Dads contribution to Breastfeeding! (#13 Small Talk 2018)

Daddies are needed for breastfeeding too!!

dads can still bond with baby photo credit: GoFoto Lifestyle Newborn Photography

One might think that only the mom is needed for breastfeeding, but a dad’s role and presence is invaluable too. I can think of 3 ways in which fathers can be a big support to moms in their breastfeeding journey:

1: Being there while mom breastfeeds

This is such a simple thing but it is often overlooked. The first 4-6 weeks it is best for baby to feed directly from the breast. After this, expressed breast milk can be bottle-fed by dads to allow the dads to bond with their child. During those first 6 weeks though, dads can try to place the breastfed baby on their chests after he has been fed. This way baby will hear his heartbeat and listen to his breathing rhythm and his voice. Dads can also rock their baby, carry him in a sling or just sit with him in his arms while mom is getting herself comfy for feeding.

2: Being Supportive towards breastfeeding

A mother’s decision to breastfeed needs total support from baby’s dad as his support will have a strong influence and will also determine how long mom will continue to breastfeed. If a father would rather have bottle-feeding or is resentful of their partner breastfeeding it may put the new mom off breastfeeding as she will also want to please her partner.

3: Being well informed about breastfeeding

If a father is well informed about the advantage of breastfeeding, he is more likely to be supportive. And after those first 6 weeks when the mother is breastfeeding exclusively, the breast milk can be expressed into sterile bottles and daddies can take over the night-time and early morning feeds, thus feeling more included in the process.

Further thoughts

Feeding is, of course, only a small part of parenting. Bathing, nappy changing, cuddling a baby to sleep and playing with him are all great ways for a dad to get to know his new baby.  A father’s body is different to the mother’s, with more noticeable voice vibrations and by carrying the baby around in a sling close to his chest, it will allow his baby to feel the difference and enjoy the closeness of his father’s body. During that 6 week period where mom is breastfeeding exclusively, dads can help the breastfeeding mom by bringing her something to drink, making sure she is comfortable and just sitting close to her and their baby. Once breast milk can be expressed into a bottle, the father can then experience the same close feeling and satisfaction of feeding his baby and by taking over the middle of the night feed he can really give much needed rest to his partner whilst bonding with his son or daughter.

Does your partner support and encourage your breastfeeding efforts? Share your thoughts in the comment box below or email me at, lydia@gofotolifestylenewbornphotography.co.za

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Yours in lifestyle newborn photography

Lydia

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