Paternity leave, bonding for life

Daddy love
Last Updated 22 March 2013, 15:35 IST

Lately, most companies strongly encourage paternity leave to the new fathers, and certainly, this is a welcome move. What with the nuclear families these days, a lone mother having to take care of her new born baby can take her on both a physical and emotional roller coaster ride!

When there is a talk about pregnancy, majority of attention goes to a mother with all the dos and don’ts. However, pregnancy is a decision of both partners and therefore the father should be equally involved in the whole process. When the husband takes a few months off work and stays at home with the wife to help looking after the baby, it not only establishes a strong bonding between the father and the baby but also between the couple! 

Couple’s bonding

Even though the baby has made the father and mother a family of three, the two still need to spend time together as a couple to keep that relationship going strong and happy. Who does more work around the house could be one of the major triggers for picking fights and can get worse if new parents don't sit down and talk about what's bothering them. Also, might just forget about each other and make the baby your sole centre of life. Nothing could be more dangerous than that. While you cherish your new bundle of joy, don’t forget your spouse who created this beauty with you!

Mother’s bliss

Moms have their own challenges to confront. Pregnancy temporarily robs them of the bodies they're used to. They put on extra pounds and get dark circles under the eyes from late-night breast feeding. It is a highly taxing phase for a woman, making her very tired and frustrated. The husband’s paternity leave during this time is needless to say a blissful help to the wife, as long as he actually does help.

Parenting styles

Irrespective of the advices they receive from others, the couple might soon realize they have different approaches to parenting. For instance, one of them might be more inclined to pick up the baby whenever he or she cries while the other lets their little one cry for a while. If the mother is always telling the father how to care for the baby, the father might back away from the care giving. This calls for some amount of compromise on both the mother and the father. Just voice out your opinions to each other in loving and affectionate words and agree upon parenting approaches that both of you are comfortable with.

Daddy’s baby

Most newborns are quietly alert and eager to bond. They learn their mother's face and bond with her right within two hours of birth! This would be the best time for both the parents to be together and go through this wonderful phase.

The baby, having just gone through tremendous changes, would love to have its father’s familiar scent, heartbeat, and voice. Dads, don’t miss out on this phase: your new born baby is suddenly being asked to breathe, maintain body heat, pump blood, eat, digest, and poop on his own for the first time!

Pregnancy and childbirth are overwhelming, especially for the first timers. Taking a paternity leave and helping the wife to take care and bring up the new born is the least a husband can do. Afterall, she has only just undergone a tremendous amount of pain, not to mention her unshapely changes with her body which makes her very conscious around her husband. The onus is on the husband to make his partner feel comfortable so that she can vent out her feelings, and emotions freely. It is also important for him to be completely informed about pregnancy, and the child's development and growth. Also, accompanying his wife on all her doctor visits, and childbirth classes will go a long way in making him a better father and husband at the same time.

But above all new daddys, enjoy the time with your new arrival; your little one will grow up faster than you realize.

(Published 22 March 2013, 15:35 IST)

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