Tag Archive | "Dad"

About support

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About support

Posted on 28 August 2015 by Kristrun


Most of us have many loving family members and friends that surround us when we have a  baby. Even if we are living away from home, often our nearest and dearest will come to visit to offer their help and support and of course many others want to feel involved and offer advice. I remember it being so nice when the extended family offered to help and even just spend some time at home with us and the new baby, once some time had passed and we were getting used to this new reality. Luckily for most new parents, the support is genuine and needed.

Last month, I was seeing a woman at home to help her with breastfeeding.  She was having a hard time adjusting her sleep to the baby and breastfeeding was more tiresome than she had expected.  I guess we have all been there at some stage.  What caught my attention was that she kept repeating to me how supportive her family was and that she really should be grateful.

She had a little bit of – again what most of us have unfortunately – the ‘good girl’ syndrome.

She felt she should be grateful, even though actually the support that she was getting was entirely on the terms of the givers – not the receiver. The kind of things she was hearing, I have heard many times before….

“He is just hungry, I really think we should give him some formula, you have had no rest“

“If you want us to help, we need to be able to soothe him, and obviously we cannot breastfeed him.“

“You really should go out more, it will do you good, plus we have not seen any of Hong Kong during our stay here…. let’s go for lunch.“

“A baby should self settle, crying does no harm to them“

The thing is, all of the above can be said and may sometimes be appropriate, but it is NON-SUPPORT when it is given in this format.  It is not actually helpful, especially in a case like this, where the mum was just in a very normal situation – baby was sleeping well but waking up reasonably often, gaining loads of weight and nothing wrong with him.  But what has got to be remembered is that our parents’ generation grew up in a different environment to us.  They received very different instructions and advice from those in the know and sometimes, despite their best intentions to support, they just don’t actually know how to.  Hence the comments that don’t help.  So it is important, before inviting them, to ask yourself if they will actually be helpful, i.e. are they happy to just hang around you on yours and your baby’s terms.

Another comment I had from a lady not so long ago threw me completely.

“My husband is so happy how everything is going well but he really thinks that I should stop breastfeeding now“.

The couple had a two months old baby that was happily breastfeeding, no problems at all.  The opinion expressed, was because the husband was uncomfortable with his wife breastfeeding right from the start – happy to tolerate it for a certain amount of time – but was of the opinion that it was inappropriate and unnecessary. He was formula-fed himself, as his mother had reminded him, and he really did not see the need for it.

A part of me wanted to scream.  Sorry – but I really feel that that this is simply not even something that anyone, but the mum, can even have an opinion about, let alone express it to the mum. How dare anyone suggest that she should not feed her infant when everything about it is going very well?

A part of me remembered that this is actually, all about how people are raised, what information they are given and so on.  Of course this dad really must not know any better.

So parents, we really do need to educate our kids well.  Raise them up in an environment where this is not even a debate.  That they understand that breastfeeding is normal for babies for as long as mum and baby want it and nobody should question that.  Equally, that when someone bottlefeeds their baby, they are not entitled, as kids or adults, to judge that.

And when we grow old ourselves, let’s try and remember, when our kids have children, that we can support them a lot.  But it is not our role to tell them how to do things.

“Surely this kid needs to socialize“ – I was once told about a 3 week old.

Hulda x

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crying baby tongue

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Soothing a Crying Baby

Posted on 27 February 2014 by Kristrun

Keep calm skin to skin

Congratulations on the birth of your baby!

Your baby is an individual that you need to get know and unfortunately, he or she does not come with a manual. It can be exhausting and devastating when your baby is crying and you don’t know why or what to do. You may have already fed the baby, burped him and changed his nappy and still he isn’t settled. Why won’t he stop crying?

Remember your baby is new to this world and experiencing a lot of new things: now she needs to breath on her own, digest, pee and poo and is dependent on you for all of its needs. There are a few simple things that you can easily do that might sooth your baby and give her comfort.

Skin to skin contact is a great way to sooth your baby and can be easily given by both mom and dad. Skin to skin contact is the placing of your baby, unclothed (or nappy only) onto your chest, under a blanket or your clothing and it will usually be enough to calm your baby down. Even a hungry baby will be soothed when he can smell your skin and hear your heartbeat. In utero, your baby was used to hearing your heartbeat, so patting baby on the butt while giving skin to skin can calm her down quite quickly. Skin to skin also helps with digestion as well as giving a sense of security and feeling loved which is one of the basic needs of all babies.

Holding your baby and rocking him, bouncing, walking or dancing can also help to sooth. Remember that your baby has been rocked and walked to sleep whilst inside you and probably was quite awake and kicking when you were going to bed in the evenings and wanted to go to sleep!

While holding your baby, sing a song or talk in a calm voice. Your baby loves listening to your voice, he is used to it and it is something familiar. You won’t spoil your baby by holding her or attending to her needs.

The single most important thing for you to remember is to stay calm when your baby seems distressed because your baby is very in tune with your feelings and stress levels. So stay calm and your baby may follow suit.

Hafdis Runarsdottir

Annerley Midwife

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Dads and Bonding – What can they do?

