Breastfeeding establishes bonding between mom and baby that is unmatched. However, this may lead to dad and even siblings feeling left out. As a result, some breastfeeding moms, especially those who are first-timers, choose to pump their milk so that the baby can be bottle fed in order to be more inclusive. Also, some moms and even their families are under the assumption that this helps the breastfeeding mom get more rest. Guess what? It doesn’t. You will still have to get up and pump for the feeding session, so you won’t get more rest. Plus, missing a direct latch can mess with your milk supply or you can become painfully engorged. I get it, getting rest and trying to not have dad and siblings feel left out is hard. But, I have some helpful ideas on how dads can bond with a baby and help breastfeeding moms.
Related: Breastfeeding Tips to Encourage Breastfeeding Moms
Anything that gives mom peace of mind and security will go a long way to improving the bond breastfeeding creates. It also promotes involvement and establishes a team perspective that makes everybody a participant during times when mom nurses the baby.
During the newborn stage, feeding is 100% mommy’s job because the mom’s body has to know to produce the right amount of milk for the baby. That means dad has an opportunity to step into a support role and indirectly or directly help out during feeding times. A lot of the time dad can help just by handling the baby in instances like burping, or bathing. Dad can also involve himself by taking the opportunity to read or sing to the baby. In the middle of the night, he may like to be left out, but staying up with you while you feed is an excellent way for him to get involved.
Related: Tips to Reduce Discomfort Experienced During Breastfeeding
The list below shows ten effective ways dads can take on a supportive role and be more involved with the feeding experience. Changing diapers is among the best ways dad can step in and help breastfeeding moms. But it may be a tough sell as lots of dads don’t do that much outside the hospital.
Here 10 ideas on how dads can help breastfeeding moms to encourage bonding with your new baby.
- Have dad bring the baby to you for feedings
- Burp after each breastfeeding session
- Put baby in crib or bassinet for naps and sleep
- Bathe baby
- Change diapers
- Help out around the house – cook, clean, wash dishes, laundry
- Read to baby
- Sing to baby
- If you bottle-feed, sterilize pump parts and bottles
- Make sure mommy is eating enough and keeping hydrated
- Stay awake with you during night feedings
Related: Breastfeeding Tips: Know the Basics of Pumping Breast Milk
My husband has been very helpful from the beginning. He made every meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – during the first few weeks. He brought me water, electrolytes, and snacks. Although he changed her diaper just once while in the hospital, he is great at keeping the supplies I need for keeping our daughter clean and dry stocked whether we’re in the bedroom or living room. I know I never have to worry about running around the house to look for diapers or wipes. As a breastfeeding mom, the help, no matter how small is appreciated.