Breastfeeding: How to Get Dad Involved
A man may think his part in breastfeeding is minor, yet studies show that a baby's father plays a critical role in whether a mom and baby develop a successful nursing relationship.
Support Mom Physically
After a newborn comes home, the household may receive a lot of visitors, which can be draining to a new mom—especially while she and her baby are trying to establish a nursing relationship. “Dads can be the gatekeeper to the house,” says Katy Lebbing, Manager for the Center for Breastfeeding Information, La Leche League. “During this time, a new mom may be shy about nursing in public and is trying to build her skills as a nursing mother.”
Making sure a breastfeeding mom has a quiet, comfortable place to nurse is a wonderful way for a dad to show concern and support. Some moms may prefer to have items such as the phone and the television remote nearby, and a dad can help by gathering these things and making sure his wife has something to drink during nursing sessions. Of course, helping with chores, shopping, and cleaning are all duties that dads can take over or assist with as well.
“My husband was really good about playing with our older child, getting me a glass of water to sip while nursing or a bite to eat, and if I was in the middle of making dinner when my daughter needed to nurse, he’d take over that, too,” says Jenn Moore, a mother of two from Palmyra, Pennsylvania. “He would let me have a break to nurse since he is 100 percent pro-breastfeeding and wants for me to succeed for the benefit of me and our daughter.”
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