Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...

Mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...

Colic

Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...

Strap-in-the-Future

The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

What it means to be dad?

being dadTum2mom explores one man's journey of fatherhood and this is his heartfelt response:

What kind of advice did family and friends give you about fatherhood?

To be honest, I didn't really receive much by way of advice. The one thing that stood out was being told that I must just do things how I see fit when someone disagrees about how I go about parenting. The prenatal classes gave me all the practical info I required.

There are generally times when most new parents feel inept for the enormous task and responsibility of parenting. What advice would you give to new dads, now that you know what you know?

My advice: Just go with the flow. There is no perfect way of doing things, but the basics are easy - clean nappy, well fed, lots of love. Easy as that, and just Google the rest. Everyone has an opinion on scheduled feeds vs. demand feeding, and changing to demand feeding changed my life! I couldn't imagine it any other way, but it is up to you.

Also, plenty of attention to your partner. She will need as much support as the new born.

Was it challenging not being able to do certain things for your baby or wife due to gender limitations, such as not being able to breastfeeding or coping with the hormonal changes that happen for women during pregnancy and birth?

I expected it, so I don't feel it was challenging. I just remember the day when things started to shift, and our boy started to recognise and want his dad. It is worth the wait!

The focus during pregnancy and early infancy is often on mothers and children. What were your needs as a man/father during this time?

You need to have something outside of parenting to keep sane. Carve space out for yourself. Gym, walking, drinks with friends or whatever it is.

Did you have a moment/s when you looked at your child and you realised he or she is mine? What was it like?

I don't recall that to be honest. I do remember the moment I saw him for the 1st time. It was almost in slow motion. I just wanted to hold him in my arms.

Financially was it stressful to encounter the costs of having a child and having enough to care for all their needs?

If I had R10 000 more or R10 000 less, I would have been equally stressed as I had no idea what I was in for. It was stressful, and still is. I just want to give my child every opportunity possible. I have started saving for his schooling already, and it was more than I expected.

Do you think that moms and dads bond with their children at different times in development and in different ways? If yes, how so?

Without a doubt. In normal scenarios, mothers bond quicker. The baby is at its calmest with the mother, but as its needs change, it draws on different parents at different times. It all depends on their emotional needs and how they match to their parents. I think once your child recognises the father and seeks their protection in uncertain situations or around uncertain people, you start to appreciate your role in their lives more. It is wonderful to be needed by someone that you love so dearly. And they recognise that they need you.

As a parent, when and how do you find me time?

If you allow me time for your partner, and encourage it, the same will be returned. It is something to possibly discuss beforehand. The one thing, don't expect it in the 1st few weeks.

What has been your funniest moment of fatherhood?

Hard to just pick one. The projectile poo across the room on numerous occasions were hilarious. I had no idea that was possible. Once it went down my mother's shirt.

Also changing the 1st nappy. The wife wasn't able to sit up yet, and I managed to pretty much get vomit, urine and meconium on myself.

Also, anytime water in the garden is involved, there are funny moments.

What have been some of your most precious moments as a father, the ones where you have realised this is what it means to be a dad?

When I am out doing something I used to do and enjoy being a father, and I realise I would actually prefer to be home with my boy. It shows how life is completely different but better.

Also, arriving home and your kid runs excitedly screaming towards you, there is nothing better. You realise how much they love you back.