Being pregnant for the first time is exciting for any couple. But it can be nerve-wracking too. There’s a lot of support for moms-to-be, but most dads-to-be don’t know what to expect! The Doctors are in and they’re here to help!
Postpartum depression continues to gain recognition as a serious medical condition. Many new mothers grapple with the hormonal imbalance post-pregnancy, but new studies have found that the condition isn't limited to women. Ten percent of new dads suffer from postpartum blues, partly due to a decrease in testosterone levels and an increase in estrogen.
"[Having a baby] is a hugely emotional experience," pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. "After anything like that you're going to feel a little bit down. Plus you've got the financial pressures; suddenly, there's another mouth to feed."
Tom, 32, is thrilled with the newest addition to his family, 5-week-old Ashley, but he admits that the late nights and frequent feedings have left him exhausted.
For a good night's sleep, Dr. Jim suggests a SLEEPTRACKER watch."You set it for about when you want to wake up, and it monitors your sleep cycles," Dr. Jim explains. "It wakes you up at the right sleep cycle, within the range you wanted. So you wake up really refreshed."
Tips for New Dads:
• Engage in cardio exercise
• Eat healthily
• Ask for help if you need it
• Read Father's First Steps: 25 Things Every New Dad Should Know by Dr. Jim Sears
• Try to get enough sleep
a) Take shifts with mom
b) Sleep when the baby sleeps
c) Sleep in a different bedroom than the baby
“It’s important to get to know your baby,” Dr. Sears says. “The better you know him or her, the easier things will be.” He emphasizes that new dads will hold their babies and do things differently than their partners, and that’s OK; dads need to find their own rhythm and methods. Blake and Noah graduated daddy boot camp with flying colors and are excited to take ownership of their roles as husbands and fathers!
Dr. Sears’ 25 Things That Every Dad Should Know:
- Real dads change diapers
- You’re a key player on the birth team
- You and your baby will need some Super Glue
- Your baby needs your little finger.
- Your baby needs your help throughout the hospital stay
- You’ll have to make a decision about circumcision
- You are part of the breastfeeding team
- You can ace Baby 101
- You can raise your baby (almost) for free
- You can learn to speak Baby
- Some babies need more
- Grandma can be your best friend
- You can keep a wireless connection to your baby from work
- You have to help keep the nest clean
- You can have a rewarding career as Mr. Mom
- Dual careers are a dual challenge
- You can have all the free time you want
- You have a new playmate
- You can help Mom beat postpartum depression
- You, too, can sleep like a baby
- Oh yeah – Mom needs sleep, too
- Sex WILL happen again someday
- A good dad remembers he’s a husband too
- You can ace Doctoring 101
- You’ll want to play with your grandchildren someday
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