Whether you’re the partner, parent or older child of a new mother, we have the tools and resources to guide you through the special childbirth process. We even have information on how to acquaint your pets with the arrival of a new baby in the house. We invite you to click through the links on this page to learn ways of bonding with the newborn, preparing for the birth, supporting the new mother with breastfeeding, and more.
Partner’s Owner Manual
Pregnancy and the birth of a new baby is an exciting time for both the mother and her partner. It is not uncommon for the partner or baby’s father to feel left out of the pregnancy, especially in the beginning when you cannot see any changes in the mother and the pregnancy seems surreal. There are many ways that you can help the expectant mother prepare for birth while nurturing your relationship and bonding with your baby.
Bonding with Baby
- As the unborn baby grows, the mother connects with her baby by feeling movements and kicks. You can bond with mother and baby by feeling these kicks through her abdomen, and it’s a way for you to stay connected to the activity inside the womb.
- Try reading to your unborn baby. Your baby can hear noises outside the womb as early as the fifth month. By sharing your voice with the baby at an early stage, he or she will recognize your voice after birth.
Preparing for Birth
- Attend the Childbirth Education Workshop or Express Course with the expectant mother. She’ll need your support during labor!
- Get the know-how on baby care by attending Baby Basics and other parenting preparation classes. Click to view our list of classes offered. After the baby is born, assign yourself to diaper duty or bathing and make a ritual out of it. You’ll bond with baby and be giving mom some much-needed rest.
- Organize friends and family to help out after the baby is born. Assign a friend to various tasks each week, such as grocery shopping, laundry, housework, or cooking. Many hands make light work and most people are happy to take on a supportive task.
After the Birth
- Guard the door! At the hospital, be in charge of visitors. Make sure that the new mother is getting enough rest, has privacy to breastfeed, and has time for learning and receiving the nursing care she needs. Check in with her often and if she needs more quiet time with baby, ask your visitors to please visit after you are home and settled. If you are uncomfortable asking visitors to leave, ask your nurse for help. He or she will kindly ask your guests to give the new family time to recuperate.
- Be the answering machine at home! Screen phone calls for the new mom and arrange visits so that she has enough alone time everyday. And tap your network of friends and family that your organized before the birth to help out with grocery shopping, laundry, etc.
Maine Medical Center's Donated Breastmilk Drop-Off Site
Maine Medical Center is a drop-off center for donated breastmilk. Learn more about the donated breast milk program.
Also, see the links to the left to learn more about siblings, grandparents, pets, and breastfeeding.