baby, but that doesn't mean you're out of the picture. Think about what you can do to help her provide the best nutrition possible, breastmilk, for your baby. There's plenty you can do!
- Help her recuperate--they don't call it labor for nothin'! She'll probably appreciate it if you can cook a few meals, do the laundry (there will be lots more than usual!) and anything else to help around the house.
- Bring her the baby. When it's time to nurse, help by bringing the baby to her. This will save a few steps and help her recuperate.
- Change the baby--newborns poop almost every time they eat, so take on diaper duty. Your partner will certainly appreciate it!
- Bring her water and snacks while she's nursing. Nursing moms need to drink and eat a lot-sometimes even more than during pregnancy. Good one handed snacks include: fresh blueberries, a fruit and yogurt smoothie (Stonyfield farms is one great brand), a small bean burrito, Kashi Granola or Go Lean Crunch Bars (tasty yet high in fiber)
- Feed the baby. Once breastfeeding is well established, ask your wife if she would be willing to pump a little extra so that you can feed the baby. This will also help introduce your baby to a bottle--important if mom is going back to work. Most moms say not to wait past 6 weeks if this is the case, and don't do it before three weeks or you can cause "nipple confusion." Nipple confusion is not pretty--don't go there!
- Smile and see the humor in the mounds of poopy diapers, spit-ups and middle of the night feedings.
- Amid the chaos, take a minute for reflection. A new life is a wonderful gift, but realize that sometimes it takes time to adapt!