What to expect in your first 24 hours of Fatherhood

New Father

Welcome to Fatherhood

Having a child is one of the most life-changing events that a man can go through. The choices you make from this point onward are going to have an effect not only on your own life but also on the life of your child. The hours leading up to birth can be incredibly stressful. From getting to the hospital to supporting your child’s mother to the birth itself, by the time your baby enters the world you are already going to be drained. Being prepared for your first 24 hours as a father will give you the confidence to make the most out of your first day as a dad.

Cutting the Cord

Cutting the umbilical cord can seem like a stressful moment for any new dad. You may be hesitant to partake in this tradition for a variety of reasons. Maybe you are squeamish, or you might be afraid that you will cause lasting damage to your child or their mother. In most scenarios, the doctors in the room will make it easy for you to partake in the tradition. They will most likely hold out the cord for you and direct you where exactly to cut the umbilical cord. This does not hurt either party and does not influence the size or shape of your child’s belly button. The remaining cord attached to your baby gets clamped and will fall off after a few days.

Skin to Skin Contact

Holding your baby with your skin touching is one of the fastest ways to make a bond and comfort your baby. Skin-to-skin contact releases all the good hormones that you and your baby need to create a lifelong connection. Your warmth and your heartbeat can calm your baby and make them feel comfortable with you. Since newborns cannot yet see, they rely on touch and sound to identify people. Skin-to-skin contact is a must within the first 24 hours of fatherhood.

Supporting your baby’s mother

The mother of your child just went through one of the most physically demanding and emotional experiences of her life. It is important that you not only bond with your child, but also support their mother. She most likely will be sore and may even need you to help her get up and down out of bed and to the bathroom. As a father, you must make sure she and your baby have everything they need to feel comfortable.

Enjoy the Moment

The first 24 hours of your child’s life should be cherished. Take it slowly and enjoy the moment. Let your emotions come through and allow yourself to feel the joy and the nervousness of being a new dad. All you need to do to start fatherhood off on the right foot is support your baby’s mother and make a bond with your child. Celebrate and recuperate. Prepare yourself for the next few months of fathering a newborn.