Paternity Leave : What Fathers Should Be Doing

 

“Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad”

Nowadays in Malaysia, new fathers are granted a 7 day paid leave. A full one week ‘holiday’ entrusted to men so they may fulfill their obligations in welcoming the new member of the family. It is not the time to laze around fathers. In fact, these are the recommended things you can do within your 7 days.

 

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1. Hands on, with the baby

Its normal to feel slightly quesy or awkward to hold a newborn. They’re so little (unless its a macrosomic baby) with fingers and toes so dainty, it almost feels like you’re going to break any one of them anytime. However do not let that intimidate you, this is YOUR flesh and blood… plus, you’re not feeling this alone. Mothers, especially first timers may feel nervous too of having to hold their baby. Get over it, handle the babies carefully and it would provide great relief especially to the mother as she has an extra pair of hands that could help at least change the wet nappies every now and then.

2. Assume domestic responsibilities

Brew some tea, make some coffee. Toast a bread, stir fry nasi goreng etc. Soak the linens, wash your own clothes, buy groceries. Sweep the floor, make the bed, draw the curtains.. I can go on and on but I think most people have the idea already.

3. Sacrifice a few hours of your sleep time

At least for the first 6 days. Considering that you’re not working, it would be of great assistance to help nurse and change the baby’s nappy at night. Mothers, especially those who doesnt have the luxury of a nanny or an elder,  on top of just having a Caesarean section could really use some help. I know I did. Thank you.

Finally,

Be an active advocate for your wife and newborn child

There will be plenty of visitors to the house along with probably some unwanted advice. As a husband, I think it is very important for you to know how and when to put your foot down in relation to things or practices that may harm your wife and baby. Things like drinking god-knows-what herbs, unknown origin of ointments for the baby..

Then to ensure to your very best that both wife and baby have their privacy and aurat (for the wife) protected at all times. I think that is the outmost importance. Just because you’ve just given birth, it doesnt mean that its alright to flash your hair and boobs liberally.

That should sum it up. Wonder if Ive left anything out.

3R : Read, Reflect, Respond

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