Being a new dad can be overwhelming and sometimes, very unexpected to the extent that, paternity leave in Malaysia is very much needed by new parents. Even though paternity leave in Malaysia isn’t as long as maternity leave which is about 60 days, paternity leave could be up to a week or so.
So, within this week, you won’t have the time to rest and relax, in fact, you’ll be doing a lot of running around and trying to settle into your new role as a dad.
Paternity Leave In Malaysia
Here are some ways which you can maximize your paternity leave in Malaysia, particularly and what to expect as your role of a new dad.
Practise how to be a dad
If you’re a hands-on kinda man and not the reading type, take the time off and bond with your baby. Your wife will probably still be in confinement, and you could learn how to help your wife if she’s breastfeeding, bathe the baby, change the diapers and so on. There will be lots to learn once the baby arrives, so, take your time and try not to be overwhelmed. This period will change all your preconceived notions about a woman’s task to care for the baby and all that. While your wife is in confinement, and after giving birth, she needs all the help she can get.
Finish all the last minute fixing and buying
Most dads actually leave important tasks like fixing up the cot, installing the baby seat, assembling the stroller and fixing up the changing table till the very last moment. Now that your baby has arrived, use the time to get all these things done. Always remember “Safety first”. This time, your wife will most likely send you out on errands to get things she might need. Personally, I’ve sent my husband out to get nipple shields on a few occasions and a bath tub stand and also for a thermometer. My husband actually spent 2 weeks running around.
Picture from Electronic Ink
If your baby has jaundice or is a preemie, he/she will not be able to follow you home. Your wife will be discharged but your baby might have to spend a few more days in the hospital depending on the severity of their condition. If your baby has jaundice, your wife have to make numerous trips to the hospital in order to breastfeed.
If your baby is a preemie, your wife still have to make numerous trips to the hospital to give her colustrum to the nurse to feed your baby. This travelling during confinement is very taxing on your wife and she needs you to be strong and patient through it all.
Care for your wife
As a man, you’re the only strong one in the house at this moment. Keep an eye on your wife for postpartum depression, this is a serious cause of concern amongst new mothers. If she wants to do her confinement by herself, try to help her out. You may need to bathe her, care for the baby while she rest, serve her warm drinks and herbs, just make sure that she’s warm, fed and clean.
There are more roles a man has to play, as a loving husband and a caring father. Learn as you go and take each day, one day at a time. Your main task will be making sure your wife is comfortable and your baby is fed and clean. If there’s extra time, help your wife to clean the house.
Always be on standby mode and take the initiative to help whenever you see an opportunity.
Paternity leave for dads in Malaysia