Dads, you're quite often the silent partner in this journey! After all, you aren't pregnant, you're not going to carry the baby for 9 months or give birth and you don't get a baby shower! You do get paternity leave though, only two weeks but it's only a gesture as you're just a Dad, right?
Well actually, gone are the days of sitting outside the birth room during the birth and celebrating with a cigar, wetting the baby's head with a whiskey whilst Mum settles in to motherhood at home. Gone are the days where Dad goes off to work and doesn't change nappies or give a bottle.
Now, Dads are expected to do much more! You are expected to change nappies, even the poop filled ones. You are expected to get up in the night if the baby wakes, even though you have work the next day. You are expected to help with all the housework, making dinner when you get home or take over the baby duties.
Is it no wonder that Dads are starting to suffer? When a friend had her baby and her husband went to the doctors with backache, tiredness, feeling irritable, his doctor said 'you have 'Daddyitis'! Time spent bending over the sink washing bottles, getting up in the night and going to work was taking its toll. Sadly, for a growing number of Dads, Daddyitis is not something to joke about but a worrying trend of post-natal depression.
We want to highlight this for Dads, it's not a taboo! We want to make them a much more positive part of pregnancy, birth and fatherhood! So, here's to the Dads today - you matter too!
If your partner is pregnant, you can be part of it too by talking to your baby, organise a 'babymoon' for some last minute time together and time to talk. Be honest and open about just how much you feel you can participate in the birth, dont be afraid to say 'you're scared or worried' or even that another birth partner present might be beneficial. Be realistic about what you can do after baby is born, especially if you're working long hours and take time to relax and de-stress, that is most important! We have put together a Dad's meditation but you can find what suits you. Even 30 minutes a day can help. We think Dad's should have a 'Dad's Army Party' too (Baby Shower just doesn't sound right for Dads) - this is the name of our Dad's workshop and we think it fits perfectly as for many Dads, having a baby will either be a military or comedy affair with 'all hands on deck!"
Most of all, don't be afraid to talk and say how you feel and enjoy the time you have with your new family! Happy Father's Day!