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The Transition to Fatherhood: Hormonal Changes, Brain Networks, and Essential Tips for New Dads

‘Can you change her diapers, please?’ Nivedita Sharma asks her husband, Ramesh, when they reach home after a visit to the park with their little one.

Ramesh nods obligingly. Within moments, his task is done, and the baby is cooing happily, ready to go off to sleep.

In today’s world, finding a husband like Ramesh is commonplace. It’s little surprise that husbands are entrusted with the same tasks as ‘Mommies.’ What’s more, apart from changing their babies’ nappies, those Daddies are adept at bottle-feeding and putting babies to sleep!

The only thing is, New Dads don’t have that generational experience that might have been passed on to them by their dads and even granddads, vis a vis preparing them for effective childcare.

Needless to say, ‘easing’ into the process of taking care of Baby does not come all that ‘easily’ to them.

Becoming a New Father: Key Changes

Becoming a New father is not as easy as it seems. On the contrary, it wrests Men well out of their comfort zones, placing them in uncharted territory.

That being said, there are certain key changes that can be seen, alongside this most crucial transition into Fatherhood. These are the following:

Hormonal Changes

Think women are the only ones that go through hormonal changes? You might want to think again! Men go through several hormonal changes in the few weeks leading up to the birth of their children, and a few weeks post-birth, too.

Example: The Oxytocin levels increase slightly.

Note: You don’t want to worry here. More oxytocin only means that it helps New Dad recognize the emotions of others. After all, it is the ‘Love Hormone’!

Brain Networks

Yes, becoming a father can even impact the mighty Brain!  This change is especially prevalent, in the Postnatal period. Here, you will find that the more that Daddy is involved in taking care of baby, the greater is the ‘connectivity’ that can be observed in the Parental Brain Network.

Important Note: There’s nothing to be worried about, where it comes to these hormonal and brain fluctuations. They are ‘functional’ in nature, but only in a good sense, their job being to support Daddy’s sensitivity towards the needs of his newborn child!

Becoming a New Father: The transition to Fatherhood

Becoming a new father is one of the life-defining events in a man’s life. The moment he first holds his newborn in his arms, he knows he has just been entrusted with the biggest-ever responsibility in his life!

When on the verge of Fatherhood, the following are some tips that New Dads cannot possibly ignore.

  1. Do some solid research
  2. So, you’re not the one carrying the baby. However, there’s plenty you can do to understand Fatherhood better.

    To Do: Read books, that are especially written for expectant fathers. Also read those that will help you do your bit, to make the birthing experience a more comfortable one, for Mama.

  3. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
  4. You will be amazed at the amount of ‘energy’ that is required to take care of baby!

    To do: You want to prepare for the full-time job of ‘Daddy’, that awaits you. A job that is sure to sap your energy and leave you fatigued, if you are not fit enough.

    Tip: To that effect, you want to get into an exercise routine that can be performed easily, preferably within the confines of your home itself. After all, when baby is around, you’ll probably have no time to hit the gym at all!

  5. Get on the same page with your Co-parent
  6. The last thing you want, is to have an altercation with your spouse, over some parenting technique!

    To do: What are your thoughts about Spanking your child? Or perhaps about Breastfeeding? You want to discuss these with your co-parent right in the very beginning. You don’t want issues to crop up later, so it’s best you both agree on a mutual parenting strategy.

  7. Getting in touch with your Emotions
  8. Did you know, that Stress can be caused by even the ‘happiest’ events in our lives?  Such as, the birth of our children!

    To do: It is the 6 weeks’ ‘Postpartum’ period, when even men are prone to those ‘blues’ that a lot of women go through, after they have given birth to their children. Yes, Postpartum Depression can hit Men hard, too! That is why, paying attention to your own feelings as well as those of your partner’s, becomes crucial where it comes to helping keep those Postpartum Blues at bay.

  9. Show up to those Doctor Appointments
  10. When your child is older, you will ensure you never miss their School Play, or Sports Day, right?

    To do: You don’t want to miss Prenatal Doctor Appointments, either. How else will you learn how your baby is developing, and what your partner might be going through?

  11. Finding Fellow Fathers
  12. We all look for a sense of Community in our daily lives, right? It’s no different, when it comes to being a father!

    To do: Speak regularly with fellow dads, who are embarking on the same journey as you. That will help you glean the much-needed Support System, for the vital journey of Fatherhood.

    Tip: Speaking to the fathers in your already existing social groups is a really good idea.

At EuroKids we applaud all New Fathers out there, especially in the times we live in. We appreciate all the great work they do, to help make the lives of Mothers easier. That being said, while Fatherhood is just about the most difficult job in the world for all Men, it is also the most rewarding.

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