How Dads can help with Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding may look like a 2-person sport but it’s actually one of those activities that the entire village can help pursue, especially dads.  Dads should have just as much of a vested interest in breastfeeding as moms and babies because of the numerous benefits of breastfeeding for both of them.  And when mom and baby are happier and healthier, dad and the rest of the family will be too.  So today we’re exploring the ways that dads can help with breastfeeding.

Dads can offer breastfeeding support.  While no dad can give first-hand advice from having breastfed a baby, they can be an encouraging voice of support.  Breastfeeding can be a glorious experience but no one ever claimed it is without challenges.  There may be a few hiccups, exhausting nights and scheduling issues when it comes to breastfeeding.  Without support, many women give up on breastfeeding.  Dads can help moms work through issues by listening, offering suggestions and being a champion for reaching breastfeeding goals.

Dads can keep mom company.  Breastfeeding up to 12 times a day can get a little lonely, boring and tedious for mom.  Even with all the joy and satisfaction of breastfeeding, sometimes a little adult interaction during a feeding is nice.  Dads can sit with moms while they breastfeed.  It’s actually a really wonderful time for bonding.  And what could be sweeter than having a meaningful conversation over a beautiful breastfeeding session with the baby you created together.

Happy father holding newborn baby in his armsDads can burp the baby.  When it’s time to burp the baby, mom can get a little break if dad takes over for a few minutes.  It’s probably just enough time for mom to use the restroom, grab some water or perhaps take a quick shower.  Dads can use the time to connect with their babies during a feeding.

Dads can change diapers and clothes.  Chances are, baby needs a diaper change at some point around feeding time.  Dad can help out by taking on diaper duty and changing the baby’s clothes if necessary.  Especially for middle-of-the-night feedings, this allows mom to get back to sleep a little faster.

Dads can do chores while mom is breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding gives moms time to think and they are often thinking about all the stuff that needs to get done around the house.  Dads may not be able to lend a breast but they can lend a hand while moms are occupied during breastfeeding by doing a few chores such as washing dishes, folding laundry, cooking dinner or tidying up the house.

Dads can massage moms while breastfeeding.  What mom couldn’t use a nice shoulder massage or foot rub?  These can be done while mom is breastfeeding to help her relax.

Dads can become knowledgeable about breastfeeding.  Moms shouldn’t be the only ones with breastfeeding knowledge.  Dads have the ability to read and research just as much as moms.  If mom and baby are struggling with a breastfeeding issue, dads can look for guidance online or in books.  He can also attend breastfeeding classes or a lactation consultation with mom.

Dads can fetch things mom needs.  Once mom sits down to nurse, it may be difficult for her to get things she may need.  Grabbing her a bottle of water, her phone or a burp cloth is super helpful of dads.

Dads can feed the baby a breast milk bottle.   When mom really needs a break, say in the middle of the night every now and then, dad can take over a feeding.  For particularly sleep deprived moms, allowing her to get more continual sleep may be the best way dads can help with breastfeeding.