As Father’s Day approaches, it’s a great time to talk about how to involve daddy – or any partner or supporter you have in your life – in breastfeeding. Nursing may look like a two-way street with no room for a third party, but we see it differently. Dad helped make baby and therefore dad can be a part of ensuring her growth and development through the perfect nutritional source, breast milk.
Whether this is his first Father’s Day, or he’s an old pro, take the time to talk about how dad can be a part of the intimate bond of breastfeeding. Here are four tips from the Leading Lady team on how to incorporate partners in your nursing routine:
1) Start by taking a breastfeeding class together during pregnancy. Mom is carrying baby and has a lot of other things swirling around in her mind so having support in a breastfeeding class will help mom when it’s time to take action. In the class you will be reminded of the benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby, plus you’ll learn about nursing positions, encouraging your milk supply, the importance of great nursing bras and/or nursing tanks, and feeding schedules.
2) Spend quality family time together during feedings. Hearing words and the cadence of conversation is not only soothing, but also a learning opportunity for baby. As she’s filling her tummy with the perfect blend of nutrients for her growing body and brain, she will hear mommy and daddy chatting away. Daddy can caress baby’s skin and tickle her toes to keep baby awake during feeding times. Plus it is nice to have an extra set of hands to burp and change baby while mommy takes a break. After mom has nursed, dad can also engage in skin-to-skin contact with baby, which is calming and encourages bonding with both parents.
3) Encouragement and support are essential during the newborn stage and especially breastfeeding. If you’ve decided together that breast milk is what you want for your baby, it is important for both parents to make it happen. This may mean helping mom stay positive during late-night feedings or if nursing becomes difficult. Or it may be as simple as saying “thank you” and making her feel appreciated for the one-of-a-kind gift she’s giving baby.
4) For families committed to breastfeeding, baby usually cannot be too far from mom, which means mom doesn’t get much of a break. Dad can help out around the house, run errands and arrange dinner whenever possible during the early months of breastfeeding so mom can use whatever down time she has for herself. Dad can even handle a feeding or two if mom is able to pump.
Dad can be an integral and meaningful part of breastfeeding if you make it a priority. We hope your Father’s Day, and every day, is full of togetherness and celebration!
Keep dad REALLY interested in breastfeeding in a new, sexy nursing bra! Until June 12, buy 3 bras and save 30%.