For the woman who recently gave birth, even the smallest gestures can go a long way to show she has your support. Sometimes, new Dads can feel overwhelmed at the change, and have a hard time distinguishing the true needs and desires of his partner who he just witnessed transform into a Mommy. Read on for our top 5 things that new moms need from their partners.
She may need to do a lot of the heavy lifting taking care of the new baby, but here are some things you can do to take care of her:
1. Help will meals
When you are completely preoccupied with feeding a baby, figuring how to nourish yourself can be tough. So make sure the house is well-stocked with food she likes and offer to take over meal preparation and clean up. Further, constantly nursing can be draining, so make sure that she always has a water bottle full of fresh water. It's easy for an exhausted new mother to forget about her own proper (and necessary!) hydration.
2. Be proactive
Many new dads feel at a loss when it comes to newborn care and so they hang back, waiting to be given directions. The truth is that most moms appreciate it when their partner steps in and tries to take some initiative. Even if you may not be the best diaper changer or burper, the fact that you are being proactive and giving it your best makes a real difference.
3. Compliment her!
Many new moms get caught in waves of insecurity -- from worrying about proper breastfeeding to the state of their post-baby baby. Vocal support from your partner can be incredibly soothing. Find ways to let her know that you think she is doing a great job. Remind her that you love her no matter what.
4. Pamper her
While snuggling a newborn all day every day is a beautiful thing, sometimes new moms also yearn for a bit of "me time" as well. Taking the baby and suggesting that she takes a half an hour to relax in the bathtub, or even urging her to leave the house and treating her to a quick pedicure or manicure will do wonders for her spirits. Initiating this will show that you still value her as a wife first and foremost. Besides, this will give you and your new baby one-on-one quality time.
5. Communicate and listen
Chisel out some time to have a conversation with her. Listen to her needs and don't rush to immediately find a solution to "fix it." Talk about her concerns, and discuss options as a team. It may sound silly to you, but new moms tend to be worrisome! Listening and understanding will do wonders for both her, and your family.
Share these tips with your partner and make it a point to communicate regularly and discuss any concerns before they escalate. The newborn weeks can seem like a marathon and you will likely both feel exhausted and perhaps frazzled. Keeping a line of communication open and expressing your needs will help keep your relationship strong as you bond in new ways with each other and your new baby.
Once you're ready, check out this post on Sex After Baby.
About The Author
Stephanie Manes is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with extensive experience and training in Individual, Couples and Family Therapy. She received her MSW from New York University School of Social Work and completed post-graduate certification in marriage and family therapy at the Ackerman Institute for Families.