Baby sleeping tips: How to overcome sleepless nights

Wow, this was one heck of a 2 month period. Sleep training is NOT easy but so satisfying once you make your way through it

Full disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links

We’re 7 months on and our little angel is struggling with sleep. Ezra is happy and joyful all the way through the day, but come 5am, we’re up with him screaming. So with this in mind, we had to do something, and what we decided to do was to start sleep training him.

We tried everything, from creating routines to buying black-out blinds (this didn’t help Ezra but OH MY GOSH this made the biggest difference in our lives), from weaning him to increasing the amount that he sleeps during the day. Nothing seemed to work and it was bringing us to the brink. And yeah, we then decided to make a big decision that some people are going to judge us for – we paid for a sleep consultant.

Now before you jump in the air and raise your pitchforks (just like both of our parents did), this helped a little, but it didn’t fix the problem completely. Here is a little summary of what we did:

  1. Regulate his naps – now Ezra falls asleep at the same time everyday
  2. Regulate his diet – now Ezra eats at the same time everyday
  3. Go to bed at the same time with the same routine
  4. Wake at the same time each day
  5. Repeat

The best part of this? We were able to remove his afternoon nap to give Heather more of a life (more time to go out to see people and do things). It also allowed us to begin the weaning process properly and have a set routine.

What was the worst part about this?

We had no aftercare support. We paid more than we should we have for the support from this consultant, but once our time was up, we were left high and dry, without a clue what to do, how to progress forward or what to do next. This was a huge disappointment. So I went online to try and find something to help fix this problem, and I found Baby Sleep Miracle, which is a step by step instructional to help children sleep.

From what I’ve gathered, it is not aimed at just young babies, but for at least the first couple of years of your child’s life. It has helped us more than paying for 1-2-1 support for 2 weeks, and has cost us about £150 LESS too.

The reason why this has helped so much more is because you have the step by step guide there if something isn’t working – it is like having a user manual sitting and waiting for you to check the next step.

This is NOT a magic instant fix though – we had to work towards getting a good sleep routine for Ezra. It did not change immediately and we did have some hard nights, but working on it has paid off, and that is why I’ve come back to blogging to tell you that this will make life so much more comfortable for you.

Our main problem was making sure that Ezra would fall asleep on us before we would put him into his crib, and so each time he hit the end of a sleep cycle, he would wake up and cry, scared of where he was and why we weren’t there. He would then wake up at 4.30/5am every morning and keep us awake crying whilst we tried to calm him until we started our day at 6.30am. When we implemented the teaching in Baby Sleep Miracle we were able to start to get him into his crib AWAKE and happy, but not too awake that he wouldn’t fall asleep quickly once he had been put down. It was this fine line that meant that we had to pay attention to his triggers – namely when he started to rub his eyes or grab his ears, but would still smile and giggle whenever we sung babyshark (do do do do do do) – and this laughing is a big part of the sleep routine in this book.

If your child is struggling with sleep, then I cannot recommend this enough. I said from the very beginning of being a Dad, that whenever I found something that made a difference to my life and my family, that I was going to share it with the world.

Please share this post as much as you can and help people who are having problems with their baby’s sleeping. This program really does make the difference – this program will change your life.

Want to pick up a copy?

If you’re interested in picking up a copy of this program, you can get your version by following this affiliate link here. You can get a copy for only $37. If you pick up a copy quickly then there are a bunch of freebies that you can get with it, such as the Night Teror Stopper or the Double Trouble Sleeping Struggle for families with twins. These freebies won’t be around forever, and they’re worth a combined $200 – so its all worth it for $37!

Once you’ve read the program and implemented it, drop a comment below and let me know what you think

Link –  babysleepmiracle.com/

Why You Need to be Using ClickFunnels

Okay, so as a Dad blogger you need to ask yourself two questions:

  1. Am I doing this to be creative, to connect with people, or am I doing this for money?
  2. How am I going to reach the right audience to connect with, and those people who will buy what I am advertising?

The second question is the big one – how can I get the right people to come to my website? And not just that, but what is the best, and most effective way to make those visitors convert?

There is no point in paying to drive traffic to a website that doesn’t convert – where the language isn’t selling products to people, it is just telling your traffic about the product. Same goes for your time – are you spending hours on social media every day trying to get people to your website? Think about how much your time is worth – are you earning enough money to make your hourly wage?

I would guess that maybe 90% of people reading this blog post are not earning their hourly wage through blogging and affiliate marketing. And I would also guess that a lot of you are one failing blog post away from quitting. Don’t worry if you feel like this – we all have had those feelings. I’ve had them, but you need to keep going. 

What if I told you that there is a tool out there that has been developed, split tested and built purely to help people with their conversions? A tool that helps you guide people to your squeeze page, and helps you build a sales funnel that is likely to build your conversions by 33% in a really short period of time? Would you be interested?

Of course you would. And what if I told you that there is a full a FREE guide and tutorial for how to use this tool? Videos and written content by experts that help you because a sales funnel GOD? Again, of course you would want this – you would be a FOOL to not want to try this to build your business.

This tool is Click Funnels. It is an intuitive and stylish web tool that is built to hold your hand, step by step, in building a sales funnel with the right squeeze page, right up selling tools to make MORE money, and the right analytics software to develop your skills even further. 

Clickfunnels is proven to increase online income, and it is proven to help drive the right traffic to your page. It also has tools to help you build an email collection page, to then provide you with another stream of income for your affiliate marketing. 

So how can you dive straight into Clickfunnels and convert from the get-go? They have put together a training service called Affiliate Bootcamp. A training program that is FREE to use, and is broken down into a step by step process that teaches you 

  1. how to set up an email squeeze page
  2. How to set up your first funnel
  3. How to drive the right traffic to your website
  4. How to use Facebook ads
  5. And even more!!

Combine the Affiliate Bootcamp with Clickfunnels, and you are almost guaranteed to increase your profits by huge levels. You have no reason to not give it a go. If you sign up today, you can get a 14 day free trial to Clickfunnels. So give it a go – I promise that you won’t regret it 

If you need any help, I am always available to give advice. You can either drop a comment below to ask for help, or email me on jack.woods@upcomingdad.com

Believe me, I would not be advertising this if I did not trust the product. Investing in a program is always a difficult decision to make for dads on a side hustle, but this will make a difference, I guarantee it. This gives you the chance to add to your income and provide more for your family. Read up on it, and go chance your business

Thanks guys! I’ll speak to you again soon

If you’re struggling to convert your traffic – you need to read this

Guys, you know that I’d never promote anything on here that I didn’t trust – or anything that I hadn’t tested out myself. So please do trust me when I say that this is the best tool I’ve ever found online.

dcsbook_side

This article contains affiliate links. By clicking on the link and deciding to buy this book, I will receive a small commision. My commision does not impact the price.  Know that I have tested and approve this book and that you are supporting upcomingdad.com by purchasing this book

I’ve been struggling with the Upcoming Dad side of things since the end of November. I started my new job at the beginning of December, Baby Ezra’s health started to move up and down, and the tiredness that every new dad had started to settle in. So I stepped back and began to focus on my 9-5 job and making sure that we had food on the table.

But I’ve found that, since the turn of the year, that I’ve been unhappy with the concept of only working a 9-5. I want financial freedom, and I want to continue to build my community. So I went out, bought a bunch of books on online conversions and building a side business, and the DotComSecrets book is the number 1 book I found

It is written by Russel Brunson, the CEO of Clickfunnels click here for a 14 day free trial of Clickfunnels). He has used his data from building his website building program to write a 250+ page manual on making your website look better, drive more traffic and more importantly convert better.

After all, what is the point in driving 500 people to your affiliate page, where you simply tell them “here is an awesome product, you should buy it”, and they then just leave? Russell’s book will show you the tips and tricks that you need to convert, and help turn your blog into a better form of provision for your family!

