The Role of Fathers in Caring for Newborns

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Happy Father’s Day!  Today is a great day to recognize the tremendous role that fathers play in the lives of their children.  Our fathers shape us in thousands of different ways everyday and have a large affect on who we become as adults.  In fact, research has shown that children who live without their biological fathers present are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to engage in criminal behavior and to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems.

Even though fathers play an extremely important role in raising their children, sometimes the newborn stage can be tough on fathers.  If you think about it, by the time your baby is born, you have already had more than nine months to bond with your child.  Your child has heard your voice all day long for months and has become a part of you.  And, if you breastfeed your child, your child depends completely on you for all of their nourishment.  Dads on the other hand are just meeting their children for the first time.  It can sometimes take a little while for that bond to form between fathers and newborns. In some cases, the newborn stage can leave some Dads feeling a little bit left out.

There are many things you can do to involve your baby’s father in the newborn stage and to help the bonding process take place.  You can even start before your baby is born.  Your baby’s father can talk to your baby while you are still carrying him or her in your womb so that the baby can learn to recognize Dad’s voice as well as yours.  You can also involve your child’s father in classes and education pertaining to caring for newborns so that they will be more confident in caring for your child once he or she is born.  There are also a variety of books that Dads can read to help them to prepare for becoming a father.  One of the most important things you can do after the baby is born is to support your baby’s father in caring for your child.  Remember, he may not do things exactly the way you do, but that does not mean that he is doing it wrong.  There is more than one way to care for a newborn!

Even if your baby’s father does feel a little left out at first, don’t worry.  There will be plenty of time during the duration of your child’s life for Dad to play a very dominant role.

Posted on the Behalf of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.