When it comes to breastfeeding, men typically think that it is strictly centered round the new mom and that their role is to be a silent observer. However, there are a number of tasks a new dad can take on to make breastfeeding easier for a new mom and reap some benefits for themselves.
Set the Tone
To ensure success in breastfeeding, dads can set the mood by creating a positive atmosphere for both mother and infant. This includes providing them with a comfortable area in the home that is quiet and away from daily household activity and the right accessories. Important accessories include nursing pillows, to provide better positioning for an infant to latch on properly and extra support for mom while she is feeding the baby, as well as an ample stock of breastfeeding supplies.
Words of encouragement and support from a new dad can be comforting. Breastfeeding comes with a number of challenges, especially at the beginning. A new mom will usually face doubts about their ability to produce enough milk or that she is doing it properly. A dad can play an important role by learning about the breastfeeding experience and offering tips or resolutions when problems occur. Instead of feeling frustrated and giving up this important process, dads can help relieve the tension by encouraging her to not give up. New dads can also help by having the number to the local hospital where your infant was born, and various nursing support groups.
While dads may not be able to actually nurse, they can feed their baby with a bottle of stored breast milk. This is especially helpful to give mom an occasional break. Also, after feeding, dads can walk and burp their infants to ease their discomfort and pain.
Building a relationship usually comes easy to most moms because they carried the infant for nine months. Then after they’re born, there’s the special bonding time that comes with breastfeeding. But new dads don’t have to be left out. There are a number of activities they can do to connect with their new baby. Holding your infant close after they’ve been fed can be stimulating to their senses. Be sure to speak in soothing tones and make eye contact while you’re talking to them. You can also open up the learning process by reading to them. Although they won’t understand the story, they’ll become engaged and respond to your voice.
Dads can play a significant role in making the breastfeeding process easier for a new mom. In addition to making it easier for her, they can build a special relationship with both mom and baby.
Felicia Willis is a freelance writer and a mom of one who is always looking for ways to add comfort to relationships. One way to add comfort and support to a new mom and baby is with nursing pillows. They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes so you are bound one that fits just right.