Are you wondering how you can get Dad involved in breastfeeding? We have 10 ways he can be included and bond with you and your baby!
How to Get Dad Involved in Breastfeeding
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There are so many new things that come with having a new baby. Breastfeeding is a huge one! Mom is trying to recover, and baby is in the process of acclimating to a whole new environment. While it may seem best for dad to stay on the sidelines while everyone tries to figure out the flow of everything, I say that involving Dad in breastfeeding is a great way to not only receive help, but also create strong bonds between Mom, Baby, and Dad.
So, all you dads out there…this one is for you! We have 10 ways to help with how to get Dad involved with breastfeeding.
1. Bring Baby to Mom
When I was in the hospital recovering from delivering my babies, I was always so grateful that my husband was willing to get up and bring the baby to me. I was so tired and uncomfortable. It helped so much! This continued when we brought baby home as well. He would even get up in the middle of the night to bring the baby to me for night feedings! It may seem small, but your wife will appreciate it so much!
2. Offer Food and Water
Something I have struggled with when having each one of my babies is taking care of myself. I’m so focused on making sure all the needs around me are met, and I forget about myself. Don’t let this happen to your wife! My husband was terrific at making sure my large hospital cup was consistently full of water. He would also encourage me to drink it. It’s always nice when someone else makes food for you, no matter what it is. Simple snacks like cracker and cheese or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are always a hit.
3. Keep Other Kids and Visitors Entertained
Having to keep up with a baby while simultaneously trying to keep up with older children and guests visiting to meet the baby is utterly overwhelming. Step in and be the entertainer for the kids and the host for the visitors. Try to let mom have her space! I really appreciated that my husband facilitated my needs and my other kids’ needs while I was trying to facilitate my newborn’s needs.
Try to keep mom comfortable. Pillows are a considerable help when breastfeeding, but for some reason, they always seem to be just out of reach. Step in and help with the set up! The boppy pillow is a fantastic nursing tool, but making sure I had back support and that I was sitting in a comfortable position was important as well.
5. Clean Up
Cleaning bottles, washing pump parts, and doing chores are all amazingly helpful things that dad can be doing. It relieves a lot of stress when dad jumps in and takes care of those responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to have the kids help out too if you have some older kids too.
6. Burp that Baby
After finally getting through a feeding, I usually just wanted to lay down and rest for a bit. I loved it when my husband would take baby to burp and change them. Not only was it helpful, but it was a great moment for them to bond! Babies love to be talked to, and dads genuinely are great at having sweet, simple conversations about what is going on. My older kids really enjoyed being able to participate in those tender moments as well.
7. Keep a Good Distance
I feel like this is obvious, but I still have to say it. Mom’s nipples are so sensitive and sore when breastfeeding, especially in the beginning. Perhaps keep some space between you and that area for a little bit. Instead, I recommend offering a backrub or giving a hand massage. My back always hurt so bad from being in weird positions to nurse. We promise we still love you!
8. Don’t Question
Okay, usually dads don’t question their spouse about what to do with the baby or the kids, but I can definitely tell you who commonly does. Your mom! Please don’t let other people make any weird or snarky comments about how your wife is handling things or doing certain things. The mental state of a new mom is so fragile. Just be nice and trust her!
9. Keep Her Company
When I was newly nursing my babies, I did not like breastfeeding in front of others. I would often go into my bedroom in order to get some privacy. At times it was a nice break, but sometimes it felt isolating. Offer to join her and keep your wife company and have a good conversation.
10. Remember to Thank Her
Give your wife the credit she deserves! I’m not too partial to words of affirmation, but it does feel nice to be acknowledged for working so hard to keep that sweet new addition alive and well. So remember to say thank you and express lots of encouragement and love!
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Shiree is my other half. She calls herself boring, but she is far from it! She lives in Kansas City with her husband and her 4 kids ages 7, 5, 2, and 1! She really is super mom as she spends hours working on the blog and finding a way to still take care of her kids effortlessly! Shiree was married young and started a family right away. She jokes all the time that nothing could have prepared her for motherhood other than motherhood!
After becoming a mom she decided to get as much knowledge as she could about raising kids and strengthening families so she decided to go to college. She obtained her degree in Marriage and Family studies and is now a Family Life Educator. She has a desire to pay it forward and help other parents raise kids and strengthen their families.