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A Breastfeeding Guide for Dads

Breastfeeding has always been considered a mother’s job, but dads need to be a part of the process as well.  Childcare is the role of the whole family, and every aspect of baby’s care can be shared by both parents.

Often times, dads are overlooked as a key component to the success of the breastfeeding relationship, but that doesn’t need to be the case.  Dads should be the No. 1 supporter of the mom’s breastfeeding endeavors.  This role is just as important to the natural feeding process as having breasts.  What can dads do?

•        Breastfeeding women need extra water during the day and while they are feeding their babies.  They also need extra, healthy calories.  Dads can make sure the family’s diet stays healthy and mom is encouraged to meet her fluid and calorie intake requirements.

•        Moms need to be able to sleep between feedings — and this is a prime example of when dads can take over in the child care. Burping, rocking — and everyone’s favorite —  diapering, can be handled by dad while mom takes a nap.

•        Women also need emotional support when it comes to the decision to breastfeed, and again their mate can be a crucial resource for this. Expressing appreciation for the sacrifices the mother is making, listening when doubts about the success of the feedings arise, and encouraging the mother to continue her good job all help keep the breastfeeding relationship strong.

•        Shared experiences bond a family, and sharing the experience of baby’s feedings does not need to be any different.  Men don’t need to scurry into the other room when the baby is nursing.  Dads can sit with mom and baby while rubbing baby’s head or rubbing mom’s neck, all of which helps to create a bonding moment.

Mom may be the one who physically feeds the baby, but the support of dad and the family can help feedings become much more successful.

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