How can dads help with breastfeeding? Start with these 6 ways dads can support breastfeeding moms and encourage her to breastfeed the baby.
Dads can be at a loss with breastfeeding and how to support breastfeeding moms.
They don’t know what it’s like, they might feel awkward, and it’s the only thing mom and dad can’t share. Dads want to help but may not know exactly how to. Since breastfeeding is a “mom-only” task, consider these six ways dads can show support.
6 ways 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, provide opportunities to take a nap, enjoy a meal or 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 can also offer morale when moms can be at their lowest, sleep-deprived point.
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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, dads can help moms have more time by changing 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 onto her plate since she needs the extra calories for milk production. And talk about how much time and money you’ve saved.
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, encourage whatever she decides. 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 support breastfeeding moms.
Give mom plenty of opportunities to rest and relax. Change 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.
Below are more links for breastfeeding resources:
- 12 Breastfeeding Secrets Every Mom Should Know
- 8 Tips to Stay Motivated with Breastfeeding
- Why Dads Should Wake Up for Night Feeds
- How to Involve Dads in the Household: 8 Effective Ways
What is the best breastfeeding support dad can offer? Let us know in the comments below!