Dads can be at a loss with breastfeeding and how to support breastfeeding moms. They don’t know what it’s like, they sometimes feel awkward, and it’s perhaps the only part of parenthood that both mom and dad can’t share or relate with one another. Dads usually try to help but may not know exactly how to. Since breastfeeding will continue to be a “mom-only” task, consider the following six ways dads can support breastfeeding moms.
Here are few ways on how dads can support breastfeeding moms:
1. Let mom rest and relax
Breastfeeding releases hormones to help mom relax and bond with the baby. During breastfeeding, allow her the time and space to do just that. When she’s not breastfeeding, give her plenty of opportunities to take a nap, enjoy a meal or simply prop her feet up.
2. Bring baby to mom for night time feedings
At four in the morning, mom will appreciate you bringing the baby to her so she can continue laying down. Tag-teaming at night can also offer morale when moms can be at their lowest, sleep-deprived point of the day. And since dads are up anyway…
3. Change diapers (and do other chores)
A dad once describe his and his wife’s duties: “She handles the input, I handle the output.” With breastfeeding so time-consuming, one of the ways dads can help moms have more time is to change diapers. During nighttime wake ups, tend to the crying baby and change her diaper before handing her to mom. Other awesome things dads can do? Wash the dishes, because they will pile up (even with paper plates and take out dinners). Cook. Run daily household chores, especially strenuous ones.
4. Treat her to something special
Surprise mom with restaurant-style breakfasts: scrambled eggs, pancakes, orange juice and milk, with a flower on the table. Or take the baby for a walk so she can enjoy time to herself or to relax with a long shower. Newborn days are all about survival mode. But enjoying something completely for pleasure and not because it’s a “must” is rewarding.
5. Remind mom about the benefits of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has a ton of benefits. And mom’s best breastfeeding cheerleader is you reminding her of that. Point out that her breast milk has antibodies to help ward off potential sickness from the baby. Or heap that extra serving of chicken onto her plate since she needs the extra calories for milk production. And talk about how much time and money you’ve saved. Motivate her to keep breastfeeding…
6.But at the same time, don’t push or pressure
Support mom if she looks like she could use a bottle of formula sometimes. If she runs into obstacles like thrush or clogged ducts, offer your encouragement with whatever decision she’s comfortable with. While you want to cheer her on with breastfeeding, realize that this is a personal choice as well.
Even though breastfeeding is a mom-only role, dads can still do plenty to support breastfeeding moms. Give mom plenty of opportunities to rest and relax, whether by changing diapers or getting up to fetch the baby at night. Pamper her with much-needed special treats. And remind her of the benefits of breastfeeding without pushing too much guilt her way. With your support, mom can continue to breastfeed with confidence and comfort.