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Fatherhood

Becoming a new dad can be exciting, rewarding and challenging. Many life changes happen to parents with the birth of a baby. Both parents are learning how to parent and how to continue to effectively meet each other’s needs at the same time. The workload increases for everyone and adjustment takes time and patience.

 

Becoming a father begins during pregnancy

  • Learn about pregnancy the birthing process
  • Develop a birth plan together because parenting is a team effort
  • You may notice or experience emotional change that is similar or different from your partner
  • Ask questions and express any concerns to your healthcare provider
  • Be supportive, patient and a good listener
  • Make time to talk with your partner, hug each other, touch each other
  • Find ways to decrease stress for yourself and your partner
  • Choose healthy food and stay physically active
  • Exercise together, if your partner is able
  • Try to take on the harder chores at home
  • Make a list and do what works for you and your family
  • Talk with other new parents and ask them what works for them

 

 

Nobody's Perfect

Tipsheet for Dads: Your Feelings After Your Baby is Born (PDF)

Tipsheet for Dads: Your Feelings After Your Baby is Born

This document is one of the Nobody's Perfect parenting tipsheets from the Government of Canada. Find more →

 

Dad kissing son
 

Common concerns

Develop a plan and a budget

  • Money worries are normal when a new baby is on the way
  • Look for coupons and sales
  • Buy cheaper items but be sure that they meet the product-safety regulations
  • Find out about second-hand products and safe sleep
  • Research FamilyInfo.ca for information about free and subsidized child care, parenting resources, family centres and so much more

Sex after childbirth

  • Talk about it with your partner
  • Get the “Okay” from your healthcare provider first
  • You both must be physically and emotionally ready
  • Read more about what to expect the first time and sex after childbirth

Communicating with your partner

  • Make time to talk with your partner
  • Hug each other, touch each other
  • Remember why you fell in love
  • Accept the fact that your life will change
  • Making a positive change takes work
  • Set priorities
  • Ask questions if you do not understand
  • Be honest, attentive and open
  • Talk about your concerns, feelings, and worries
  • Take a “time out” from discussion with each other if either of you become frustrated
  • Come back to discuss at an agreed time in the future
  • Acknowledge that you both think differently and that is okay
  • Find out what she needs

Take care of yourself

  • It’s okay and normal to be tired
  • If you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to someone until you get the support and help that you need
  • Talk to other dads
  • Don’t forget your friends
  • Take some time to relax, exercise, read, and do those things that you enjoy
  • Accept support from others
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help with meals and laundry from family and friends
  • Trust yourself
  • Learn about the first few weeks of newborn care and breastfeeding

Mental Health

Mental Health is an important part of health and well-being. The perinatal period is the time from pregnancy to childbirth to the first year postpartum. Mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, as well as other disorders, can be experienced during this time. Poor mental health in the perinatal period has a negative impact on the mother’s daily life and on the infant’s mental health. Partners and children can struggle too. It can affect anyone in the family.

Health Connection

Call Health Connection to speak with a Public Health Nurse from the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

  • 519-663-5317 ext. 2280
  • Monday - Friday
  • 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
 

References

124 HR Cribside Assistance For New Dads (2019). The baby manual for fathers. Toronto, ON: MacMillan Press Retrieved from
https://newdadmanual.wordpress.com/
2MiddlesexDad Central Canada. (2019). Fatherhood Matters/Things Dads Do. London, ON: Middlesex-London Health Unit Retrieved from
https://thingsdadsdo.wordpress.com/booklets/
3Government of Canada. (2019).Nobody's Perfect Parenting Tip Sheets for Fathers Retrieved from
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/childhood-adolescence/publications/nobody-perfect-parenting-sheets.html
 
 
Date of creation: February 14, 2013
Last modified on: June 11, 2019