Partners role in the breastfeeding experience........
How can Dads help with breastfeeding?
Supporting your partner’s decision to breastfeed and giving her lots of encouragement especially in the early days is so important. Research has shown women are more likely to keep breastfeeding if they have a supportive partner.
Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed your baby, but it is still a skill which needs to be learned by mum and baby. Dads support during this steep learning curve is paramount.
What can Dads do?
Go to a breastfeeding class, many couples feel that these are for the mums only but it is really helpful for expectant Dads to learn about breastfeeding. The information in these classes will prepare Dads for some of the challenges that they might be faced with. Dads are often the ones to remember more of the information, particularly in the early days.
After the baby is born new mums can be overwhelmed with exhaustion. Visitors can add to this therefore its Dads job to keep the visitors at bay! Try to ensure that there is quiet time and time for sleep. While the visitors are there watch for the babies feeding cues and if your partner is not comfortable feeding in front of them ask them to leave.
Tending to household chores, keeping washing underway and shopping is very helpful; this allows your partner to focus on the baby. Also ensuring that there is healthy nutritious food ready for whenever she needs it.
If she is having any difficulties listen and support her. Be sure to know where to get help, and encourage her to do so. There are lots of breastfeeding support groups out there.
How can Dads bond with their baby?
Wear your baby in a sling, take them for a short walk to give your partner a rest, or just rock them in it. Dads can do skin to skin too, enjoy your new baby by lying him on your chest and reading to him or just soak him all up!
Changing your baby’s nappy is a great way to bond with him, in the early days newborns tend to cry alot during nappy change, but this soon changes and it becomes a big game for everyone involved.
Bathing your baby is a wonderful thing to share with him, after a few weeks you can bathe together and this is always a special way to bond with your baby.
Soothing cuddling and winding your baby after or between feeds gives your partner a break and allows for more cuddles from Dad.
Your new baby has so many needs, feeding is only one of them. Bonding comes from special time spent together from the beginning. Remember to praise your partner and the wonderful job she is doing, giving your baby the best possible start in life.
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