comox valley birth

D is for Dad's - Adjusting to Fatherhood

Jace Pierson reflects on the wonderful + overwhelming adjustment into fatherhood, and his advice to other dads on how to survive, support, and savour each moment. 

When my wife was pregnant I forgot to imagine what it going to be like once this tiny human would join us. There was a lot of fun stuff like shopping, planning and pintrest-ing. Prepare yourself to spend some money! But as much as we planned, we found that we were heavily uninformed and unprepared. We had little in the way of friends with kids to ask, so making a birth plan became an intense few months of research. The first year has been a whirlwind of wonderful and overwhelming, so let me share a bit of my experience with you….

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Once our amazing baby girl was born, Meal planning quickly became the bane of our existence. It always seemed like we just ate but now we were h-angry at each other again. We ate a lot of take-out for the first while. (that's how I got this epic dad bod and mildly depleted savings). 

Sleep patterns were out the window and stress coping and memory becomes difficult when you're always tired and h-angry. And guess what? There are no more time outs, it's 1st down with 6 months to go!  It was overwhelming at times, but the amazing parts truly outweigh the hard times; like that first smile, and the pure joy of making your little one laugh for the first time. (I recommend tickles)! You start to see things in a whole new light: your kids light, and it’s almost as though you too are seeing it for the first time. 

For the year to follow the birth of my daughter I saw my wife more than the years she was not pregnant. Yet I found myself distanced and I missed her very much even though we were always together. As a husband, I found this to be one of the greatest challenges; I love my wife beyond belief and I live for time we spend together. 

As men when faced with difficult times, we tend to put our heads down focus elsewhere and push through until it’s over. Those first months of parenthood are no different.

 

If I could offer any advice to new dads its to stay present, and stay the course. 

 

Your child might not want that much to do with you for the first while and demand the attention of your partner, and that's okay. So what are you supposed to do? 

It’s your job to be there for mom; she needs you to be present, to be attentive, to fill in the gaps of what she no longer has the time or energy to do; this was the best advice I got from a good friend and I pass it unto you. 

Get your hands dirty! I have heard a few dads complain about changing their kids' diapers, how gross it is "I have a bad gag reflex and cant handle it". It’s time to MAN up friend (or should I say wo-man up, mom just birthed a human. If it comes down to who is tougher... She is). With the exception of breast feedings your roll and responsibilities are as equals.

Does this change when mom goes back to work? Sort of. 

Now that my wife is back at work, we are continually striving to find the balance between being a parent and maintaining our former life. Some days it works, and other days are a just a mess. It's constant growth, and as long as the communication stays open and you continue to have each other’s back, you will make it through in one piece.

Good luck & Have fun, it does go fast!

Jace is a father and husband, passionate about his family, friends, and the beautiful community of the Comox Valley that he calls home. Jace works as an advisor with Sunlife Financial, and is a warm and enthusiastic resource for individuals and families exploring their options for investments, education saving plans, and much more.

For more information you can visit his website, or contact him directly at jace.pierson@sunlife.com.

 

When Baby Bites (your nipple...youch!)

If you're reading this, it's probably because you've experienced the blight of the nurseling bite. And it hurts, just like they said it would. 

Baby may have gummed your nipple a few times in the months you've been breastfeeding, which in itself is an undoubtedly unpleasant experience; but the first time they take a chomp with their sharp little teeth, mid feed, you may just let out a startling cry, because: IT HURTS!

There are a few myths and quite a bit of conflicting information about your nurselings + biting. We hope to clarify this issue, give you strategies to avoid it, and help you carry on your merry way without fearing the next unsuspecting chomp…

 

The Myth: When baby bites, it’s time to wean. 

Your baby biting isn’t an indication that their time at the breast has run out. Biting while nursing is usually a sign of teething, boredom,  impatience or simply experimentation at the breast. Most baby’s will try out a nibble or two at some time or another in your nursing relationship. The minimum recommendation for nursing is 1 year, and World Health Organization suggests nursing until age two. 

The Reason

There are a few reasons that biting might happen. 

  • Teething: there's a good chance your baby is just looking for a good place to soothe those throbbing gums.
  • Impatient: your letdown might not be as quick as baby wants to drink milk, causing them to bite out of impatience and frustration
  • Bored: if baby is finished feeding, or distracted by the environment, this is a likely opportunity to get a bit lazy, or try something a little different (like latching onto your nipple with their teeth - fun for them, perhaps, but not for you!)

The Solution   

It's important to realize that biting can't happen if your baby is latched on properly. When your baby bites, he's lost his latch on your nipple, and is no longer trying to drink from your breast. So what can you do?

  • Pay attention to his cues. Baby's will often bite at the end of a feed. If you notice your baby seems to be finished at the breast, unlatch him before he can bite. If biting happens at the beginning of a feed, try some hand-expression to get the milk flowing before you latch baby on the breast. 
  • Try minimizing distractions: try (if you can), to nurse in a quiet, uninteresting environment so that baby doesn't get distracted from breastfeeding and pull your nipple along with a curious head turn  (we like to call this, "nip lash", and it's often accompanied by biting) 
  • Offer something for teething before hand - a cold cloth, teething oil, or whatever comfort measure you have been using for those sore little gums that may be causing him to bite.

What to do if it happens (again)

Try your best not to startle baby with a yelp or a shout. This is often upsetting for your baby, and can cause them to refuse the breast (otherwise known as a nursing strike). Instead, unlatch your baby carefully, take them off the breast, and tell them a firm but gentle, "no". This shows them that biting means that milk goes away, and hopefully will help break the cycle. Some baby's will be entertained if you give them a strong reaction, and bite to get that reaction out of you again (they're smarter than we think!) 

5 Early Signs of Labor

Early labor can be an anxious and mysterious waiting game - Is this it? What was that? Does this mean it's happening?!??! There has been many a mother who has made herself mad, questioning and googling every twinge and change in her body in the days leading up to labor. When the time finally comes, you will know, just like they say you will! There are, however, some tell-tale signs that labor has begun or is just around the corner: