Dads and breastfeeding babies

 

 

 

Source: Krista Gray, BCLC lactation consultant and mother of four children. www.nursingnurture.com

 

Dads are a vital part of breastfeeding.  Without their love, compassion, support, and encouragement a mother’s ability to nurse their new baby is not only more challenging, but will many times fail entirely.  However, many first-time fathers may feel insecure in their new role as the mother and baby seem to get all the attention; he finds it challenging to bond with his child who seems to spend most of her time breastfeeding; he feels helpless during breastfeeding; and/or he struggles with the idea of his wife’s breasts either exposed or full of milk.

 

All of these feelings can be normal emotions!  But, there are so many ways for a new father to not only bond with his baby but help his partner with breastfeeding.  Focusing on these things can make breastfeeding a wonderful relationship for all three of you.  It will also provide your baby with all the antibodies, immune defenses, and life-saving properties in a mother’s rich, creamy, organic, free, perfectly prepared, always-ready, delicious,amazing milk.

 

Here are 10 ways for dads to bond with their breastfeeding babies (and help the new mom too!):

  1. Positioning
    Breastfeeding is normal and natural, but it’s not always easy.  The number one reason that moms feel pain during breastfeeding is due to poor positioning and attachment of the baby at the breast.  A new mom may be flooded with emotions and stress, but dads are usually able to pay close attention to breastfeeding help given after the birth and are a tremendous source of help in getting the baby at the breast correctly.  Breastfeeding is new for both mom and baby and they often need support; there is no better person to help make sure baby is properly positioned than dad!

  2. Diaper changes
    Newborns nurse frequently; they also make lots and lots of wet and dirty diapers.  Mom is usually tired in the first weeks of motherhood and having someone who helps with (or takes over) diaper changes is a huge blessing!  Not only does it help mom but it is also a great way to bond with your little one.  Babies need to feel love and security, be fed, and be changed.  If dad takes over this responsibility your new baby will learn to look to dad to fulfill this need.

  3. Bringing baby to mom/burping afterwards

    Though mom is the only person who can breastfeed your new baby, bringing him to mom, helping him get positioned correctly, and then burping him afterwards are great ways to help mom and spend lots of quality time with your baby.

  4. Wear baby in sling
    Newborns love to be held and, despite what some “experts” might assert, you cannot spoil your baby by holding him too much.  In fact, sometimes your baby is fussy not because he’s hungry but because he wants to be held close to his parent’s heart.  Tucking your baby in a sling or wrap to help him fall asleep (or just feel your touch) is a great way to bond with your baby.

  5.  Give her a bath
    Baths can be fun and relaxing times for your baby that she looks forward to.  And this is a great way for dads to bond with their babies.  In fact, water is so relaxing that you could even take a bath together and hold your baby skin-to-skin!

  6. Baby massage
    This is another great technique to calm, relax, and bond together.  Learn how to gently massage your baby and do it frequently – even every