Dads are so important in supporting mothers while they are breast-feeding. According to a research study published in the International Breastfeeding Journal, dads make a difference. They help anticipate the needs and help in getting the job done. They also help learn more information, learn the role and really work well as an advocate for mom and baby.
So what specific things can a father do to support a mother who wants to breast-feed or is breast-feeding? The first thing they can do is attend breast-feeding class with their partner and read books or articles about breast-feeding while their partner is pregnant. Fathers are usually the one there in the middle of the night to support their partner, so if they learn about breast-feeding they are able to give the breast-feeding mother reassurance things are going well. If things aren’t going well, the father can offer guidance and support. Even if that means encouragement to get help from a lactation specialist to keep on breast-feeding. Sometimes mothers just need encouragement that they are doing a good job.
Besides supporting breast-feeding, Fathers can make life easier on the mother by helping around the house, keeping the visitors from overwhelming their new family and reducing stress for their partner. He also can help her get enough rest, by encouraging her to sleep when the baby is sleeping.
Just because dads aren’t feeding the baby doesn’t mean they cannot bond with their little one. There are many things a dad can do to bond with their child: They can snuggle their baby skin to skin, give their baby a bath, go for walks with their little one, start reading the baby books, and do tummy time with the baby during the awake times by lying flat on their back and placing the baby on their chest. This will give the baby a chance to start strengthening their back and neck muscles and get a good look at daddy.
So here’s to all the amazing dads out there! Keep up the great work in supporting your partner as you both enter the journey of parenthood. Continue to support breast-feeding because you really make a difference and you are giving your baby the best start at a healthy life!