Husbands and partners play a huge part in enabling mums to breastfeed successfully for as long as they wish to do so. Their supportive role should not be underestimated.
“I’m very lucky, my husband is absolutely fantastic! When he comes home from work he gets ‘stuck in’ straight away. He recognises I’ve been working just as hard at home, feeding a baby and entertaining a toddler, as he has at work all day.” – Anna Robinson
Real Baby Milk’s ‘Top Tips for Dads’ are the frequently cited suggestions of 60 breastfeeding mothers. Most men would like to find the best way to support their breastfeeding partners but aren’t always sure of the best ways to do so.
Real Baby Milk Top 20 Tips for Dads.
- Fetch a feeding cushion and help her position your new baby correctly. In the early days this is really helpful (use the Essential guide to help).
- Make sure she is comfortable. Pass her the remote, telephone or cup of tea. Bring her drinks and snacks. See she has a glass of water at least to hand as breastfeeding can be thirsty work.
- Do what you can do at night to help. Her rest is important as she also has the day ahead to cope with.
- Defend her choices with midwives and health visitors and make sure you know her own mind. Support her to stick with her choice to breastfeed when things are getting tough.
- Do the bath routine with your baby and getting them ready for bed. It’s great bonding time for dads.
- Carry your baby in a sling – this can be a nice way of giving your partner a break.
- Skin-to-skin contact is a good way for the baby to bonding with you too.
- Compliment her on how well she is doing and how proud you are and field any negative comments that are made about breastfeeding and respond appropriately.
- Do some household chores without being asked.
- Give her a chance to have a lie-in while you entertain the baby.
- Taking baby out for a walk will give her some great time to have baby free.
- Cook a nice healthy, nutritious meal or leave her something tasty prepared in the fridge that she can microwave for her lunch time.
- Ask her if she wants you to cut up her dinner for her. Babies seem to have the instinct to feed just when it’s your meal time too. She’ll appreciate being able to feed herself with her one free hand.
- Change nappies and pack the baby bag for outings.
- Do the shopping. It’s much quicker for you to do it than for her to have to take the baby with her.
- Keep the older children entertained and busy.
- Help to limit visitors while she is establishing breast feeding.
- For long journeys, plan breastfeeding stops built in.
- Treat and spoil your parter.
- Be patient and supportive. Your relationship will strengthen with a child and you will have time together again.