Within The Dad Network, we get asked quite often how dads can get involved with feeding when they’ve taken the decision to breastfeed their baby. This, I think is a good question, not just because it shows that dads aren’t seeing breastfeeding as a convenient time to go and check the latest scores or catch some Z’s, but because it shows dads are wanting to get involved in every aspect of their child’s life.
Breastfeeding does present a problem though. Well two, roundish, milky problems actually… So that’s why we’ve created this article; 4 tips to help dad breastfeed. But don’t take my word for it, I mean, what do I know…? But Vicki Scott, midwife and parenting expert, has been collaborating with Philips Avent to help both mums and dads combine both breastfeeding and bottle feeding. Obviously, I’ve cut out all the bits aimed at mums and left in the bits for us dads. We are The Dad Network after all.
Here’s what she had to say…
The arrival of a new baby is a joyful, if exhausting, time for everyone in the family.
Dads, of course, play an invaluable role in supporting their partners in those early days and weeks-especially if he is a dab hand at nappy changing, bathing and burping (the baby-not himself!) Team work is a great thing, but the one thing which can’t be easily shared with dad is breastfeeding.
Dads may not have quite the right equipment to get fully involved here, but his support (both practical and emotional) is invaluable in helping mum get to grips with the demands of early day’s breastfeeding.
So what can dad do to get involved?
- Supporting mum so she can relax while breastfeeding is important-a relaxed mum will be able to feed her baby more easily and efficiently (it’s all about the hormones) so anything you can do like looking after other children, having a tidy up, making her a drink etc. will really help.
- If your partner is keen to express her milk then you will be able to feed the baby by bottle to give mum a break be it an evening out or an early night. Sometimes you may go out somewhere as a family where mum would rather give her milk in a bottle so that’s another opportunity for dads to give the feed.
- Expressed milk can be stored in the back of the fridge for 24 hours or in the freezer for 3 months so having a backup feed or two in the freezer means you can help out when needed.
- Getting organised with cleaning and sterilising equipment is a big help and makes combination feeding much easier. Giving your baby a feed is a great way to bond too – yes you can change nappies and help in many other ways but that special, nurturing, cuddle time during a feed is a lovely experience which can be shared.
Ok, there you have it, 4 gold dust ways to get yourself involved with feeding your baby.