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Making the decision to breastfeed your baby doesn’t come easy for everyone, so kudos to you for taking on this journey. However, it’s a journey much easier with the support of your partner. So, how can dads help with breastfeeding?
I remember when we brought our son home, he was formula fed due to his NICU stay. It was actually really nice because my husband was able to take over many of the feedings.
However, I knew in my heart I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t try to nurse my son. So once the decision was agreed upon, we BOTH learned and took the appropriate steps to begin that journey.
If you’ve read my posts before, you’ll know breastfeeding WAS NOT an easy journey for us. And one of the biggest reasons I stayed the course and didn’t give up was because of the support my husband provided me.
It’s something I’ll never be able to thank him enough for which is why I want to share how YOUR husband (or baby’s dad) can help out as you embark on the journey of breastfeeding your baby!
How can dads help with breastfeeding?
1) Middle of the night diaper changes
If mom is responsible for getting up in the middle of the night, every few hours to nurse baby, dad should be able to share some of the load. And what better way than asking him to be in charge of those late-night diaper changes, yay!
This is something my husband would do and honestly, it was extra helpful. As soon as our son would wake up, he’d go get him changed and bring him back to me in bed where I was able to nurse him.
Once our little guy was at a point where he was nursing and drinking breastmilk from a bottle, my husband would completely take over diaper changes/feedings on some nights.
It allowed me to either stay in bed a little longer to get prepared for nursing. Or if he was bottle feeding, I was able to pump my breast milk and store that liquid gold for the next day.
2) Get mom snacks/drinks while nursing baby
Another great way dads can help mom while breastfeeding is to bring her a couple snacks or simply refill her water bottle while she’s feeding the baby.
You’d be surprised how hungry breastfeeding can make a person!
I remember there were some days where in the middle of a nursing session I’d literally get the sensation like I was starving.
Thankfully, my husband was always a good sport about tossing over a snack if I had forgotten to grab one for myself.
Some of my FAVORITE things to snack on were:
- Veggies Made Great Blueberry Muffins – so yummy & healthy for you!
- Milkmakers Lactation Cookies – I had a low supply, so sometimes I’d eat a couple of these while nursing.
- KIND Bars – honestly, they just taste super damn delicious
3) Dad burping baby
Put dad in charge of being the ‘burper’. Yup. Once you finish nursing or feeding baby, allow him to get some snuggles in by burping your little bundle of joy!
If you’ve been nursing, it’ll allow you time to get covered up, maybe apply some much-needed nipple cream to soothe those nips, and give you a sec to just be baby-free for a little.
Recommended Post >> Life-Saving Breastfeeding Tips for Beginners!
4) Learn about breastfeeding
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, my husband was totally game for learning about breastfeeding along with things he could do to support me.
Because, after all, I was the one having to sacrifice my boobs as food, as you’ll have to do too.
SO, want to know one of the BEST ways dad can learn about breastfeeding?
Have him take a breastfeeding class with you! If he’s embarrassed or nervous about going to an in-person class, because, let’s be real, it can be intimidating to be the ONLY GUY in a room full of lactating women (LOL).
Instead, look into an online class such as Milkology! It’s a super affordable (less than $20 with code FITMOMMY10) and you’re able to take it in the comfort of your own home at your own pace — how cool is that?!
You’ll learn everything you could possibly think of when it comes to breastfeeding, breast milk, benefits for mom & baby, and much more with this online breastfeeding class!
5) Support mom’s decision to breastfeed
One way to keep any mom in good spirits while breasfeeding is having support.
This could be through acts of kindness such as being the snack giver or diaper changer or even simply offering words of encouragement when times get hard.
In fact, it’s probably one of the most important things a dad can do for mom during this time.
6) Take over other baby tasks such as bathtime, bedtime or tummy time
Nursing and exclusively pumping can literally consume your whole day. Add that to the other baby care tasks like bath time, tummy time, bedtime, etc…. it’s one heck of a long day!
So instead, ask dad if he’d like to take on some of these other tasks. He might even find it’s a great way for him to have some 1 on 1 time with your little one for bonding!
This is actually something my husband did with our son and ironically enough to this day (18 months old), bath time is 100% their thing.
I only do bath time if my husband is at work, but it’s funny since you can tell our son actually prefers my husband to do bathtime. Apparently he’s much more entertaining than I am. But hey, I’m cool with it!
Plus, it’s pretty cute to see them singing songs and playing their silly games during bathtime.
7) Help out more around the home
Oh yes, the big one. If there’s one thing that will likely be at the end of the list of “things mom needs to do”, it’s going to be chores around the home.
That being said, if dad is able to knock out a couple of chores here and there to ease the burden from your plate, I guarantee it’ll feel like a weight was lifted off your shoulders.
Breastfeeding dad feels left out
This is a big topic. As much as dad might be helping out and offering support while you continue your breastfeeding journey, it’s really important to make sure HE isn’t feeling left out.
Make sure you encourage dad to communicate his thoughts and feelings with you. The last thing you need is major fights or arguments breaking out because he feels like he’s being left out.
And trust me, mama, I totally understand how hard it can be at times to make your partner feel like a priority when you yourself are stretched thin. That’s why you should head over to read my blog post all about keeping your relationship strong after baby!
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