Healthy living

How new dads can support their partner

Becoming a mum is one of the biggest changes in a woman’s life, and the support of her partner is so important to a new mum. There is lots of research about how important dads are in supporting their partner with breastfeeding, with staying mentally healthy and physically healthy. Read below for a few suggestions on how you can support your partner, but the best way to know of course, is to ask her.

  • Take responsibility for more household chores. It will take the pressure off her if you can also remember to do them without being asked. Find out more about balancing baby and housework.
  • Remember that you don’t have to be your partner’s only support. Ask for help if you need it, and be willing to accept reasonable offers of help from others.
  • Everyone is different but many women may have a lower libido for several months after the birth. There is lots going on, she may still be healing physically, she may be feeling all touched out after being so physically connected to the baby all day, or she may just be exhausted. Have a chat with her about how you’re both feeling and when you are both ready for sex again.
  • If you go back to work after the birth, you might feel stressed and worn out. Your partner may be feeling the same way. Staying at home all day with a baby might make her feel exhausted, bored, or even trapped. When you get home, ask how you can help her have a break. 
  • Ask you child health nurse or a lactation consultant for ways you can help with late night feeds. Bottles are not recommended in the early days as they can interfere with breastfeeding establishment, but you could bring the baby to mum and settle her again afterwards. Or you can take baby for an hour first thing to let mum get a bit more sleep.
  • Plan some quality time each week just for your and your partner. Even if it is just watching a half hour TV show together, your relationship is important. 
  • Attend appointments with your partner whenever you can. 
  • If your partner seems depressed or overanxious, it’s a good idea to talk it out - but choose a time when you’re both calm and not too distracted. If she isn’t coping as well as she could, encourage her to get some help. If you’re concerned, talk to your GP or child health nurse.

Where to get help

  • See your doctor
  • See a child health nurse

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline

  • Free call 1800 882 436 (24 hour service)


  • Phone 9368 9379 or free call 1800 111 546 (free from land line only)

Women and Newborns Health Service

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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