Starting out as new parents is hard. It can be harder in some respects on the fathers especially if mum is breastfeeding. I have heard many times over the years “how can dad bond if he can’t feed the baby?!” Well it may shock you to know that there are many ways a dad can bond and help out with baby in the early days. These can include, but aren’t limited to;
- Taking baby out for a walk so Mum can have a little rest.
- Read to baby. This way they get to know Dad’s voice a little more.
- Changing nappies.
- Having cuddles and napping together.
- Talking to baby.
- Bathing together, skin to skin is great for bonding with baby.
- Do the magic baby hold (you know that one where you hold baby over your forearm)
- Jiggle and sway with baby.
- And last but definitely not least SUPPORT feeding… help protect your partner from criticism, keep her fed, help her get good help should she need it and take care of her.
In my personal experience Luke has been a great support to me throughout both of our children breastfeeding and I couldn’t ask for a better person to share this journey with.
Another dad that is of great support is Ross, the guy behind Isablog. Ross is such a great role model for those dad’s out there with breastfeeding partners. In fact he was that supportive that when his daughter turned 1 years old and his partner reached the milestone of a year breastfeeding, he made her a boob cake…. that milked! I remember seeing the video myself and thinking “what a guy!” You can see the original post about the amazing cake here!
Here is what Ross had to say…
“I made the cake just as my little way to show my support to my wife for making it to a year of breastfeeding. Before we had Isabelle we had no real intention of getting that far. My wife wanted to stop before she went back to work. But rather than stop, she kept going. And I guess as the man in the breastfeeding journey it’s easy to feel like you can’t do much. So I guess I wanted to show my support by making a boob cake that milked. Maybe that’s a slightly weird way of showing support, but it’s my little way.”
He also says, “I think breastfeeding is something that’s so hard to do, but once you can it’s such an amazing thing to be able to do. I really think more women would be able to do it if they’re supported from the start and receive the right information. That’s how I saw my role. I couldn’t physically do it, but I could be there every step of the way. I could learn about breastfeeding with my wife, and when she was in doubt I could help her through it. There are always other ways you can support your partner even if you can’t physically do the feeding.”
Ross is absolutely correct. As I mentioned above there so many ways in which dad’s can be involved in breastfeeding. If you are a first time parent or even if it is the first time you are considering breastfeeding remember these factors in your decision making, it could make a huge difference. It is so important to have the best support network you can build around you, especially in those early days. And again in the later days when you could be feeding a walking, talking toddler… People seem to think that is weird, and don’t tend to hold their tongue!
Did you have a good support network in the early days of breastfeeding? Would knowing these things have made a difference for you?