The Chief Medical Director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, has advised men to show empathy and understanding when their wives has just given birth.According to the CMD, it is wrong to abandon the bedroom and leaving the responsibility of nurturing the newborn to their wives alone.
The Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Lagos State University College of Medicine noted that some men are in the habit of abandoning family bedroom once the wife has a baby. He counselled fathers to support their wives and be involved in looking after the newborn.
Fabamwo stated this during an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, urging men not to leave the responsibility of caring for the newborn to the woman alone.
The gynaecologist said,
“Men should engage in looking after the baby. There are men that run off from the bedroom as soon as the woman returns from the hospital because they don’t want to be disturbed if the baby wakes up at night.
I recall that when I was having babies many years ago, I made it a point of duty to sleep in the same room with my wife for us both to endure the suffering together so that I can continue to appreciate her more.
Today, I am able to tell my children that when you were waking up every hour disturbing, I was also involved. Men should stop running off the bedroom. It is absolute nonsense.
After all, you are in this business together to raise a family together. So, why should you abandon your wife to her fate?”
Fabamwo spoke against the backdrop of a 2011 study published by the American Psychological Association, which noted that after having a baby, most married couples become less satisfied with their relationships.
According to the researchers, after having a baby, 67 percent of couples see their marital satisfaction plummet, stressing that this could have negative mental health consequences for their children.
Study author Dr. John Gottman, said,
“Post-baby discontent is so common, many people think it’s inevitable and acceptable. But what they probably don’t realise is the negative impact squabbling couples can have on their children.
“Two decades of research show that marital conflict is bad for babies, increasing their chances of later developing depression, poor social skills and conduct disorder.
“When there is a precipitous decline in relationship satisfaction and an increase in hostility, it transfers to the baby and affects the baby.”
Sex after childbirth
Commenting on sex after delivery, the LASUTH CMD said a woman naturally wants her body to return to normal before thinking about sex.
“If a woman’s body undergoes certain changes in pregnancy, some of those changes are designed to soften the passages where the child will pass through. So, after delivery, it takes a while for those tissues to go back to their normal shape. They are friable and soft.
“Again, after delivery, a woman is preoccupied with the care of her baby, especially with the breastfeeding of that baby. So, sex is not the first thing on her mind. She is concerned with getting her body back to normal shape. She is occupied with how she is going to look after the baby,”
The professor further noted,
“Generally speaking, we do not think that a woman who had just delivered normally will be ready for sex less than six weeks after delivery. We have scientific evidence to suggest that her body returns to normal after about six weeks after delivery.
“That is why women are advised to attend post-natal clinic six weeks after delivery. During the post natal-clinic, the doctor will check her womb to confirm that it has returned to its normal size. He will confirm that the tissues of the vagina and cervix are back to their normal consistency; they are no longer friable and soft.
“The doctor will also discuss contraceptive options with the woman. Now, don’t forget that if she starts sex immediately after delivery without thinking about contraception, she can have another pregnancy and that will be a disaster.”
He advised husbands to wait for about six weeks before initiating sex with their wives after delivery, saying they could cuddle them to feel warm, especially in cold weather.