Encourage dad and mum to talk over their feelings about having a baby and their situation. Pick up on their cues and get them to expand on their answers.
- How has your pregnancy been so far?
- What have you been thinking about?
- For example, if mum says she’s happy to be pregnant and feels fine, ask what her days are like and what she enjoys doing.
- How about dad? What’s on his mind?
- Acknowledge and reinforce positive responses and coping strategies from both parents.
Feeling not so good
- If their answers are not so positive, gently encourage them to talk more about what’s happening.
- It’s natural to be a bit confused, troubled or wondering. Follow their lead — let them tell you how it is.
- Ask about their hopes, fears, practical challenges and support systems. Try not to jump to conclusions or solutions — it’s important that you have a clear picture about their situation.
- Be empathic and respectful.
To help mum and dad feel they’re being listened to and heard accurately, summarise and reflect back what they’ve shared. This can also help them to both hear their ‘story’ and get some clarity on their situation.
Make use of the Whakatipu booklet Te Kākano. Read through page 5 together, including the last paragraph that says, ‘No question is silly’.
Continue encouraging them to talk
You could ask:
- How did you both feel when you learned that you were pregnant?
- How do you feel now?
- Have you started antenatal care?
- Do you have any questions to ask your midwife or doctor?
Encourage mum and dad to participate in antenatal care — it’s important to be connected with it. If their prior experience has been negative, talk about why and offer your support.
How does this relate to the SKIP resources?
Baby Wall Frieze - Kōrero mai, e aroha ana koe ki ahau - Tell me you love me
Six things children need - Te kōrero me te whakarongo - talking and listening