Postpartum and Breastfeeding

Dear Doula: My Wife Is About To Have Our First Child. How Can I Support Her?

Lori Bregman

Dear Doula: My Wife Is About To Have Our First Child. How Can I Support Her?

Welcome to "Dear Doula," where our trusted Doula-in-Residence, Lori Bregman, shares her invaluable advice and insights on all things related to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum wellness. Lori has a wealth of experience as a doula, supporting mothers through their pregnancy and birth journeys for over 20 years. She brings a unique blend of compassion, expertise, and practical wisdom to our readers.

In each installment of "Dear Doula," Lori will address common concerns, offer guidance on navigating challenges, and empower you with the knowledge to make informed decisions. Whether you're expecting, a new parent, or simply curious about pregnancy and birth, reach out to us on social media with your questions.

Dear Lori,

My wife is about to have our first child. I have heard all sorts of horror stories about dad's not showing up in the right way postpartum. I don’t want to be that guy. What is your advice on how best to actually help and support her? And what should I do to prepare?

Anxious Father-to-be.

Dear Anxious Father,

Firstly let me congratulate you on thinking ahead and preparing for this huge transition as well as asking for help.  My advice to you would be first get on the same page, have the conversation of what the ideal postpartum situation looks like way before you get there. Interview postpartum doulas, do you need a baby nurse? Will you have family or friends that will help? It does take a village so, work out realistically what your support network and needs might be as early as possible, together as a couple - don’t leave all that invisible labor to her. 

Next nutrition is a huge factor, so I would make sure to prepare meals. Warm food for example helps heal the uterus post birth. Stews and soups that you can freeze ahead of time are great, there are special services like Mama Meals and Chiyo that also deliver specially balanced meals designed for optimal postpartum support. Her body can need even more nutritional support after birth to recover and continuing to supplement is vital. I love Needed’s collagen, because it helps heal the tissues and sleep support and magnesium to help her rest and relax alongside continuing to take a prenatal.

The next big thing I suggest tackling ahead of time is boundaries, particularly boundaries with family and friends. A lot of times I’ve seen the partner want their mom or dad, friends to come, which is understandable. It's so exciting to welcome a new baby, but it's also an intimate and tender time and a new mother can feel very vulnerable. You are both getting used to your new role as parents which is hard going emotionally. This is coupled with the fact around day 3-5 postpartum is the biggest hormone drop a woman ever experiences in her life. They say “when the tears come in, milk comes in.” And the tears are very normal and healthy at this stage but you need to hold space for your partner to feel safe in being emotional.

You should also be holding space for yourself and your partner to create an attachment with your baby. Figure out your baby together, find out what works for you, knowing that you are different to everyone else and so is your baby.

Finally I would like to say as important as it is to support your partner it’s also important to take time for yourself. If that means going for a run to burn off some energy or taking a nap to replenish or go for a drive to take some space to process your own feelings of the transformation you went through in birthing yourself as a father. Just the same as we take care of the mother so she can better take care of the baby, you need to put that oxygen mask on yourself too.

Lori xox

To try to make sure no mother feels alone Needed has introduced our 'Postpartum Guide,' a comprehensive and continuously expanding resource designed to support you with shared experiences and expert insights, covering all your postpartum needs. Because a lack of support, should never be normal. 

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Lori Bregman,

Lori Bregman is a renowned doula, life coach, author of The Doula Deck, Mamaste, and The Mindful Mom To Be, as well as co-founder of Seedlyfe Superfoods. With over 20 years of experience, Lori works with moms-to-be and new moms on all aspects of their personal transformation from fertility through pregnancy and into new motherhood.