Guest column: Parenthood more joyous if both parents share responsibilities

When there is talk about pregnancy, most attention is paid to what a mother-to-be should or should not do.

Pregnancy is a special time in a woman's life. Not only does her life change forever, but the father's too changes with it. It is important to understand these changes because it will help the couple enjoy the moments that pregnancy and childbirth bring with them. After all, as a couple and as parents, both need to jointly take on the responsibility for the care and upbringing of the newborn. It is necessary for the man to accompany his partner in her beautiful journey to childbirth.

When there is talk about pregnancy, most attention is paid to what a mother-to-be should or should not do. But as the decision to bring a baby into the world was taken by both, the responsibility is not the mother's alone but the father's too.

It is required for him to take leave from work and support his wife at all times, mostly after delivery. He should take off from his busy schedule and fulfill her needs. This will also result in the birth of a healthy child.

Although the baby's arrival expands the family, the parents still need to spend time together as a couple. Also, friction over who does more work around the house could get worse if the new parents don't sit down and talk about what is bothering them. It is important to remember that there is more than one approved way of parenting. The connection between the parents is very important during this phase and if her husband is around it makes it much easier on the woman. They will be able to be of assistance to each other and take care of the child together.

New mothers have their own challenges to tackle. Pregnancy robs them of the bodies they're used to in the short term as they put on a couple of extra pounds and get dark circles under their eyes from late-night feedings. All this can make a woman feel very exhausted and frustrated and if her husband is there for her during this period it would ease her stress.

Most newborns are quietly attentive and eager to nurse. They learn their mother's face and bond with her within two hours of birth. This would be the best time for both parents to be together and go through this wonderful phase as the their familiar scent, heartbeat, and voices are extremely comforting to this new baby, who is suddenly being asked to breathe, maintain body heat, pump blood, eat, digest and poop on its own for the first time.

The writer is Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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