Reply To: How to handle dads contact/involvement with newborn

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If breastfeeding, the advice is not to pump until established with feeding after at least 6 weeks, so initially you will obviously be nursing baby and there will be lots of cluster feeding.

Personally, I feel that in your situation when you give birth, he shouldn’t be present as you are incredibly vulnerable and need someone who is there solely to support you and focus on what is in your best interests,  such as your mum or a friend. This was vital when I gave birth and things didn’t go as planned. Until baby is born this is your medical treatment, so that takes priority.

Obviously then you need to navigate him meeting baby. In some ways, it is probably easier if you’re in hospital for him to meet baby when you’re in hospital. It is neutral ground etc. And may make the next meeting easier for you.

Though it is early days, if your Mum was coming to stay or you stay with her in the early days, this would also make the initial father-baby contact easier as you can say go upstairs etc. And then not have to play happy separated families cooing over baby. Beyond those very early weeks, I think that contact should not be in your home as this is your personal space and he should not be invading that safe space. So moving forward I would think that cafes where you can give baby and sit elsewhere or garden centres etc where he can have time with baby but return when nursing is needed. Then once you are pumping at say the 3 months mark, it should be easier for him to say have baby for a couple of hours alone. Do not agree to him being able to come and go as he pleases; contact should be PLANNED and convenient to you and baby not just him. Sadly, he will have to live with the consequence of deciding that the relationship was over when his partner was 6 months pregnant, he will not be able to have contact as he would have had if still in a relationship. Initially contact should be short and regular, so maybe 2 or 3 occasions a week for 1-2 hours.  This would then increase as baby develops.

Hope that helps.