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Sunday 21 September 2014

Holding newborn a trying time for nervous fathers

Published 05/03/2014 | 02:30

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Donncha O'Callaghan pictured with baby Alex Knight to mark the launch of the research from Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure'.
Donncha O'Callaghan pictured with baby Alex Knight to mark the launch of the research from Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure'.
Donncha O'Callaghan pictured with baby John Nurney  to mark the launch of the research from Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure'.
Donncha O'Callaghan pictured with baby John Nurney to mark the launch of the research from Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure'.

MANY new fathers may be more at ease with a rugby ball or football in their grip as more than half admit feeling nervous when they first pick up their newborn.

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Rugby star and father-of-three Donncha O'Callaghan may be fearless on the pitch but he admitted it can be intimidating to first hold your baby.

One in four fathers revealed they did not know how to hold a baby and 55pc were nervous, according to a new survey.

"As a dad of three, I know it can be intimidating when you first meet your little one, but spending time learning what cuddles work best will really help to increase your confidence," said the rugby star.

He said cuddling can be a great way of forming a "bond", as he urged new fathers to overcome any fears. Advice about newborns often centres on mothers, and one-in-three fathers admitted they did not feel instantly comfortable holding their newborn baby, according to the research from Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure, which released a 'Cuddle Mastery Guide'.

It took a week for one-in-five fathers to feel relaxed with the baby safely nestled in their arms, the poll carried out amongst just over 1,000 adults by Red C found.

The Irish Dermatology Nurses Association's paediatric spokeswoman, Katherine Eve, said "skin-to-skin" contact can promote a special relationship between fathers and their babies.

"It can accelerate brain development, reduce stress and help regulate body temperature in newborn babies," said Ms Eve.

"It can calm and relax both father and child and it's also a great way to get involved and support your partner immediately after the birth of your baby."

Irish Independent

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