Baby Blues On Men?
It is true, KALMers, dads can also experience baby blues, it is called baby daddy blues.
A lot of young married couples are expecting the day when an adorable baby to brighten up their home. But at the same time, for some future dads, this can cause fears – mentally and financially.
These fears that are experienced by dads can be unfounded in the end. On the other hand, these fears can only grow stronger. The challenges of taking care of a baby can overwhelm a new dad. They feel unable to adapt to the new change. These fears then can evolve. Left unmanaged, it can lead to baby daddy blues.
What is Baby Daddy Blues?
Basically, baby blues is the negative feelings and moods that one of the parents have towards their own child after the birth of the baby. For moms, baby blues are often triggered and caused by hormonal factors. Whereas in dads, baby blues are usually caused by their lack of preparations in dealing with the birth of a child.
How to Prevent Baby Daddy Blues?
Preparation is the keyword so that dads can prevent baby blues from coming. Start the preparation to be a father as soon as possible!
Kalmselor Wenny Aidina, M.Psy., reminded us that a husband begins his role as a dad since the wife let him know about her pregnancy. Pregnancy is a time for preparation and practice. Preparing to be parents and practicing to be a new mom and dad. If during this period they do not prepare and practice effectively and well, then baby blues and postpartum depression can happen. The following are practical tips by Kalmselor Wenny for dads:
We might feel unromantic or awkward when we talk about money but financial prep is very important. Start to budget for child rearing. Talk to your partner and discuss what needs to be met, how to fulfill the budget, and who can contribute to it as soon as possible. Finish your talk about finances before the birth of the baby.
Practicing New Behaviours
There will be plenty of changes when we become a father. But we can already practice before those “tasks” become real. Start practicing to spend time as if the baby is already born. For example, start practicing kissing your wife and the baby since they are in the womb, talk to the baby, or give light massages to your pregnant wife.
These behaviors should be built so that when the baby is born, then you already got used to spending time with your wife and child. This will reduce the risk of baby daddy blues because of the changes that happen when your baby is born.
Practicing Taking Care of the Baby
Don’t forget to also exercise taking care of the baby, KALMers. Dads should also learn with Moms how to cradle the baby, change diapers, how to give a bath, etc. This exercise should be done for real by practicing taking care of a relative’s baby or even with a doll. These kinds of exercises are important to be done so that Dads can be confident when he has to take care of his baby.
Accompany Moms to the Obstetricians
Ever since the baby is already in the womb, dads should accompany their wives to the doctor as much as possible. After all, after our baby is born, we have to accompany her for check-ups and immunisation to the doctor. This practice can make us get used to spending time to create intimacy with our wife and children. It builds support and connection between the mom, dad, and child. The feeling of love, passion, and expectation will be tied to each other.
Communication with your partner is a very important key factor that has to be done regularly and frequently. Things you should discuss are around the topic of the division of time between child rearing, me-time, and household chores. This is very important to be talked about to prepare for the changes that will happen and the readiness to be new parents.
Apply the Outcome of the Discussion
Ever since the pregnancy of the mom, new dad should start applying the outcome of the discussion in point 5. Hopefully, dads will be comfortable with the new rhythm when baby join the family.
If new dads (or moms) feel the symptoms of baby blues worsen do not hesitate to find help from someone you trust, it can be parents or friends. If you need it, go get help from professional counselors directly or through an online application like KALM.
This article is a collaboration between KALM and Skata, a digital initiative that seeks to support Indonesian government for better family planning.