Childbirth and postnatal recovery period
Get ready! Your new baby is practically knocking at the door. Are you ready for this emotional, unforgettable experience? Find out what role you can play in the delivery room and what you will have to take care of during the postnatal recovery period, i.e. the first 6–8 weeks after your child is born.
Sometimes, time is of the essence...
After the onset of the first labour pains, it usually takes a bit of time before you and your partner need to set off for the hospital. Or it can happen very suddenly. Do you remember what you need to pack in your hospital bag in the span of just a few minutes?
What can you do in the delivery room?
Childbirth is an unforgettable experience for expectant parents. For many men, there is no question that they want to be present for the birth of their child. The role of expectant fathers during childbirth varies greatly, ranging from unobtrusive bystander to their partner's closest cheerleader. What do you need to keep in mind in the delivery room?
- Before you set off, pack something nutritious for yourself, because childbirth can be a very long, draining process for you as well. You do not know exactly what lies ahead of you.
- Leave the delivery room briefly from time to time to take a few deep breaths. This will allow you to recharge your batteries before the next round.
- Your partner will be in severe pain, so pull through and show her that you are there to help.
- Position yourself behind your partner while she is giving birth.
- Talk to her ahead of time about how you want to handle certain situations; for example, if your newborn requires medical care. Should you go along or stay by your partner's side?
Postnatal recovery period
The postnatal recovery period is a very exciting time for you and your partner. The main priority is getting to know your child. As your wife's hormones change, her emotions may be all over the place. She may cry sometimes. Be aware that these feelings are perfectly normal. During such moments, it is important that you are there for your wife. If you feel unsure, speak with the nursing staff. Try to schedule visits from family and friends so that they are not too overwhelming for you and your partner, and so the two of you also have the chance to enjoy some time together alone with your new baby.
The post-natal period is intensive: You get to know your child, you need to establish a feeding routine, and you have to ensure both the safety and care of your baby. It is important that you both use this time.
How can you support your partner during the postnatal recovery period?
- Spend plenty of time with your partner and child (check with the hospital in advance to see whether you can stay overnight).
- Your partner will be exhausted. Pamper her.
- Take any phone calls.
- Help her to care for your baby. During the first few days, you can take over the care of your baby, especially if your partner has had a caesarean.
- Ask the nursing staff in the ward or nursery to show you how to change a nappy and bathe your baby.
- Learn about the different ways to use a baby sling.