Ten les­son on father­hood

Real dads share ex­cel­lent ad­vice

Your Pregnancy - - Contents -

SOME OF THE emo­tions and life changes that come with a new baby of­ten take men by sur­prise. “Re­search in­di­cates that many new dads ex­pe­ri­ence emo­tional dis­tress fol­low­ing the ar­rival of baby, but ques­tion the le­git­i­macy of such ex­pe­ri­ences,” notes Jo­han­nes­burg-based clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Michelle An­drews. It’s not un­com­mon for new fa­thers to feel out of place, con­fused, help­less, and per­haps a bit jeal­ous of the bond be­tween mom and child, or even re­sent­ful of how lit­tle time they now have for them­selves. And then there’s the new feel­ing of un­con­di­tional love and the strong in­stinct to pro­tect the new­born, which can also over­whelm new dads. “Par­ent­hood is an emo­tional jour­ney in which both par­ents are faced with ma­jor ad­just­ments. Shar­ing one’s con­cerns or frus­tra­tions can as­sist in nor­mal­is­ing such ex­pe­ri­ences,” ad­vises Michelle. She adds, “It’s im­por­tant that men find a plat­form to ex­press their ex­pe­ri­ences.” One way to do that is to speak to other dads about their new father­hood ex­pe­ri­ences. We called on a few to share their most im­por­tant les­sons…

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