Posted on 08 November 2013 by Kristrun

Dads can often feel redundant in the immediate postpartum period. They are not “equipped” for feeding, and so it can seem like BjarkiTomasSMALLthere is nothing they can do to help, or to bond with their new child.

Not so, says midwife Olafia. There is plenty they can do.

Babies don’t need much, they need to be fed, loved and to feel secure. Those needs need to be met before anything else. To feel loved and secured they have to get a positive feedback and know that their basic needs are going to be met. Of course, Dads can’t feed the baby if the baby is being exclusively breastfed but there is a lot that they can do which helps with bonding;

Bath time: a great way to get to know your baby and learn how to hold your baby. They are often quite alert during this time and it’s easy to read into their cues, facial expressions and body movements.  

Changing nappies/diapers: if you’re not secure in your touch the baby will feel insecure and start to cry, so do persevere and practise so that baby feels safe while you are doing it. Enjoy the time you’re changing the diaper, make eye contact, give the baby tummy time  – be the one that helps your baby to develop.  

Skin to skin: so important and it doesn’t really matter which parent provides this. Skin to skin contact has shown to be beneficial in many areas for the baby – digestion, heartbeat and breathing regulation, blood oxygen saturation and neural and motor development. As well as emotional well-being. They will also start to recognize your smell and touch.

Talk to your baby: he or she will recognise your voice and start to realise your importance in its well-being.   

Hold your baby: the more secure you are in  touching your baby, the more secure your baby will be. So hold your baby as much as possible, babies love to be held, it makes them feel loved and secure.  You can burp the baby after a feed, help to settle or just “wear” the baby in a sling or carrier around the house or out for a walk.

Wake up with baby during the night even if you have to go to work in the morning, you’ll learn the babies schedule and that often is a great support to the mother who can sleep a little bit longer and might have an easier time falling back to sleep after a feed.

The father’s touch is no worse or better than the mother’s. it is just different, and that is more than OK. Give yourself time to get to know your baby and practise. Parenting is like everything else in life, practice makes perfect. Or close to perfect!”

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Becoming a Dad

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Becoming a Dad

Posted on 17 June 2013 by hulda


“Finding a role in the new family unit isn’t always easy for Dad”

While expectant fathers might be able to visualise themselves chasing a toddler, taking a pre-schooler out for bike rides or coaching kids’ football, the thought of a newborn baby can be daunting.

Dad might never share the same pregnancy experience as Mum, but
there are ways to begin the bonding process ahead of the birth. Seeing an ultrasound is an ideal way to meet the baby ahead of its due date, and
brings the reality of an impending birth and fatherhood home to Dad. And while it’s
common knowledge these days that babies recognise their mum’s voice
from the womb, newer research shows babies register the lower tones of a father’s voice just as much. A newborn will immediately look for the faces to match voices it has learned.

Hulda speaks to Playtimes about the importance of Dad’s role and securing the bond early on. Read the full article in the June issue of Playtimes here: From dude to Dad Playtimes June 2013

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Daddy 101

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The Article That All Dads To Be Should Read!

Posted on 16 August 2012 by Annerley

Daddy 101During pregnancy, there is no physical indicator that a man is about to become a father. Unless he specifically says so, you would have no idea that he was about to go through a big life transition. In fact, you could be surrounded by Dads To Be and not have the slightest clue!

Of course, this ain’t the case with mum.  She’s obviously changing and clearly indicating to the world-at-large (pardon the pun) that life is about to become a whole lot different.  Because of this, the majority of the attention is on her. People will ask her when she is due, how she is feeling and once baby is born, how she is coping with breastfeeding and how her recovery is going.

Not so with dad. He may get a slap on the back and a few congrats but that’s pretty much it. Which is fine, by the way, mum has put a lot of work into growing and delivering baby so it’s understandable that she receives more attention in return. My point is that it’s quite easy for a man to add all of this up and come to the conclusion that mum’s role is more important than his, that maybe his role is more of a supporting actor than a lead player. More attention on her plus pregnancy plus giving birth plus breastfeeding equals “she’s more important to our baby than me”. But this is not at all true.

The role of a father is as important as that of the mother. You only have to look at your own parents to know that your father played (and continues to play) as much of a role in shaping who you are as your mother. You don’t look at them and think that one is more important than the other.

This is probably the most important realisation a man can make at the beginning of his parenting journey – that he has a vital role to play in his child’s life from the second that child is born. If he has a son, he will be the model for what it is to be a father, what it is to be a husband and what it is to be a man.

If he has a daughter, it falls to him to show her what to expect from a man in a relationship and how she should be treated. It’s a big responsibility. Just a few weeks ago, some new research came out from the University of Oxford showing that children whose fathers disengaged from as early as 3 months were already exhibiting  behavioural problems at the age of 1 year.*  A baby needs their dad as much as their mum.

If you’re on the verge of becoming a dad or have just become one, allow us to assist you Orla Breezewith the preparation for the greatest role of your life. Daddy 101 is a very informal dads-only evening where you get to ask every question you ever had about your first year as a father – and I mean every question. Even the ones you think you shouldn’t ask! Click here for full details of our next evening.

Orla Breeze  – EFT practitioner & Workshop Facilitator

 * Click for full details of  research paper 








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