It is quite natural for a father to feel anxious about welcoming a baby, especially in the case of the first child. Having a baby entails added responsibilities, not to mention how you need to incorporate a lot of changes in life. So, how do you cope with your nervousness?
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“The only way to get over the fear of parenthood is to train yourself. I have found that nowadays expectant fathers are very eager to train themselves and pick up techniques very quickly,” Dr Debmita Dutta, parenting consultant and founder, What Parents Ask, told Express Parenting.
For the pregnant mother, it is a continuous experience since she is carrying the baby. The father, on the other hand, who is not directly going through the process, may sometimes feel left out, adding to his apprehensions. This can be dealt with if he starts preparing for the baby in the following ways, as suggested by Dr Dutta:
Get more involved in the pregnancy
Babies can actually hear the sounds and identify the mother and father’s voice from seven months onwards. Fathers can count the baby kicks during pregnancy, learn how to massage the mother when in pain or practice breathing techniques with her. The more time you spend thinking that “we are pregnant” rather than only your partner being pregnant, it better prepares you, the father.
Take mutual decisions
Fathers can also start having conversations with their partners on important decisions like whether the baby would be breastfed or bottle-fed or which pediatrician they should consult, among other things.
Learn how to hold the baby
Men are typically afraid of holding the baby for fear of hurting the delicate little one. So, before the baby arrives, fathers can learn the right technique of holding the baby.
How to bond with the baby
Fathers usually do not bond with their baby immediately after birth. They take more time to bond, as compared to mothers. But fathers can train to bond through some methods like looking into the eyes of the baby. Again, babies cannot hear low pitch sounds so fathers will be able to interact with them better if they speak in high-pitched, musical sounds.
Learn other techniques
Some of the basic techniques that the father needs to learn are how to change the diaper, how to support the mother while she is breastfeeding, how to give the baby a bath and change clothes.