Moms often have more bonding opportunities, especially if they are breastfeeding. But there are plenty of opportunities for Dad to bond with Baby, too.
After a pretty strenuous labour and delivery, Dawn Salemi needed some recovery time before being able to hold her new little guy, Mathew Oliver. This is where Dad, Joe Salemi, stepped in. When Matthew was stable enough post-delivery, he was placed on Joe’s bare chest for some skin-to-skin contact while Mom recovered from her C-section. “Matthew was very agitated and fussy before hand,” says Joe. “Almost immediately after sitting down skin-to-skin, Matthew settled and slept for almost an hour. It was literally the most emotional I’ve ever been. I was feeling connected to him. I really do believe there are several benefits of skin-to-skin: bonding, soothing, therapeutic benefits, and likely a bunch more that didn’t occur to me.”
Joe is one smart dad, because all of this is true. Skin-to-skin contact plays a big role in bonding with Dad. Aside from that, there are other things Dad can do to strengthen the connection with his baby.
Dads can sing, talk and tell stories as soon as baby is born. Babies will come to know Mom and Dad’s voices as a source of comfort.
Skin-to-skin holding is the perfect way to engage your baby’s eye contact because the distance is just right for your baby’s first few days.
Dad can help make Mom by holding the baby after feeding if Mom needs to rest, shower or eat.
It’s not the most fun activity, but it provides some one-to-one time.
Cuddle, hug, snuggle.
You’ve heard of a birth plan, right? It’s a list of how you envision your labour and birth to unfold. Well, now’s the time to make a Hug Plan.
Sit down and make your decisions. For example, when do you want to hug (before or after the cord is cut)? And how long do you want to provide skin-to-skin contact (one hour or more)?
Fill out your Hug Plan, share it with your doctor or midwife, and pop a copy in your hospital bag.