But it’s not all about the moms. Dads can also play a significant role in the breastfeeding process even if they’re not the ones actually doing all the hard work of producing milk and feeding baby.
I can’t tell you how often I hear mothers say they could never have gotten through breastfeeding without a great dad by their side for support and encouragement.
Here’s some advice you might want to pass along to the guys:
- Get involved early. Attend breastfeeding preparation class with mom so you understand the basics of breastfeeding and why it’s so important for her and your baby.
- Pay attention for two. Listen carefully to the instructions given in the hospital. Mom is sometimes so tired or medicated for pain that she can’t always remember the details.
- Be available as much as possible. Handle the baby by holding, rocking, burping, changing, bathing, singing and walking as often as you can so you’ll become comfortable. You’ll also be giving mom a much needed break.
- Help out around the house. You might be surprised how endearing washing the dishes, doing a load of laundry or cooking a simple meal is to a new mom.
- Be appreciative to mom. She’s working hard to give your baby a great start to a happy, healthy life.
- Be encouraging if she needs extra support. As crucial as your support is, mom may need to be around others who are going through the same thing she is. Don’t feel bad if she needs to talk to others besides you. Suggest she attend a Breastfeeding Support Group at Brookwood Baptist’s Kaye Dahle Lactation Center.
- Remember that you need help too! Mothers are often told they shouldn’t try to be “Supermom,” but you shouldn’t always try to be “Superdad” either. Arrange and encourage family and friends to help out.
By Connie Carlisle, Certified Lactation Specialist, Brookwood Baptist Women’s Medical Center
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