Healthy living

Tips for mums with a new baby – how to support your partner

Becoming a dad is one of the biggest changes in a man’s life, and your partner needs your support. Here are some ways you can help.

  • Acknowledge that his life has changed too.
  • Encourage him to be involved with the baby right from day one. His confidence will increase the more involved he is, and it will also help build his relationship with his child.
  • Give him space and freedom to explore fatherhood without you watching over him or giving advice. He might feel more comfortable in his role than you realise, but would rather do nothing than risk doing something ’wrong’ in front of you.
  • Agree on a few jobs that are just for him – for example, giving the baby a bath. This will provide him with time to bond with his child and give you a set time each day for a break.
  • Remember that dads will naturally parent differently to mothers. There is nothing wrong with that. It can actually help a child’s emotional development to be exposed to different styles of parenting.
  • Invite him to attend appointments, classes or groups with you. This can be a chance for everyone to touch base with a professional and means both of you are receiving information at the same time.
  • Be aware that he might become frustrated or anxious when he can’t find a solution to a problem. If you notice he is not his usual self, choose a time when you are both calm and not too distracted, and talk about this with him.
  • Try to do some activities together you enjoyed before you had your baby. It is important to enjoy time together as a couple, not just as someone else’s parents all the time. Read more about finding couple time when you have a new baby.
  • Encourage him to spend time with other dads, even if it means he is off to the footy or something else fun. It can help men communicate if they have a task to focus on.
  • Encourage him to seek help if he’s not himself. A visit to his GP is a good start.

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)

Acknowledgements
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.

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