Taking care of a newborn should be a shared responsibility

Thursday July 9 2020

When a man takes care of a newborn, it gives

When a man takes care of a newborn, it gives the wife a chance to also take a break and rest. Photo | internet 

By Joan Salmon

I have heard men say that they keep away because they are weary of newborns. But who said women do not have fears of their own when it comes to this new road? So we ask, when does the husband come in after the baby has come forth?

Rogers Balamaga, a chef, says men should get involved with the affairs concerning the baby from the word go. “They must be part of the process from the time they learn that they are going to have a baby. They should also remember that when their partner is pregnant, she will not be able to do several chores such as washing. This calls for you to come in and help. Besides, encourage her to go for antenatal care, massage her feet, and the like,” Balamaga says.

He speaks of his daughter who was born preterm. “We had to do the kangaroo method and we did it in turns. When they were still in hospital, I would drive there and do it. Even when we returned home, I would return from work and take over. That would give her time to rest and heal, not to mention knowing that she is not alone in this,” he shares. Balamaga says that it also gave him the opportunity to bond with his daughter. “There is no price tag to such.”

How much?
Collins Oduka, a property valuer, believes a man is always involved. “However, what matters is the level because one may give you money to go and buy what is needed. While they are involved in the child’s wellbeing, it is passive.

Oduka believes that husbands need to be involved even in the small things such as picking the name of the child, praying over the child, and declaring the things you desire to see in them. He also observes that some men are very dotting husbands with the first child, only to let go with the subsequent ones saying she can handle.

You can learn
Florence Namboze, a surveyor, says women are not born with the knowledge of how to take care of a child.
“We simply learn, and so can husbands. Therefore, they should be involved from the very start,” she says. Namboze adds that a number of men stay away for fear of hurting the fragile baby. “We probably have the same fears as you do such as how to clean the cord, bathing a fragile baby but only put our best foot forward,” she says.


Expert says

Evelyn C. Kharono Lufafa, a counselling psychologist, says fathers may not carry babies through the nine months but their emotional and physical support through the pregnancy and after the birth of the child is significant.

Kharono says the child’s physical and intellectual plays with them from the start. Also, fathers will experience less stress and gain confidence when they have a special time with their newborn babies.

On the side of the relationship, Kharono believes that when fathers are involved in taking care of the newborn, it goes a long way in improving their relationship with a partner.