So what does the book look into? Check it out – if you buy yourself the DotComSecrets book, you will get expert advice on:

  • Russell’s top 5 methods for getting people to buy higher-end products.
  • How to build your mailing list with a simple 2 step form
  • How to generate thousands of pre-qualified leads – basically, how to ensure that you’re creating traffic to your website that is actually going to convert!
  • The “5minute bump test” – how to increase conversions (by as much as 33%!) in products and services that you’re already selling. Basically – how to optimize the content that you’ve already written

Dads, this book works. Believe me. It is tried and true, and it has helped thousands of people increase their traffic and build their companies. My dream is to be fully self-employed by 2020, and I really do think that by implementing the tools in Russell’s book, that I will get there. I trust that this will happen to you too.

(Banner image credit to Pinterest)

New Dads Questions Answered – A Masterclass in How to Write an eBook, & A Survival Guide for New Dads Everywhere

If you’re looking for a book that is going to provide you with a simplistic breakdown of how to be the best dad possible, then New Dad’s Questions Answered is the book for you. I wish that this was released during our pregnancy, because there are so many little snippets around finding a name, or buying things for the baby, that are the stresses that we endured, and the author Stuart Hood provides little tips and tricks for them in this book. 

The book is raw and honest, and covers the life experiences of Stuart, and whilst every child is going to be brought up differently, with their own problems and their own quirks, this book is more reassuring than anything else. You may not have the same experiences as him, but you will definitely be able to apply Stuart’s experiences to your own in some capacity.

The books writing style and language is extremely approachable. It is funny, to the point and has little ‘fluff’ to pad it out and break away from the real point of the conversation. The “chapters” are 1-5 page long answers to the burning questions that dads are going to have. If you’re ever planning to write an eBook, then I’d advise this style – it makes everything a LOT easier to understand. 

My experience of parenting so far has been a bit of firefighting. Baby Ezra has been quite ill in his 10 weeks on this earth, which has made it difficult to create a routine. So for my wife and I, we have often thought “we will deal with this problem now and then when the next thing comes along, we can tackle that at the time”. I knew that there would be specific things to deal with, like lack of sleep (for us, and for baby Ezra), returning to work, changes in food causing problems, or weening…teething…girlfriends…mortgages (I might be thinking a bit far ahead with some of these) but having read Stuart’s book, it became apparent that I just didn’t consider some things that absolutely seem logical! 

I guess that number 1 would be changing nappies once Baby Ezra starts wriggling around more, or rolling over. I didn’t think that it would get any more difficult… but apparently I was wrong to think that! With this in mind, I would recommend the book even if it just gets you to think about what is coming. I definitely read the book with that mindset from this point on. 

So what is the number one bit of advice that the book provides? In my opinion, it is the advice to look through dad websites. I did a lot of this before Ezra was born, and whilst I was on paternity leave, but when I returned to work I absolutely stopped. 

Yes, I have a strong dad community around me, but its not the same as something like father-hood.co.uk – which has changed my life in the past week!

New Dad’s Questions Answered is, in my opinion, at it’s more raw and honest (which, lets be honest, is what we need from Dad books and websites… no fluffy BS but real experiences written in real ways) when Stuart explains his experience around finding new dad mates, and how difficult this was for him. It also led to my favourite quote from the entire book

“brave? It a baby class, not a public back sack and crack waxing!”

Whats the verdict?

This is the best parenting book that I have read due to the approachable writing style, and short 1-5 page “chapters”. Each answers a specific question, so you can either search for what you’re looking for or just read it from start to finish. I found that I could pick it up for 10minutes on my lunch break and then get back to work!

I’ve learnt so much from this book and would recommend it to anyone. Please head on over to this affiliate link amazon.co.uk and pick up a copy for yourself. This is a £5 well spent (and if you really think about it, £5 is just 2 less trips to Starbucks this week! All of the knowledge in this book is worth bringing your own coffee to work for a couple of days). 

I really have to thank Stuart for giving me a copy of his book. I’ve learnt so much, and it is nice to know that I’m not alone in my patenting insecurities. I really recommend that you purchase this book and learn from Stuart on a daily basis! The man is an excellent father and an all around nice guy. My review of his book is late due to my sons health (its been a rough 10 weeks for baby Ezra!), and he has been so gracious with the delay. 

Thank you Stuart for everything you’ve taught me, and I hope that everyone that reads this post is going to run out and pick up a copy for themselves. You will NOT regret it. 

I would rate this book 5/5 stars

Want to pick up a copy?

If you’re interested in picking up a copy of this book, you can get it on Kindle by following this affiliate link here. You can get a copy for your kindle for only £4.99. It has a lot of advice for post-birth and can be really helpful in the future. 

Link –  amazon.co.uk

Real Talk – I’m Going to be Honest with You… Parenting is HARD

So this is going to be a bit of an honest post with you guys. I had planned on doing a Black Friday sales post today, and I may end up missing the boat because of it, which sucks because we need the money…. but I need to say this, and I wouldn’t dare burden Heather with how I’m feeling right now! She’s going through pretty much the same and it’s my job to protect her right now.

This post is going to be a live in stereo sort of thing. No major editing, no external links, no images, just me talking. It may come off a bit waffly, but this is my raw feelings right now. A bit of verbal diarrhea, but I need this now.

This is fucking hard

We’re on day 10, 7 of those have been spent at home, and the first 3 in the hospital. The first 3 days, he cried twice – for 3 seconds immediately as he was born (definitely announced his entry into the world!!) and the second was for 10seconds the next day because he was cold. We thought we were nailing this parenting stuff and had the best, quiestest baby in the world. However, since we have been home, he is forever crying for attention and crying in pain.

Last night was the second night in a row where he just screamed the entire night; baby Ezra has colic and it is causing him a lot of pain. Because of this, he was inconsolable and I didn’t get to sleep until 5.30am.

Lack of sleep

A bit of my backstory – I fell ill when I was 20 with an extremely rare stomach illness that caused me a lot of pain. I’ve had to take a fairly high dose of morphine for the past 7 years – it is the only way to be pain-free (or reduce the level of pain to a point that it is at all manageable). I’ve also had to take a lot of different medications over this time to help with the pain, and many of them helped me to sleep (one medication, called Nortriptyline, led me to sleep most nights for 11-14hours!!).

But about 4 years ago, I reduced my medication and stopped taking some pills, as I found more natural ways to fight the pain (if you think about the way that your baby momma was breathing to fight labour pains – breathing like that is the best pain killer I take!) This caused me to have some major sleep problems. I run off about 6 hours a night at best, but it usually takes me about 4 hours to fall asleep every night.

I thought I was going to be fine with the lack of sleep once baby Ezra arrived, but this is another level. I’m not just tired – I’m exhausted. And this is causing me to not just be physically tired, but mentally too. With Ezra just screaming and wailing every night, I’m also emotionally drained. It is so painful to see my son in so much pain.

Proud to be a Dad

I love being a dad; deciding to try for a baby is the single greatest decision we have ever made. I love Ezra, and there is nothing that he can do that would make me love him less. These sleepless nights, 2am baths, walking for miles to calm him down (according to my iPhone, I walked 2 miles around the house last night with him on my shoulder trying to calm him down) are all worth it for those moments where he stares up at me with nothing but love. It is just really hard regardless; my love for him will keep me walking throughout the nights, and my love for Heather will keep me taking on as much of the burden as possible.

When I look at him, I see a person with no hatred, no anger, no lust, no greed, nothing negative; just love and compassion (and a desire for breastmilk!) and this is why I think he is perfect. He is just fantastic, and this makes it all worth it.

Feeling alone

I am definitely starting to feel a little alone. Heather and I are working together and keeping communication open, but I wouldn’t burden her with all of my pains and worries and stresses. I can’t even imagine how single dads must feel when they don’t have the support system I have (my parents live close by, we have a very good group of friends near us too, all willing to drop whatever they’re doing for baby Ezra).

Even with all of this support, there are definitely feelings of loneliness and isolation. It is probably a mental health situation, and tiredness, causing me to feel like this. It is so hard to function off such little sleep and it is just making me feel shit.

That is why I want all dads to feel comfortable and supported – no one should have to feel like this, whether they’re married, dating, living with baby momma or a single parent.

Get in touch

Please, use my blog as a way to join a community and have the support system around you. You can comment on this post to start a dialogue, or you can email me directly at upcomingdad@gmail.com – I will reply to every post and every email to help dads who are feeling alone and struggling with the lack of sleep and horror of watching their baby in pain.

You can also follow me on Twitter @upcomingdad, or check out my facebook page at facebook.com/upcomingdadblog. These are all safe spaces where we can talk about what’s going on. I am dedicated to helping new dads, so please lean on me. You never know, you might be able to help me too!

— — — —

If you like this discussion and want to see more of my content, then check out my recent posts just to the right of you

Also, make sure to give the blog a follow, this way you’ll get an email notification straight away when it comes out.

You can also follow me on social media

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‘Naturebond ‘ – The Perfect Manual Breast Pump for Daddy Bonding for an Incredible Price

Bonding with your baby is so important, but as we don’t have boobs, us Dads can’t do a lot during feeding times. Naturebond is an easy to use pump that allows Mum to easily express the milk that Dad can feed with. The best thing is that it is really affordable too. You can pick one up on Amazon for only £12.99!

How does it work?

Naturebond is effectively a suction cup breast pump that mimics the feed of a baby latching on to mum. This allows for a steady stream of milk to be expressed, that can either immediately be put into a sterilised bottle and fed by Dad, or put in the fridge for future use.

It is made from silicon, and therefore is moldable – you simply squeeze the bottle and then attach it onto Mum’s breast. The suction mimics your baby and the milk will start to flow! A great thing is that because it is a suction, you can leave it to dangle and it will hang on whilst it is doing all of the work. This becomes a little more difficult when it is filling up because the weight may cause it to fall though.

One of the big benefits is that if your baby won’t latch, then you can still provide them with all of the benefits of breast milk whilst bottle feeding. Some Mums may struggle to not be able to breastfeed, but this way we, and Mum,  know that baby is still getting everything they need from the action, without actually doing it.

How can we use it as Dads?

What I found is that whilst baby Ezra is feeding off one breast, I could hold the Naturebond, express 20-40ml of milk, and save it for a night time feed, and allow my wife to get some rest.

Cleaning

You can clean it easily with a washing up brush and some soapy water. Because it is silicon it is really easy to clean too. Remember that you NEED TO dry this off properly though. Do NOT forget to do this.

If you have a steriliser (a good Tommie Tippee steriliser can be found here) then throw this in there too. Just to make it doubly safe. At the time of this post, the steriliser kit is only £59.99, down from £159.99, so you HAVE to pick one up if you need one. You won’t get one this cheap again for a while.

Where are the problems?

 

This is really important – You need to not overuse it

Using a breast pump can lead to an overproduction of milk. Mums body might think that it has to feed twins if you do this too regularly, so you’ll end up with too much milk and the boobs can have a bit of a constant leak. Not only that but it can lead to some engorgement which may cause Mum some pain. The way to get around this is to only express when her body is ready to feed, but your baby isn’t. We use it every night at around 3am – I use the previous night’s milk with Ezra, and Heather will express then. This just makes it a bit easier on her in the long run.

Also, there is a big spill risk. My wife had a massive milk supply (about 40ml) and it lost suction… we ended up changing the bed at around 4 in the morning because the sheets were covered in breast milk! Whilst you can just leave it suctioned to the boob and get on with what you were doing, I’d advise holding it as much as possible.

The spillage shouldn’t be a problem, but if you struggle with your supply then this is a BIG risk as it can lead to you not having enough for baby at this time.

What’s the verdict?

This is an affordable product with excellent versatility. It’s cheaper than a full-on breast pump and a hell of a lot more compact than other pumps. It does have downfalls, but these are all easily overcome.

I would advise anyone to use a Naturebond, because we use one, and I wouldn’t allow my wife and son to use it if I didn’t feel that it was safe and useful.

It is extremely compact and can be carried anywhere without bother – just keep some sterilised containers for the supply wherever you go (if you pick up the kit from this link, then you will get a supply of 6 pots that can be used).

If you can’t afford to get a proper breast pump, then the Naturebond is everything that you need. There is a real use in the world for a Naturebond, so you should definitely pick one up. As it is only £12.99, there isn’t a huge risk of lost money if you end up not expressing much in the future.

Due to the spillage risk and the always present risk that comes with pumping and expressing, I rate this product a 3.5/5 – although it could easily be a 4.5/5 due to the incredible price.

Want to pick one up?

Amazon is the easiest place to go to pick up a Naturebond. Only £12.99 and is available with Prime delivery.

Link = amazon.co.uk

 

If you like this review and want to see more of my content, then check out my recent posts just to the right of you

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So I am no longer an upcoming dad…

SO! A bit of an update for my readers. Sunday 4th November 2018 at 5.12am my world changed. After hours of stealing the gas and air when Heather wasn’t looking, and attempting to watch as much Netflix as the contractions would allow, my son was born.

Ezra Joshua Woods

The light of my life.

For the next couple days things are going to be slow on the blog and on social media. Ezra is my first child so I not only want the time to bond, but I need the time to learn – being a dad isn’t all nerf guns and playtime. I learnt that VERY quickly.

I will attempt to get some posts out when I can (when Ezra and Heather are sleeping mostly), but Ezra is my priority for now. Thank you for being patient and understanding.

Make sure to subscribe by the way to get email updates of new posts – soon I’m going to write about how the labour was and what it was like. Try to give dads an idea of what to expect – because it was NOT what I expected. Every moment of the labour was incredible, and so surreal. I felt like I was in a dream the whole time. For upcoming dads, you need to hear this!!

Thanks for your patience guys. Have a great day

The Best Parenting Book For Dads in 2018 – The Expectant Dad’s Survival Guide

Book Club: Chapter 1 – Expectant Dads Survival Guide

For my 27th birthday, my sister bought me the Expectant Dad’s Survival Guide by Rob Kemp. She knew that I hadn’t read any baby books yet (we were nearly 6 months pregnant…OOOPS!), so she decided to research and find a book that is all encompassing. Something that would be able to cover a lot in a single book. 

I didn’t have a lot of time each day to read (still don’t…) but this book is broken down in such a way that you can read for 15 minutes and learn something everyday. So I committed to turning up to work between 8 and 8.15, before my 8.30am start, and sit in my car to read. 

No word of a lie, this is how I best found myself to be informed about pregnancy, labour and parenthood. Yes, I was 6 months in to the pregnancy, but I made sure to start this book from the beginning. 

How is it laid out?

The book is broken down into the different stages of the labour, and explains what you need to know for that time period, and how it will affect the future. This goes into the smaller details of mum’s first showing, to scans, how to apply for paternity leave etc. All the way through to everything you need to know about labour, the different pain relief methods, different types of delivery etc. 

Not only is it broken down into time periods, but also into information section – this made it very easy to digest small amounts of information on a daily basis. 

The thing that I like most about this book, is that every chapter has some comments from real dads talking about their experiences of that specific topic. It shows you a more personal perception of those stages, rather than a clinical approach to this information. There are also a multitude of health care professionals (doctors, nurses, midwives, psychologists etc.) that weigh in on multiple topics. These two different groups of people show you both the personal and professional side to pregnancy, as well as teaching you the clinical information you need to know (like how induction works, growth scans etc.) and then the real nitty gritty “this is how I felt during our first ultrasound” input from real dads. Its a great balancing act. 

The book contains information on things that you just wouldn’t normally think about – like making sure that your missus doesn’t change the cat’s litter tray (because of toxoplasmosis), and how to get your baby home, adjusting to the new life as a dad etc. 

How would I improve it?

I would improve is removing some of the waffle. The book is 272 pages (only about 250 are the main content – there are then a bunch of resources after the main content that you HAVE to use. It will change your pregnancy) but could maybe be reduced to about 200-220. The waffle is there to help you connect to the author, and to keep the tone consistent; however some people just want the raw, factual information, which isn’t necessarily this book. I did find myself skipping some of the real dad’s stories to get to the main content of the book… I might have missed out some life changing information, but I still feel extremely informed.

Also, getting into this book a couple months late made the start of the book effectively useless. It was still interesting to read and to learn about, and I would say my knowledge of pregnancy and how to help my wife was improved in the last trimester because of it.

Whats the verdict?

The book is great – I learnt more from this book than every antenatal class that I went to. The chapters are broken down really well, so just reading for 15-25minutes per day paired really well with the layout. If you can get into the book early on in your pregnancy, then this will be a very good guide to keep you going. 

The book looks at the changes in the way that men are treated during the pregnancy and labour process, and helps give advice to us to help us through the new cultural norms and requirements put on us throughout this time of our lives. Its useful, and culturally appropriate. 

This book works hand in hand with my blog, because it is all about empowering men during pregnancy, labour and parenthood. It is written by a dad, for dads and it is filled with the knowledge that Rob Kemp wishes he knew before his kid came along. I really strongly recommend it to you. 

I would rate this book 4/5 stars

Want to pick up a copy?

If you’re interested in picking up a copy of this book, you can get it on Kindle or paperback by following this link here. You can get a copy for as little as a penny if you buy it second hand, or £7.99 to get it on kindle. Lots of people are selling this book once they finished reading it, but my advice to you is to keep it around once done. It has a lot of advice for post-birth and can be really helpful in the future. 

Link – amazon.co.uk

Real Talk – Dealing With Postnatal Depression

Lads, this is the real deal and where we need to step up our game. We might be tired, overwhelmed and struggling to deal with the lack of time to ourselves, but if mum is struggling with Postnatal Depression (also known as Postpartum depression), then this time following our new borns is not about us. 

If the mother of your child is struggling with Postnatal Depression, then make sure that you get yourself informed. It might also be helpful for the grandparents to learn more about it, as well as very close friends (this is a sensitive issue so reserve inviting people to help to only her closest and most trusted friends). Please send this post, or any of the articles at the bottom of this page, on to them to help them get better informed.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Post natal depression

Postpartum depression is a form of depression triggered by the hormonal and physiological and psychological changes induced by labour and the birth of your child. The risk of this is increased by a traumatic labour, and those who have suffered with depression is the past are 20times more likely to be affected.

Did you know that 10-15% of women struggle with Postnatal depression? Well, 10-15% of women report that they are struggling with Postnatal depression – this is likely to be around 5% higher the actual numbers. Which means that our baby-mamas have a horrifying 1-in-5 chance of struggling with their mental health after the biggest miracle of their lives. 

Regardless of how we are feeling, or how much we are struggling, we need to find our own outlets that will not impact the mothers. This is our time to be strong and support our women through this. It may mean we have to get up more times than you planned through the night to do another feed, we need to do more nappy/diaper changes, miss the drink after work, or put down the playstation controller and lend an ear. 

Around 58% of women with PND do not report the problem – and this will often lead to them not speaking with their spouse or partner about their emotions. This leads to a further feeling of isolation, and will eventually make the situation worse. We need to adopt a stance of emotional intelligence and keep an eye out for how they are feeling. Be present but not over bearing, ask them how they’re doing regularly but not so much that they feel smothered… All of this is quite difficult, it is a balancing act, but again this time is not about us. 

What do we need to be looking out for in this time? According to the NHS website

  • low mood
  • constant exhaustion
  • inability to cope
  • feelings of guilt regarding their inability to cope or not loving the baby enough
  • overwhelming anxiety
  • difficulty sleeping
  • lack of appetite
  • difficulties bonding with the baby
  • relationship difficulties with the partner
  • low energy
  • low sex drive
  • social withdrawal (from family and friends)
  • crying for no reason (however ‘no reason’ is an awful way to write this)

We, as the fathers all have the skills and determination in us to identify these symptoms, and the ability to deal with it. We may not be able to remove the problem, but our role is to ease the pain. 

So how can we help combat PND? Throughout my research, the three main suggestions that I found were:

Let them rest

Sleep is the best cure, and a good sleep routine is the fastest way to apply this medicine. This may not be easy when you head back to work after your two weeks paternity leave, but make sure that you look after baby as much as possible, at the same times each day. This will allow mum to sleep and get into a good routine. 

Not only that, but getting into a good sleep routine will also help build a healthy appetite. Eating regular, healthy meals (plenty of greens, less greasy food, no ready meals and plenty of iron) will work wonders. 3500

You might be exhausted, but in the long run this is the best way to go.

Get some exercise

Walking for 30 minutes a day (more is better) will help to release the right endorphins to fight depression. Regular exercise is an incredible way to fight depression, but also a brilliant way to bond with your baby, and can be a real opportunity for mum and dad to talk things through. There is no TV distracting you, no household chores to do, just mum, dad and baby. Talking therapy sessions are known to help, so giving mum that catharsis by letting her talk things through on your walks is going to help.

time t yourself

Time for yourself

This rings true for you and mum, but it might not be easy during times of PND for you both to get the adequate time to have some ‘you space’. If mum wants to combine this with her walking, then perfect, but if not, make sure that on a daily basis, you provide an avenue for her to do something she loves. But remember, this is about her relaxing and doing something enjoyable – not having time to let her thoughts escape her. 

gaming for mumsThis relaxation time might be cooking, reading, having a long bath, shooting 14 year olds on Call Of Duty or Fortnite, whatever is her thing. Just give her the space to do what she loves.

I know that as men, we also need to have time to ourselves – it would be impossible to work a 9-5, come home and not stop all evening, get less sleep during the night to then repeat the next day – so make sure to have some you time during sleeping periods – when both mum and baby are resting. Some times you’ll need this time to tidy the house, do the washing up etc. but make sure you get at least 45minutes of you time in per day. You don’t want to be broken down – your baby needs you to be strong, and a little time each day will prevent burnout. Remember that mum and baby are our priorities here, so look after them by looking after yourself. 

Other things to note

It is important to remember that there is no shame in seeing a health care professional. They are fully trained to deal with these situations; there will be no judgement and no condemnation (if you find any doctor ever makes you feel like you’re a bad parent, or that you’re doing something wrong, make sure that you raise a complaint with the practice manager or with the PALS service). Everything that is said, is fully confidential so going to see your doctor is the best way forward. You will be shown every resource available for overcoming PND, for both Mum and Dad.

If you don’t want to, or cannot go see your doctor, then raise it with your community midwife. Similar to the doctor, they are fully trained and will help you get through this.  Finally, if you’d rather speak with someone anonymously, then there are a multitude or charitable organisations that can help, such as MIND (www.mind.org.uk) – you can call them on 0300 123 3393.

For you dad, keep yourself strong, both mentally, and physically too; making sure that mum is eating well also means eating well yourself. If you like exercising, don’t stop going running or heading to the gym – thats really important. And finally, as I’ve said above, have that time to yourself. All of this will help to combat burnout.

Remember, this will end. Your girlfriend, wife or mother of your child will beat this, it is only a matter of time. You cannot fix this, but you can be the number 1 support in her life. Be strong for this time – it will end.

If you’re an upcoming dad and want to learn more about PND, there is an excellent short film called Taketh which is backed by the charitable organisation MIND. Its a truly gripping telling of a family dealing with depression following a very traumatic birth. 

This is not an easy film to watch but will be extremely informative for you (it might not be the best film for mum to watch, either before or after the birth).

If you want to find some articles or advice for dealing with PND, then I have put together a series of resources below. Please take the time to read through them and equip yourself. Our baby-mamas are depending on us to be a pillar of strength and the best way to do this is to keep ourselves informed. 

Want more information?

What is Postnatal Depression – everydayhealth.com

Mental Health Helplines – NHS Support 

Tips for Dads During Postpartum Depressions – postpartum.com

How to help your spouse during PND – seleni.org | scarymommy.com 

What to do, and what not to do – Psychologytoday.com

Postpartum dads – postpartumdads.org

Are you interested in writing a guest post for Upcoming Dad?

Whats going on Daddy-OH! As you know I am fully committed towards building the community of new dads, and seeing each and every one of us grow into our full potential.

This is where you come in!

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Take care guys!