- Congratulations, you're a dada.
You're a dada.
Oh, my gosh, that is so exciting, Alok!
Welcome to the parent posse.
- Thank you!
- It's like exciting and a roller coaster and a thrill ride, sometimes really stressful.
Sometimes I wanna hit my head against the wall.
And other times I'm the luckiest person in the world.
(dramatic music) - So how is sleep training going?
- It's okay, but the - What about breastfeeding?
- Are her eyes tracking?
- Eyes are kind, she's- - Is she eating?
- Eyes are kind of tracking.
- What about tummy time?
- I understand where you're going with this.
(laughs) Things did not exactly follow the algorithm that I had set in motion in my academic/pediatrician brain.
- Do you see how it is now?
Like, I know medical professionals have these expectations and these milestones and these things that they're going by developmentally.
But the reality at home is really different family to family.
- I'll give you an example.
I am well aware, I understand physiologically, biologically why some breastfed babies don't stool every single day.
They don't poop every day.
Sometimes they take longer to poop.
I know this.
This is not a surprise to my doctor brain.
However, my dad brain was like, "Whoa, Elora, why has it been six days since I've seen a poop?"
Is this normal baby or is it Hirschsprung's Disease?
(suspense music) Is rare, yet serious cause of constipation in newborns.
And I'm sitting there and I'm like, "Okay, hold on.
So do you have abdominal distention?
Like, what is your rectal tone like?
Let me get a glove and a little bit of lubricant."
All of a sudden the 0.001% becomes my kid.
You see where I'm going with this?
- Absolutely, yes - It's like a rabbit hole.
- That's your parent brain kicking in.
If it's a non-medical professional parent, we just Google it and then run to the doctor and go, "Why isn't this baby pooping?"
But it's crazy, isn't it?
- It is.
- You know you're educated to know this one thing, but then the reality of it, when you're home with that baby, it's just so different.
You see now how easy it is to fall down the Hirschsprung hole.
I've actually called our pediatrician and said, "I think my son's head is growing too fast."
(dramatic music) - There's other biological marvels, I'm being generous with this term that have surprised me.
And one of them is everything related to breastfeeding and milk production.
And I'm not just talking about, like, breast milk is made and baby eats it, but like- - You were pretty pumped about that before.
- No pun intended.
(dramatic music) The different techniques that we've learned from our lactation consultant about positioning, like this is a whole art, which I knew about, but now I'm just like, whoa.
- Can I say, I love that you are a pediatrician, but you all got a lactation consultant?
This idea of, baby's born, baby latches is not correct.
It's not accurate.
It's all about getting support.
It takes some figuring out.
- It's been amazing to get support from yourself and a lot of our other friends about ways to support one another, ways I can support my wife.
I mean, we have our own roles, how we've defined them and what works best for our lives and our family unit, if you will.
I think what you're trying to say is that all parental roles are important, equally important.
- And I never realized that more than right now, - If you're parenting together with a partner, it's really important to talk and have open dialogs about what your roles are gonna be.
Do you feel like that happened with Jenna, that you really thought about how it's gonna work?
I mean, it's never gonna go that way.
But did you talk about it?
- We totally did.
And I can see a lot of little areas where I would have slipped up if it wasn't someone else being like holding me back.
I mean, like, don't fall there, don't fall in that pit.
- Like not saying while she's breastfeeding, "Hey, do you want a glass of Burgundy?"
Just really simple things like that.
- Don't ask, or don't give her a glass of Burgundy or give her one?
- No, no, not while she's breastfeeding.
- Yeah, who would do that?
- You were talking about cool physiological things.
One thing that I thought was really cool when I was breastfeeding was feeling right when I started breastfeeding, feeling cramps.
And I understood that was whatever hormones or chemicals that were being released through breastfeeding were helping my uterus contract?
I like that you thought that was cool.
- It was like- - It was amazing.
- Physiology in action.
But also, did you ever get kind of milk letdown when one of your children cried?
- I'd get milk let down when somebody else's children cried.
That's just what your body does.
Your body hears a baby crying and your body goes, "Time to eat."
- We know you're talking about oxytocin.
Some people know that as the love hormone, but super important hormone for strengthening the bond between a parent and baby.
It builds trust and closeness in relationships.
So I learned a lot from talking to other parents, right?
And the parent who gave birth, a lot of them were like, "Hey, I bonded immediately with the child."
And then the parent who didn't give birth would often tell me like, "It took me some time to kind of forge that bond."
But only after really trying to interact with the child did the parent who didn't give birth, get that bond, get that oxytocin benefit.
And this was a completely different story for other families where neither parent gave birth and they still had a child as they were talking about ways they formed the bonding.
Now, we mentioned with the birth parent, there's things like breastfeeding in some situations.
Some parents it's the actual act of giving birth, skin-to-skin time.
And the tips I got to make sure that I ramped up my own oxytocin was the direct infant interaction, so like stimulatory parenting.
- What is that?
- So like holding your baby in an air.
Or pulling your baby up, reading to your baby, basically interacting directly with your baby with touch and activities.
I sometimes hold Elora and I have her dance out to songs that show up on the radio.
♪ Party ♪ (lively music) So I think those little things we can do.
There is hope for the non-birthing parent to develop the bond with oxytocin.
- There's more than hope, it happens.
- That's true, actually.
That's true actually.
It's not just hope, it's- - This is your sleep-deprived.
- This is my sleep deprived brain.
- I did see some research showing that we can actually help our babies develop oxytocin through all this bonding.
So the bonding is important for baby's development as well.
- And there you have it.
- Look I'm constantly yelling right now on camera.
- It's over that, so.
- Thank you, power washers.
Do you want your talent to talk louder?
Hire power watchers.
(dramatic music) So this all makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint because the love hormone, oxytocin, it helps you bond with your young, with your loved ones, and protect them.
And feel that closeness and then indirectly, feel that protective instinct.
So it's like oxytocin to some degree gives you that Mama Bear ferocity.
Zoom in on her necklace, camera two.
- My oxytocin's gonna take you out.
Parental roles look so different in all families.
Whatever a family looks like, it's super important to support parents to raise children happy, healthy, safe, loved children.
- Just really helping to build your confidence, like helping you to be a confident parent.
I think all parents need that.
- [Alok] Just got to adopt.
Roll with the punches, enjoy the roller coaster.
(lively music) (laughs) Who's the cutest baby?
I'm the cutest baby.
(indistinct) (gentle music)