Breastfeeding is a ton of hard work, and sometimes it might feel a little overwhelming. There’s good news, though; there are so many ways that dads can help breastfeeding moms!
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At the time of writing this, I have breastfed my son for almost 18 months, which I am very proud of. It hasn’t been a walk in the park, though. Looking back at the start of this journey, there were so many struggles!
Without my husband’s help and support, it would have been much easier to quit when breastfeeding got hard (which in the beginning is quite often!).
The other great thing about these ways that dads can help breastfeeding moms is that they are also fantastic opportunities for dad to bond with the baby!
So, how can dads help breastfeeding moms?
Learn As Much As You Can
Getting educated about breastfeeding is so easy these days; there are so many different resources! Breastfeeding classes are so accessible as well; you can take them in person or online.
Whichever way you choose, I recommend taking a class together.
My husband and I went to a free class together that our hospital provided; it was excellent! A lactation consultant taught the course, and it was so beneficial to learn together.
By learning about breastfeeding, my husband was able to help me with things like latching and unlatching our newborn. I was also able to ask him questions about the class if I couldn’t quite remember something.
Help With Other Things
As moms, especially first-time moms, we feel like we have to take care of everything in our households. That’s not true!
Especially while recovering from labor and delivery, you will need help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your partner where you need it!
For example, some great places to ask for assistance would be doing household chores, making meals, and taking care of other children if this isn’t your first baby.
After you finish a breastfeeding session, you can also ask your partner to burp the baby or change their diaper. Not only will this give you a break after your frequent and prolonged newborn feedings, but it gives your partner more opportunities for bonding time!
After having a baby and then learning how to breastfeed, it can be an emotional rollercoaster! Therefore, having a supportive partner can make all the difference in the world.
If you need a little more support than you are receiving, don’t keep that to yourself! As I mentioned earlier, we sometimes believe that we have to have everything covered; that’s not the case!
Talk to your partner and tell them what’s on your mind. Often, just having a meaningful chat will clarify your needs that aren’t always being fulfilled.
Take Care Of Mom
A tremendous help when my baby and I were getting the hang of breastfeeding was my husband doing simple things to take care of me.
For instance, even a small thing like bringing me our baby after I got situated with my nursing pillow was such a tremendous help!
Another big help is making sure you have a filled water bottle and some snacks. Especially while breastfeeding a newborn, you have long nursing sessions where you can’t get up for a while. Water and snacks might not always be on your mind when you’re taking care of a new baby!
One of my favorite memories during our first week home with our baby took place during one of many middle-of-the-night nursing sessions.
I would always be so thirsty and starving during those late-night feedings, so my husband would get me a Pop-Tart, fill my water bottle, and we would watch Bob Ross videos together to try to stay awake.
It wasn’t much, but it made those frequent wake-ups to nurse so much more enjoyable.
Do Some Bottle Feedings
If you decide you are going to pump breastmilk, let your partner do those bottle feedings! Having your partner take over some feedings is another terrific time for bonding and a nice little break for you!
Many dads to breastfed babies worry about not getting enough bonding time. Here are four more ways to get in some extra bonding while still giving mom a break:
Skin-to-skin isn’t only for mom and baby; it’s beneficial for dads to do with their babies as well!
Skin-to-skin helps to relax your baby and regulate their heart rate and breathing. Also, it helps regulate your baby’s body temperature and improve their immune system.
Another thing to remember is that doing skin-to-skin time with your baby isn’t only for at the hospital after delivery. It’s also crucial in the weeks after coming home!
Another benefit of baby carrying is that you can have your hands free to do other things while still having your baby close.
Bath time can be so much fun with your baby! If you make bath time a regular activity, you can set the stage for a great bedtime routine as your child gets older.
My husband and I share the bathing duties in our house to help make things go a little more smoothly. When you have two sets of hands, bathing your baby will go without a hitch.
If you and your partner can both help out at bath time, I highly suggest it! Bathing your baby is another excellent bonding time; you can see how your child reacts to splashing or different toys.
You’ll also love:
Put Baby To Sleep
Helping to lay your child down for bedtime or naps is such a big relief, and it’s a great quiet time for your baby and your partner.
Also, it can be challenging for moms to get their baby to sleep because the association that mom means milk is so strong.
There were many times that only my husband would get our son to fall asleep because my son would want to nurse if I tried to get him to sleep.
And there you have it! These are all such excellent ways to help encourage the bond between your partner and baby, all while you get that much-needed break!
As a breastfeeding mom, the biggest thing that I will stress is that you ask for help when you need it. It will do wonders to your mindset when you don’t feel like you have everything on your shoulders.
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- Must-Know Breastfeeding Tips For New Moms
- Newborn Essentials Every New Mom Needs
- Breastfeeding Must-Haves For New Moms
- How To Make The Best Miscarriage Care Package
- When Does Breastfeeding Get Easier? Things To Know
What are your partner’s favorite ways to bond with your child? I would love to know in the comments below!