When it comes to the baby industry, so much is targeted towards the mum-to-be and dads seem to get forgotten about. In an age of equality this doesn’t seem right. In the hope of making the first step of readdressing the balance we interviewed a Purflo Dad to get the lowdown on bonding from a Dads point of view.
Q: When you baby was first born how did you feel? Was there a rush of love straight away?
A: If I am being completely honest the first feeling I felt was relief. A tangible wave of relief swept over me that everything was ok with my wife and the baby. Ten fingers, ten toes, no complications…relief. Then a slow, steady smile spread across my face and the elation set in. At this point my wife needed a minute as she was shaking so much from the adrenalin and the baby was handed to me. That moment when you meet your baby for the first time is indescribable but I’m not sure it is instant love. That came over the next couple of weeks as I got to know my son. There wasn’t a flash of lightening or a great big thunderbolt; it just happened without me noticing.
Q: How did you find time to bond with your baby?
A: Because I work fulltime it can be difficult to feel as involved as I would like but my wife and I had an understanding that bath-time was my time. I used to look forward to getting home and having that one-on-one time with my son. Bathing a baby is all about touch and interaction; I would find myself chatting away to our baby whilst he lay in the warm water taking it all in. This was really precious to me. As my wife was breastfeeding I sometimes found it difficult to get a look in as so much of caring for a newborn is about feeding…so finding that time was really important to me and something I would recommend to other dads.
Q: Did you feel pushed out at all?
A: I think if you feel pushed out you are doing it wrong. Caring for a baby should be something you do together-if you feel pushed out then you aren’t doing enough.
Q: Did you feel a bond with your baby during pregnancy?
A: In the beginning it is hard to connect as you don’t feel any differently. For me it wasn’t until we went to the first scan that it started to sink in we were really having a baby. But the bond didn’t really start until my wifes bump put in an appearance. I vividly remember one night lying with my hand on my wifes bump feeling our son move and kick whilst she was fast asleep. At that point it really hit home that they were separate…that my wife could be sound asleep and my son wide awake. From that moment on I was able to envisage my son and felt emotionally invested.
Q: What advice would you give a soon to be Dad?
A: Get involved… e present, go to the scans, ask questions, read the books…its one of the most amazing times of your life and you don’t get to do it many times so make the most of it. Be sympathetic and patient with your partner they are on a hormone rollercoaster and sometimes your understanding is all they need…but sometimes all they need is a BigMac at 3am.
Q: Did you do Skin-to-Skin?
A: I kind of did Skin-to-skin but not in a really prescribed way, I didn’t think ‘right I am going to sit here at this allotted time and have skin-to-skin contact with my child.’ But I did bath my child every night, sometimes we went in the shower together which meant holding him tight to my chest, I liked to go on walks with my son in the baby carrier-he seemed so calm snuggled up to me listening to my heart. I also enjoyed playing-blowing raspberries on his tummy and tickling him. I guess you could call some of that skin-to-skin but whatever it’s called I definitely feel like it helped my baby and I get to know each other.