The birth of a child
Impact on daddy and his biometrics
Today I witnessed the birth of my daughter! You feel humble as a man, witnessing the labour and magic. Not sure if I can come up with something having more impact on a man than this. For the purposes of science and curiosity I wore a biometric sensor, and this is what it recorded.
For my personal curiosity, learning about my body, I wear a WHOOP sensor. It continuously records:
- my heart rate (beats per minute)
- my heart rate variability (HRV, ms)
- respiratory rate (breaths per minute)
- relative, personalised, recovery score (how well rested is my body today?)
The beautiful thing about WHOOP is that it allows you to compare one day's data to your normal values, collected and analysed over a longer period of time. This enables WHOOP to very clearly identify deviations from the normal. And, boy, becoming a daddy certainly qualifies: the impact is clearly visible in the data!
You don't recover from birth overnight - that takes at least 18 years, I've been told... - and the biometrics shows. The data from the days following the birth clearly shows that my body needs time to adjust to the new reality.
A week after my daughter was born things went south for me, I simply ran out of energy and fell ill. On Tuesday, July 20th you can see this in the respiratory rate data. Whenever your body is fighting illness or infection, respiratory rates tend to go up.
Respiratory rates captured by WHOOP are known to be very stable over time. This makes them a clear indicator whenever things are out of the ordinary. You can clearly see it having a peak in the graph. At that time, I had a fever and had to take precautions because of a possible COVID infection (which turned out not to be the case).
Luckily I recovered quickly and was able to get back to my family in good health. I can ensure you that being a parent of two kids requires all the energy you can find!
Its not every day that you become a dad, and boy its impact is tremendous. While the woman's work is rightfully respected and heralded as incredible, the birth of a child has physical impact on a man, too. Take care of yourself to be able to put in your best self as parenthood is all about team play!
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