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How to support a new mum

Tips for newborn Dads

· postnatal

Here are some simple ideas to help you bond with mum and baby as your new family gets to know one another.

Remember that baby already knows you. They're familiar with your voice already as they've heard you from the inside from around week 23 of pregnancy.

Babies are sensory creatures They learn through all their senses at once as it's all new to them. Some dads like to sleep with a sheepskin or blanket that baby will use to play on or in their pushchair so that your smell is familiar and comforting. From around week 28 baby has been experiencing the smells around them and that means they know your smell already.

Skin to skin Closeness is comforting for babies and it's not just mum's skin that works. Cuddling and soothing baby this way is a lovely way to bond. As well as skin to skin you might want to consider wearing baby in a sling. They're used to the movements of walking from being inside the womb so these are automatically familiar and soothing sensations for most babies.

Supporting feeds. If your partner is breastfeeding then you can help with the practicalities of drinks, snacks and enough pillows for support. Beyond that it can be great to be an actual physical support, especially if feeding is painful or difficult in the early days. Some mums enjoy resting against dad when they are getting baby to latch. The same oxytocin love hormones that got baby in (and out) are present in breastfeeding so your touch can be a real help in relieving stress and helping with milk flow. If you're bottle feeding then you can take turns with the feeds and be involved that way.

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