During pregnancy women have nine months to adjust to the idea of a baby. We put the baby’s needs before our own from the start. We take our prenatals even if we don’t usually take vitamins. We suffer through morning sickness that sometimes lasts all day. We forsake our favorite foods and drinks—sushi, Cesar salad, certain cheeses, wine, and raw chocolate chip cookie dough. We feel life moving inside of us. But for men it is more abstract. They see changes in us and our bodies but it is harder for them to connect to the baby growing inside of us until they meet. Usually men focus on the financial concerns and express their anxiety there. Most men are a little shell shocked when baby arrives. They are used to feeling competent and being in control. Nobody is in control of baby. Frequently, men don’t fully connect with their child until some time between the first “social smile” and the first word.
Do your best to include him. Teach him how to do the baby related tasks so that he feels confident. If he doesn’t do it exactly the same way you do it, let it go unless he is doing something dangerous. Help him build on his growing strengths as a father.
Blog by Dr. Jenn Berman. Dr Berman is a psychotherapist, a writer, and launched her own eco-friendly t-shirt line, Retail Therapy in 2009, which is available at The Little Seed boutique in Los Angeles.
You can read more about her at www.doctorjenn.com
. Look for her new book Super Baby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years
, in stores on September 7th. The Little Seed will be hosting a book signing for Dr. Jenn on the 15th of September. Stay tuned for more details.