Dad, congratulations! A baby is truly a gift that you will treasure for the rest of your life. Your wife has done an amazing job at growing and delivering this tiny human. It was an exhausting, painful, emotional, and beautiful experience for her. And if she’s nursing, the pain isn’t over yet. She will be going through severe pain for weeks as the baby learns to latch and feed correctly. And, if she experienced a tear during delivery or has had a C-Section, she’s going to be in even more suffering for a while and will need extra care.
Your wife will likely tell you she doesn’t need any help or for you to do anything, but believe me, she wants you to. She will probably even get frustrated that you can’t figure out what she needs. Women sometimes assume that men should already know what to do to help, when actually they have no idea what’s going on. So, guys, let me give you a short list of simple yet effective things you can do to make your girl’s life better.
New moms cry. A LOT. They cry when the baby is latching, because it feels like knives are going through their nipples. Seriously. They also cry at anything and everything. Commercials, food, the baby, their appearance, everything. Have plenty of tissues ready and help dry her tears when you can. Note: If the crying doesn’t subside within a week or two, call her doctor.
Partha Nandi, M.D. of askdrnandi.com posted a great article about the benefits of hugs. She says that hugs can lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, improve relationships, promote relaxation, and increase serotonin. Dr. Nandi suggests that you at least hug for 30 seconds because “You’ll experience a surge of hormones and a boost to your hugging health benefits.” So go ahead and hug your wife, she will appreciate how good it makes her feel. Plus, you’ll feel good too!
Do the chores.
New moms are often overwhelmed by what they need to get done daily. Having a new baby is tiring, and she might not have time to do the dishes, clean the house, or do much of anything really. She might even be in too much pain to stand for long periods of time or might be restricted to bed rest. She will feel bad about herself and her inability to get things done. Help her out by doing the dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning, etc. Don’t ask—just do. She will love and appreciate that she has one less thing to worry about.
Let her sleep.
New moms are always tired. If you have some spare time after work or during the night, take over the baby care duties so she can snag an extra hour or two. Again, don’t ask her if she needs help, just do it. Perhaps even arrange for a family member to come and help her if you can’t be there.
Plan a date.
When she’s feeling better, find a dependable sitter and arrange for a couple of hours out of the house with your wife. Getting out of the house for a while is always good for new moms. Invite her out to a nice café, a movie, or a walk in the park with some hot coffees. Try to do something weekly to keep the bond between both of you strong.
Buy her flowers.
Guys, it’s not the flowers that women love, it’s the thought and process behind it. When men buy us flowers, we feel special because we know our man was thinking about us and wanted to do something nice for us. It is a way to show us love and we love it! Buying your wife flowers, especially with a sweet note attached, will definitely brighten her day.
Tell her she’s beautiful.
New moms should only have to worry about loving and caring for their baby after birth, but unfortunately, our society says we should worry like crazy about our bodies. Our society shames moms for gaining too much baby weight, getting stretch marks, having saggy skin, etc. Even fathers sometimes get this attitude that their wives should be their pre-baby weight almost instantly. It’s a shame that mothers have to worry about these things when the most beautiful thing has just happened to them—motherhood. There’s more to this woman than just her physique, fellas. She did incredible things with her body—like grow a human for you to raise with her. Tell your wife often she’s beautiful. She might not believe it, so make her feel beautiful. Kiss her forehead, hold her hand, cuddle with her and tell her she’s amazing (because she is).
Make sure she eats and drinks enough.
A new mom friend of mine recently had an emergency room visit because she was severely dehydrated. She told me she had barely any time to eat or drink because she had a new baby and was taking care of a toddler. Guys, don’t let this happen to your wife. Bring her food, water, or a hot cup of coffee or tea when you can. If you can’t be home during the day, be sure she has quick snacks to grab and remind her to drink enough water.
Pray for Her.
One of the best things you can do for your wife is to pray for her. Pray for her health, her wellbeing, anything you can think of. Let God know how thankful you are for her and thank him for blessing the two of you with such a precious gift.
Ladies, can you think of any other ways a husband could be helpful to his wife with a new baby? Fathers, what are some special ways you have taken care of the new mom in your life?