Just because you are breastfeeding, it doesn’t mean that your partner can’t help or support you. Registered midwife Pippa Hime offers this advice on how dads can get involved.
When it comes to feeding your baby, the responsibility tends to lie heavily on the mom. This is largely because your baby is being breastfed, and, well, dads just don’t have the right tools for this job.
Here are a few ways dads can help support a breastfeeding mom:
Give a hand
Breastfeeding in the early days needs some help, whether it’s to tuck away a flying arm, position a pillow, or sandwich a breast.
Winding and settling
Babies don’t just wake, feed and go back to sleep. They need to be winded, changed and often settled back into slumber. This can take a fair amount of time, so it’s helpful to have an extra set of hands to do this. Once you have finished a feed, your partner can wind and settle your baby, leaving you time to rest, eat, or take a shower.
Dinner on dad
Once breastfeeding is well established, breast milk can be expressed and given by bottle. This is a perfect opportunity for your partner to do a feed, and for you to have a well-deserved break.
Look after you
While you’re so busy looking after your baby, looking after yourself can take a backseat. Ask your partner to have snacks ready for you, run you a relaxing bath or cook your favourite dinner.
Lighten the load
Your partner can ensure other aspects of your home life that are not baby-related keep running smoothly, for example, grocery shopping, unpacking the dishwasher or hanging up the laundry. All these simple chores will lessen the load on you, allowing you time to rest and focus on your baby.
Support without pressure
Breastfeeding can be trying at times for any new mom. It is important for a new dad to provide lots of support and encouragement when you need it.
Pippa is a Registered Professional Nurse and trained as a Registered Midwife at Chris Hani Baragwanth Hospital. She has extensive experience in all things baby related with a special interest in preparing couples for the exciting journey of parenthood as well as supporting them in the weeks that follow the birth. She and her husband Richard are the proud parents of Becca age 6 and Tom age 4. Pippa has a comprehensive private clinic service that includes Childbirth Education classes, a Well Baby Clinic including Immunization as well as Post Natal and Lactation support. With over 5 years of running a private clinic facility and raising 2 children Pippa comes with a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience of parenthood. Learn more about Pippa Hime