How Your Partner Can Get Involved
You just birthed an entire human and all you want to do is rest. It can be so hard to take care of yourself and your baby after the hardest thing you have ever done. You look over at your partner and they are so eager to help, but just aren't sure what you need help with. Instead of holding it all in, speak up and tell them what would be most helpful.
We have all heard the saying "I am not a mind reader," but don't you wish we could be sometimes? Especially when you are so tired, your house is a wreck, and your baby is in the middle of a three hour cluster feeding session. We know our partners mean well and want to help, so take the guess work out of it. Before having your baby make a list of all of the things you think you might need some help with. This list can be things like go grocery shopping, or do the dishes, or fold the laundry. When your baby has arrived and your partner isn't sure what to do, you can ask them to help you with things on your to-do list.
Other ways your partner can be involved with baby care can include everything from diaper changes, to burping, to bathing, to skin to skin and babywearing. If you are bottle feeding, you can take a shower or nap while your partner takes over for a feed. Sometimes the best thing a partner can do is sit and listen to any concerns.
Something that I find happens a lot is that the birthing person feels like the partner is not helping as much as they could. Sometimes it might take some gentle guiding about how the partner can best help. Other times, it might be that the partner is trying really hard, but their efforts are not recognized. When we see something being done differently than how we do it, our instinct is to say "stop, I will just do it." If you are having those thoughts and feelings, take a pause and rephrase your thinking. Instead of thinking about how they "aren't doing it right," think about how awesome it is that they are so excited to be helping you.