Daddy's voice is the other voice baby loves the most!
So sing to your baby together with Mum, and surround your baby with the most exquisite cocktail of hormones and sounds to help him/her feel safe, secure and loved.
Massaging your baby through Mum's belly is a lovely activity for all three of you and helps to deepen your bond as a family. Sometimes its easy to get caught up in differences of opinion, and arguments or disagreements can fester. Spending time engaging in non-verbal activities such as massage and breathing together helps to clear blocks, develop forgiveness and find a new perspective. It also lets your baby know that though you may have differences with your partner, you are both are committed to working them through and are both there for your baby.
Simple breathing practise: Entrainment.
- Lie behind your partner and 'spoon' her so that your belly is to her back.
- Make sure you are both comfortable and and place a hand on your baby.
- Let your partner establish a deep breathing rhythm, focusing on long outbreaths to cultivate deep inbreaths.
- When you feel ready, join her on an outbreath and follow her rhythm. If you lose it don't worry, start again.
- Always let her determine the rhythm as she is breathing for two.
- You both then visualise a beam of light travelling up your spines on the inbreath and down your spines on the outbreath. You can even visualise your baby's growing spine!
- The aim is to make it smooth and flowing without any force.
- Either drift off to sleep or communicate silently with your baby about anything you wish to share.
This breathing technique is an ancient yoga pranayama which entrains the subtle bodies of Mum, Dad and baby. It helps you to communicate with each other non-verbally and establish a more intuitive connection with each other, deepening your relationship and empathy for one another.
Enjoy the feelings of bliss and euphoria that result!
Supporting Dad so that he can support his family
Over the years it has become evident through research and the wonderful work of Fatherhood organisations such as Fathers to Be and the Fatherhood Institute, that Dads who are supported on their journey into parenthood are better equipped to nurture their partner and children.
As Patrick Howser (founder of Fathers to Be) says:
"Dads make the world of difference"!
Pregnancy, birth and parenting are huge transitions in the life of a couple. Even when a couple are happy together and their baby is conceived with love, Dads who are supported practically and emotionally make better partners and fathers.
Sometimes babies are conceived when there is no lasting relationship between both parents and this can be a real challenge for all parties. If the expectant mother is not nurtured and cared for, this makes it much harder for her to nurture herself and her baby and this can lead to complications during pregnancy, birth and early parenthood due to higher levels of maternal stress and anxiety. It can be even more important that Dads are included in the pregnancy in these circumstances, in order for the baby to have a strong bond with his/her father and for Dad to develop instincts to care and provide for his baby and the mother.
Even the experience of a succesful pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding is largely influenced by the care provided by Dad.
Many Dads know that the maternity services we currently have are focused on the needs of the mother, and Dads can end up feeling marginalised and insignificant in this amazing journey of life. It makes sense that if the expectant father has emotional support to help him through the roller coaster of emotions he is faced with, then he will be better equipped to understand and respond to the needs of the mother of his child, and his baby.