How new dads can support their partner
Becoming a mum is one of the biggest changes in a woman’s life, and your partner needs your support. Here are some ways you can help.
- Try to be patient. Getting used to the changes will take time.
- Tell her you don’t expect her to be perfect. Let her know it’s ok to be 'good enough'.
- Take responsibility for more household chores. It will take the pressure off her if you can also remember to do them without being asked. Find out more about how new dads can help around the house.
- Remember that you don’t have to be your partner’s only support. Ask for help if you need it, and be willing to accept reasonable offers of help from others.
- Many women have a lower libido for several months after the birth. Try to be understanding - it’s not a rejection, even though it might feel like it.
- If you go back to work after the birth, you might feel stressed and worn out. But remember – your partner is probably feeling the same way. Staying at home all day with a baby might make her feel exhausted, bored, or even trapped. Try to be understanding. When you get home, offer to look after the baby for a little while so your partner gets some time to herself.
- Ask you child health nurse or a lactation consultant for ways you can help with late night feeds. Offer to get up to the baby at night so your partner can get some undisturbed sleep.
- Plan some quality time each week just for your and your partner. Your relationship needs attention too. Read more about finding couple time when you have a new baby.
- Attend appointments with your partner whenever you can. You’re there to help your partner, and your GP and child health nurse are there to help both of you.
- If your partner seems depressed or overanxious, it’s a good idea to talk it out - but choose a time when you’re both calm and not too distracted. If she isn’t coping as well as she could, encourage her to get some help. If you’re concerned, talk to your GP or child health nurse.
Where to get help
- See your doctor
- See a child health nurse
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline
- Free call 1800 882 436 (24 hour service)
- Phone 9368 9379 or free call 1800 111 546 (free from land line only)
Women and Newborns Health Service
This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.