As a new mom and dad, you might have come across various articles related to benefits of breastfeeding. In a single line, breastfeeding is a healthier practice for both baby and mom. So never skip breastfeeding your baby. On that important note, let us not forget to help the new moms in breastfeeding their newborn baby, especially for dads from whom more care and attention is required for both mom and baby.
Breastfeeding especially after a C-section delivery is painful for few moms as they couldn’t sit properly due to the stitches. Straining more during breastfeeding will further make the moms uncomfortable. In such case, the moms need more support and care from the dads, as they can understand more their partner than others.
As a caring dad, you need to be more concerned about the health of a baby and mom. For a healthier start, breastfeeding is vital for babies. So, the dads have equal importance in feeding the baby like mom. Moms feel more tired after the delivery and it is absolutely normal. Then, it is the time for the dads to take up the job.
Also Read: 11 Superfoods You Should have while Breastfeeding
Studies: Dads as Breastfeeding Partners:
Even studies are carried out by various health care centers and research institutes to find out the role of dads in helping the moms in breastfeeding. According to Bravado survey conducted in 2009, 70% of moms believe that the support from their partner is extremely vital when it comes to overall confidence and well-being as a nursing mother.
Another exploratory study of paternal support for breastfeeding which took place in Perth, Western Australia, consisted 76 participants. The major theme of the study was about engaging men to support and promote breastfeeding. The study concluded with the observation that paternal emotional, practical and physical supports were the vital factors for successful breastfeeding.
In a 2014 study published in journal Maternal and Child Nutrition, the researchers realized that “Fathers were encouraging breastfeeding and wanted to support their partners in every stage. But they felt left out of breastfeeding bond and helpless to support their partners as they were before”
10 tips for dads to assist moms in breastfeeding their baby:
Let us check 10 ways that dads can assist moms in breastfeeding their baby.
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#1. Make her comfortable
While breastfeeding, the position of both mom and the baby is important. Mom should feel comfortable and relaxed while feeding the baby. The baby should be placed in such a way that the flow of milk is proper and not interrupted. Even adjusting the position of the pillows might also help while feeding.
So as a caring dad, ensure that positioning is proper and check whether both are feeling relaxed and comfortable.
#2. Know more about breastfeeding
Dads take some time to attend the breastfeeding seminar before the baby’s birth. You will find it to be worthy, interesting and supportive during your little one’s arrival. If not, you can also get the help from online articles and learn more about breastfeeding. This basic knowledge could help you and your partner while feeding your baby.
#3. Let mom take rest
Moms need the support with child care and household chores after delivering the little one whether it is a normal or C-section delivery. As the baby, mom also needs some attention and care from dad.
So dad, Keep the food or snacks ready, comfort the baby when you are able to do and let mom take a small nap between feeding. Limit the visiting time as the moms need rest too.
#4. Ask help from others when needed
At times, you may also not able to support the mom due to various reasons like office work, your other children need your attention or you may not know the child care process clearly. In such cases, do not experiment and do not hesitate to seek the help from your family members and friends. Else, you can hire a person who can assist you through the process in your absence.
Also Read: Breastfeeding Guide for the first month of baby
#5. Give your time
Apart from care and support, mom and baby need your time. When you spend time with both, you will be able to know them better and their needs. As you know their requirements, your job becomes simplified and you can support them better than before. As a dad, you can also bond with your little one through the skin-to-skin by cuddling, singing, bathing and nestling baby on your chest. Communicate with your baby through songs, dance and cuddles. Babies love the skin-to-skin time with their dads.
Image Source: oschaslings
#6. Enjoy Nursing
The time you care for your partner and baby is precious and it cannot be given back by any means. So, enjoy each moment in nursing them. Do not force the mom to handle the situation, instead be a part of their journey. If you can be more supportive and understanding, the relationship grows stronger than before and you can give your little one a better start.
#7. Be a Moral Support
New moms are not often comfortable to breastfeed initially right after the delivery. So it's daddy’s turn to make mom adapt to the changes. Encourage her, stay with her especially when she needs to feed the baby in public place. Moms feel more support when her partner is near and understands her effort while breastfeeding the baby.
#8. Know baby’s Signs
Another big responsibility for the dads is to know the signs of the baby. Babies are good at signing their parents. Learn to differentiate the signs and try to understand why the baby cries whether it is for milk or some other reasons. When your baby needs milk, you little ones makes sucking noises, sucks his fist, then it’s time to take the baby to the mom. Check whether the baby is having enough milk per feed and ensure with the mom too.
Similarly, baby cries when he wets the diapers. In such case, you can change the diapers without disturbing the moms.
Also Read: Science says that child should be breastfed till 5 years of age – Extended Breastfeeding
#9. Aid on time
When mom finds trouble in breastfeeding the baby, do not wait, talk with breastfeeding expert, lactation consultant or the health care provider instantly. Check for the earlier appointment with your healthcare provider. Because the baby needs milk at regular interval and the timely act can also prevent engorged breasts, which is caused when feeding is skipped.
#10. Assist in cleaning pump
When the mom needs to do pumping to supply the milk to the child for certain reasons, then she might need some assistance in washing the bottles and cleaning the pump. When she is busy with the baby, take up the cleaning activity and do the best you can.
The Bottom Line
Babies are the sweetest blessing and their growth period is precious for both mom and dad. So, it is the responsibility of the parents to take part in the baby’s journey right from the initial growth stage of breastfeeding. Share the roles, time and responsibilities to bring up a healthy child.
Related: Why Breastfed babies have Dark Green Colour Poop (It’s natural)?
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