Having a new baby should be a wonderful experience but the first few months can be daunting and stressful.
As a result, one in 10 new mums go on to develop post natal depression. The support mums receive in the early days can make a huge difference and dads in particular can help alleviate the stress and the strain of coping with a new baby.
Infant colic experts, Infacol (Simeticone), asked 541 new mums* what their partners can do to make a difference. The results show that practical help around the home and a reassuring hug are most welcome along with a cup of tea in the early hours.
Keeping the house clean and tidy becomes an impossible task with a new baby in tow so it comes as no surprise that new mums value practical help.
Eight out of ten mums surveyed by Infacol said this is the one thing that their partners could do that they would most value.
“This is a clear indication that men need to make sure they’re familiar with the vacuum cleaner and ensure that everywhere is looking lovely.” Says midwife Nikki Khan. “If the home is under control then a new mum will feel that she is more in control too, so tackling the domestic stuff may sound superficial but it isn’t at all, it’s really important.”
Providing emotional support comes second on the list of things mums’ value most with 70% of mums saying this is important to them. A hug, a few reassuring words and just being around to listen can transform those first months, which many mums describe as a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Many new mums don’t realise just how little sleep they will get once a baby comes along, it’s this lack of sleep that probably explains why ‘a lie in’ came third in the list. Everyone loves a weekend lie in but mums who are getting up in the night to feed, or trying to tackle colic, appreciate it just that bit more. Colic affects one in five babies under four months old, and can be a real problem for young mums.
“We know most dads are already very supportive of their partners,” said Nikki Khan, “however, this new research might give them a few new ideas to help make things that bit easier.”