You bet they are! According to a survey conducted by Medela Australia on over 7,800 Australian Mums – their partner was listed as the number 1 most valuable source of support in the first 6 weeks of giving birth, even ahead of their own mothers! The results initally surprised me, until I looked back at my journey as a new Mum.
My partner. My rock.
Being a new Mum was hard for me. Like many Mums, I had so much to adjust to. A baby that was crying a lot. The difficulties and pain that goes along with breastfeeding. Lack of sleep. Loss of independence. Sense of incompetence. It was a lot for one person to take on. And unless you live with your mother, your partner will end up being your main support system.
Our daughter was suffering from reflux and we didn’t know it at the beginning. The constant crying even after she had a feed on the breast was extremely stressful for me. I remember seeing so many Mums breastfeeding easily while their baby would fall asleep from being milk drunk. Because Mia was suffering from reflux, this was never the case. I felt like there was something wrong with me and my breastmilk that Mia couldn’t settle. I blamed myself. My partner would hug me and listen to me as I would sit there crying in despair and frustration. He never once let me think I was a bad mother. He always said encouraging words to me and made me get up the next day to try it all over again.
The support I benefited from
The survey also showed that the top 5 types of support from a partner that a new mum benefited from were:
- Emotional support
- Breastfeeding support
- Settling our baby
Emotional support was a big one for me. Those days that I just felt like a useless Mum was when my partner was there to pick me up and tell me I am doing an amazing job and that our baby loves me no matter what. For me the second most important type of support was settling our baby. She was a really hard baby to settle and throw in the lack of sleep, I didn’t have the patience to settle her down at times. My partner had the patience to take over settling her while I tried to squeeze in a nap or just lie on the couch from pure exhaustion.
My partner was a better parent then me at times
The Medela Australia research also showed that 4.5 out of 5 mums have immense confidence and trust in their partners ability to look after their baby. This was definitely the case in our household. I was terrified of giving our daughter a bath. She was so small and wriggled so much that I was so scared I was going to drop her or hurt her as I tried to bathe her. From her very first bath, Daddy was the one in charge of bathing her and he didn’t even flinch. He was such a pro at it and I stared at him in awe as he took control of the situation. Even though I was hovering around him like a nervous new Mum, he did an amazing job every time until I finally got the courage to bathe my own daughter on my own.
My partner helped me to breastfeed
Well not literally – but how amazing would that be if they could (actually quite disturbing now that I think about it!). But as mentioned earlier on, I really struggled with breastfeeding because my daughter was suffering from reflux (which she didn’t get diagnosed until about 6 weeks old) and not settling after a feed. There was so many times I wanted to give up breastfeeding. My goal was to always hit the 6 months mark but I was barely hitting the 6 weeks mark. The Medela Australia survey showed that over 80% of Mums listed their partners as their main supporter during their breastfeeding journey. This was certainly the truth in my case!
Are you surprised by the findings?
I was surprised by the overwhelming response from new mums on how much their partners helped them. I didn’t think at the time of having our first baby, that my partner wasn’t only going to help with the baby as much as he did but was also going to be such a huge source of emotional support. So to all the Dads out there, really stepping up and being a big support system for us Mums with newborn babies – THANKYOU! To my partner who has been raising our baby side by side, every step of the way – THANKYOU!
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful Dads out there! Your help and support certainly doesn’t go unnoticed.
And thanks to Medela Australia – we are giving away $100 vouchers to 2 lucky winners to spend at their store! Enter below: