Becoming parents

You and your partner will become parents! There is a baby on the way, the belly of your partner begins to grow and a lot is changing. Both before and after the birth of your baby quite a few matters will need to be arranged. In addition it will be good to know what to expect during labour and how you can support your partner during childbirth. Therefore below are some tips and footholds.

The choice of surname and first name

You can choose if the baby will get the surname from the mother, father or the duo mother.  You will have to go to the city hall for this registration. The chosen surname also applies to the following children. Read more about the registration policies here.

Maternity leave

You must notify your employer as soon as possible that you wish for maternity leave in connection with the birth of your child. The request for such leave cannot be denied. Your employer will need a pregnancy statement to arrange matters for your maternity leave.

As partner you are entitled to two days maternity leave. These two days are for the postpartum period. You can decide when you take maternity leave provided that you take leave in the first four weeks after birth or in case of a hospital birth within four weeks after returning home.

Birth registration

When your baby is born it must be stated at the city hall, within three working days, in the city where the baby was born. For the declaration you must bring your identity card and possibly your marriage certificate and parental recognition papers.

Arranging maternity care

When your baby is born, you also need to get used to this and will need time to bond. Of course you will also learn how to take care of your child. The maternity nurse can assist you with this. If this is your first child we advise you to take a couple of days off to participate in the postpartum period so that you can learn from the maternity nurse how everything should be done. We advise you to sign up for maternity care between the twelfth and sixteenth week of pregnancy.

Baby essentials checklist

It would be wise to purchase a crib or cot, a stroller and a car seat (Maxi-Cosi) on time. Additionally you will need a basic baby essentials list to check whether everything is at home when the baby is born..

Ordering birth announcement cards

There is a huge amount of birth announcement cards. It is possible to order it over the internet or to a pick up several books with sample cards from the print shop ‘around the corner’. It would be wise to prepare the address list well in advance and already have the labels printed or the envelopes ready. That saves a lot of time and stress after childbirth.

Arranging day-care (and allowance)

If it is necessary that your child will soon go to day-care, it is important to arrange this quickly. When you choose a day-care or childminding agency it is also wise to make a comparison of costs. In addition it is useful to find out how much childcare allowance you are entitled to, according to the tax authorities.

 

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The birth

The big moment is here contractions have started. In the first hours of labour, your wife often won’t really need your help. Do try to listen to what she indicates. When the contractions start coming every three minutes then she will really start to feel pain. Now the time has come to call the midwife. Of course you can call sooner but usually there won’t be much dilation.

An important task for the partner during childbirth is to make the pregnant partner feel at ease, because stress has an adverse effect on the birthing process. Stress reduces blood flow to the uterus causing the contractions to decrease and may make it more likely to need a caesarean section.

Some tips to help your partner during childbirth

  • Heat helps to endure pain, for example with a hot water bottle or cherry pit pillow. Often this is then placed on the lower back or lower abdomen.
  • Talk encouragingly to your partner. If your wife’s loses heart try to motivate her
  • Stay with her. By being with her you unconsciously give her emotional support making sure she doesn’t feel like she has to do this alone. Don’t do anything else unless she specifically asks you to.
  • The more labour progresses the more violent and painful her contractions will be. It may be that your partner starts to panic and just doesn’t know how to deal with the pain. Encourage her and take deep breaths with her to puff away the contractions.
  • Support her throughout the birth and try to stay calm and composed.

Make love after childbirth

The first time sex after childbirth will be exciting for you and your partner. Childbirth has a great impact on the body and it is therefore important to give the body a chance to fully recover.

  • Wait at least three weeks before having sex. That’s when the uterus will be closed again. This is important in order to prevent infections.
  • A good measure is also the postpartum bleeding. The blood loss will progressively become less. When the bleeding has completely stopped, it is okay to have intercourse again. This is often four to six weeks after childbirth.
  • If your partner has had stitches, it is important that the wound is completely healed and it no longer feels painful.
  • Build up to it carefully and talk about it. Foreplay is important and if necessary use lubricant. Because of hormones the vagina can be less moist, making it painful to make love.
  • Now your partner is no longer pregnant, she is fertile again, even during lactation. So make sure to use contraceptives.

Any questions?

Do you have questions about ‘Becoming a parent’? Please don’t hesitate to contact us!