Be Her Cheerleader
Breastfeeding is really hard. Everyone seems to talk about it like it is the most natural thing in the World. It is natural for our bodies to breastfeed, but it takes quite a bit of learning and practice before you have it down. Mom will definitely remember that Dad was her biggest supporter during the struggles.
Help Mom Relax
If mom isn’t relaxed, she’ll have more problems and end up wanting to quit. To me, relaxed means I have these things in reach: remote, laptop and/or phone, a drink, a snack, and an extra blanket for my munchkin’s inevitable spit-up. Dad can also run a hot bath for Mom or give her a nice massage occasionally.
Though Mom is breastfeeding, Dad can still feed the baby. Most Moms will pump to store some milk for a time that they are unable to nurse. If Mom knows that you can feed the baby, she’ll appreciate it and feel a big relief knowing that it doesn’t all fall on her (even if she’s the one supplying all the milk). This also means that Dad can feed the baby in the middle of the night and let Mom sleep a little extra. However, if Mom wants to feed baby during the night, Dad can bring her the baby so Mom can nurse with out ever having to leave the bed! My husband almost always brought me the baby when he would wake up, it was amazing and helped so much!
Do Some Extra Housework
Did you know that stress can harm Mom’s milk supply? It might surprise you the amount of time that breastfeeding a baby can take. If Mom is nursing the baby all day, she probably is not getting to the million other things that need done around the house. Doing laundry, dishes, or cooking dinner can help tremendously. These are all things that Mom worries about while nursing the baby, but Mom can’t get up and do them. Less stress for Mom, means more milk for baby.
Although breastfeeding is a Mom and Baby experience, both can benefit from Dad’s knowledge. Most hospitals offer breastfeeding classes. You may not think you need one, but go. Mom and Dad will both receive a lot of great advice and information in these classes. Dad can also pick up a breastfeeding book to peruse, too!
If Mom or baby is having trouble with breastfeeding, find a lactation consultant. When you visit the lactation consultant, Dad should go too. Mom is always looking at Baby from the same angle when attempting to nurse. Dad can watch what the lactation consultant does, how she positions Mom and baby, and he can help match that once you’re back at home. By knowing the facts about breastfeeding, Dad will also become Mom’s advocate and speak up for her if he ever needs to.
Just because a baby breastfeeds on Mom, does not mean that Dad cannot help.
Is your partner helping you breastfeed?