NEW DADS MUST DO THIS
As I was writing my blog about advice to first time parents (which you can read here if you haven't already done so) and a conversation was stirred up with Matt my husband whilst we were discussing those first few weeks of having Jasmine and I prepared him that men just need to SUCK UP those first few weeks whilst they tend to their wife and baby.
As harsh as it sounds I think dads (in particular new dads) need to know what is in store.
A woman endures pregnancy for 9 months and sometimes this is a really difficult period in a woman's life. We grow a baby, accept our body changes, perhaps deal with weeks (sometimes months) of sickness and then at the end of it we go through heaps of pain to push that baby out!
If that wasn't enough, we also have our dreaded 'hormones' to contend with and a 'natural birth' isn't always possible so we are left pumped with drugs, Oxycontin and a range of other crazy hormones floating around.
There's no denying - both parents endure sleep deprivation and both parents go through a lot of changes but I believe for the first few weeks at least, the man needs to suck up what ever he is feeling and step up for the woman. Communication is KEY in any relationship and is an area Matt and I continuously strive to develop in, however when a woman has been through such an ordeal it's not always possible that they can effectively communicate what they are going through and experiencing.
For instance, the after care I received after labour was a difficult time for me. I was kept in hospital for 3 nights (and yes each night that meant Matt could go home and catch some good quality uninterrupted sleep) whilst I was going stir crazy on a hospital ward with a bunch of strangers, trying to figure out my baby!
I suffered the baby blues for those 3 days and was incredibly irrational. I would keep hobbling (I had stitches) over to the reception desk in the middle of the night, convinced my baby was over heating when in fact it was actually myself I could feel over heating, I didn't always eat as I would miss the dinner trolley lady and I was just not emotionally stable. All of these things I could not communicate to anyone and it is only looking back on these events I can see where I was emotionally at.
It's during times like these that the man needs to be extremely empathetic (even if he thinks your nuts and irrational), completely sensitive to your needs (if you need to sit on a hundred cushions you NEED a hundred cushions), and he MUST encourage you to rest and let him look after the baby when you are absolutely exhausted. Those little things like running a warm bath or making a hot cup of tea are everything and a partner needs to go out his way to accommodate for this.
There's plenty of times in a relationship when the other needs to suck something up and put their needs aside and I don't think it's a hardship asking a man to do this for a week or so after all his wife has been through. This isn't to say that the woman can be a complete inconsiderate, demanding b*tch - this isn't the case at all. It's still important to check in on your other half but i'm mainly coming from an angle of if the woman is totally struggling those first few days/weeks and needs the man to step up and be there for her.
We're left with a new baby to figure out, often we aren't too impressed with the poochie post partum belly and body we have been left with and as I mentioned earlier we have raging hormones to contend with which unfortunately we cannot do anything about.
So men if your reading this - go that extra mile for your partner! Run that bath, pour that cuppa and take the hits that come with a hormonal post partum woman!