6 Tips For Preparing Dad’s For Breastfeeding

Dad’s are so important to successful breastfeeding and they can make or break a breastfeeding relationship.  If you and your partner decide you want your baby to be breastfed it is worth talking about it way before baby arrives.  I say this in the hope it will go some way to preparing you for what is going to happen, but it will only go some of the way to be honest.

 

You can think you’ve got your head round it.  That baby will need feeding ALL the time, that your sleep will never be the same again, that leaving the house feels like the biggest achievement you’ve made that day.  You can get all that in your head, but what no-one can prepare you for is how your going to react to your new breastfeeding baby world.  Your life is not your own and neither is your wife or partner.

 

But you know breast is best, so some internal battling may commence so be prepared.  You may start to feel like second best as your partner has eyes for someone else.  You may feel redundant as you can’t feed or comfort your new baby.  All this talk of expressing is an urban myth as feeding baby alone is enough of a challenge, where on earth do you fit in expressing.   So what can you do?

 

1. Make Yourself Useful Get involved with your baby by changing nappies, doing the baths, taking her for walks to give Mum a bit of rest.  It’s not all about feeding even though it may feel like that at first.  There’s plenty of other jobs that need doing and as baby starts to go longer between feeds it will reduce in it’s (perceived) significance.

 

2. Help Mum Make sure Mum has plenty to drink and eats well as breastfeeding is tiring, hungry, thirsty work.  Keeping Mum’s energy up will help he with the task ahead, do not under estimate how much it takes out of us.  Feeding every hour or so 24 hours a day to get feeding established is no easy task.

 

3. Have a Plan If It Doesn’t Go Well Sometimes it can take a few weeks before breastfeeding settles down.  There can be a great deal of pain and discomfort on the way.  There may be tears, and lots of them.  Mum will be emotional, tired and possibly ready to throw in the towel in the early hours of the morning.  This is when your support is crucial.  Reminding Mum it will get easier, to hang on until the morning until she can get some advice or see what Twitter has to say.  Support her through it so it doesn’t all feel so bad, remind her she is not failing, she’s just learning how to feed her baby.

 

4. Read Up Get as much information as possible on the benefits of breastfeeding with posts like this, and the different techniques and positions that can help Mum and Baby.

 

5. Take The Baby Sometimes Mum might just need a few minutes to gather her thoughts through the foggy haze of tiredness and a screaming baby might not help her do this.  If she’s struggling take the baby and give Mum a few minutes to gather herself and start again.  It will make all the difference.

 

6. Be Patient  It might be natural and one of the most amazing things in the world but it doesn’t always fall into place straight away while baby learns how to latch on and Mum practises getting baby into position.  Be patient, be gentle and be there to share the load as everyone will benefit in the long run.

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25 Comments

  1. July 15, 2014 / 6:18 am

    These are great tips – having good support from dads can make all the difference and sometimes they just don’t know how much they can do to help x
    Louise recently posted…Expressing and sharingMy Profile

  2. July 15, 2014 / 1:50 pm

    I found that dads MUST be supportive of breastfeeding or else it isn’t going to work. And there is no reason they shouldn’t be! It’s easier and cheaper for them (and us) and so good for the baby. The one thing that drove me crazy during nursing was that every time the baby cried, my husband assumed she was hungry and gave her to me to nurse her. And that was not always the reason she was crying!
    Noa recently posted…How to Pick the Best Sitter for Your ChildMy Profile

  3. July 16, 2014 / 9:03 am

    Very true how dad helps can make so much difference. Know that “professional” do not always know what is right. Later on help with resettling the baby at night so mom can get some sleep.
    Pinkoddy recently posted…A Good Cry #HealthHopMy Profile

  4. July 16, 2014 / 11:04 am

    I simply cannot imagine it from the fathers point of view. It must be so hard for them. With my second daughter, she would feed for three hours at a time with a 45 min break in between. I was literally chained to the sofa/bed etc and i was reading your post and imagining if it was my husband doing that and how i would have felt. I am so proud of her my husband was and allowed me and supported me through that journey with both my daughters 🙂
    Keri-Anne recently posted…The little rabbitMy Profile

  5. July 16, 2014 / 2:27 pm

    An excellent post. It’s good for Dads to know that breastfeeding isn’t going to exclude them and that their help is essential in getting feeding established and supporting mom.
    Louisa recently posted…Make do and mendMy Profile

  6. July 16, 2014 / 3:34 pm

    What a great post, it is always so wonderful if Dads can get as involved as much as possible xxx

  7. July 16, 2014 / 7:16 pm

    Great tips. I still remember one of the dads on my NCT course asking if his wife needed to drink lots of milk to produce milk – erm no cow eat grass and produce milk!
    Jen aka The Mad House recently posted…T20 Blast – A real fun day outMy Profile

  8. July 16, 2014 / 7:55 pm

    My husband was absolutely instrumental to me managing to breastfeed our first child. I would have cracked without him. Once he even had to speak to a lactation consultant on the phone for me because I was too upset to speak. I was ready to throw it in with mixed feeding when he suggested that I could just carry on until the milk was gone if it was going to go (which, of course it wasn’t). I’m glad he said that because I managed to build up to exclusive breastfeeding in the end.
    Adele @ Circus Queen recently posted…Camping with a babyMy Profile

  9. July 16, 2014 / 11:23 pm

    I wish I had got my husband to read something like this before we became parents.. It would have saved a lot of rows, x
    Liska @NewMumOnline recently posted…End of An EraMy Profile

  10. July 18, 2014 / 10:40 am

    Great tips. Dads I guess are often forgotten about in the breastfeeding world. I’ve seen it affect a few couple negatively so maybe dads need to be more aware byt reading this!!! x
    Carolynne @ Mummy Endeavours recently posted…Teachers PresentsMy Profile

  11. July 18, 2014 / 3:08 pm

    Some brilliant tips and it is so important for every family member to be supportive. I felt much stronger and less self-concious, especially when we were out and about, with my husband supporting our choice to breastfeed our little one.
    Helen @ Witty Hoots recently posted…Introducing Little Owl Book NookMy Profile

  12. July 18, 2014 / 7:02 pm

    Great tips hon. I don’t know what I’d have done without the amazing support of my hubby – especially first time round!

  13. July 19, 2014 / 11:38 pm

    Sounds like some great tips – I wouldn’t know where to start preparing myself let alone anyone else I have to admit. x
    Sarah Bailey recently posted…#SilentSundayMy Profile

  14. September 26, 2014 / 3:09 am

    Great post and fantastic advice. It is so true that having a loving and supportive partner can make all the difference when trying to establish breastfeeding routines. My husband was incredibly supportive and did as much as he could to help make it a smooth and stress-free stage for me. Having his support kept me sane during my sleep-deprived moments of fogginess and high emotions.
    Hey Mama! recently posted…September favouritesMy Profile

  15. June 9, 2015 / 6:51 pm

    Very practical posts for ‘breastfeeding’ dads :-). Really good suggestions on how dads can get involved. The stress of it all can very easily divide instead of bringing closer together, if not managed well. 🙂 #aNoviceMumBlogBounce
    Adventures of a Novice Mum recently posted…Bobux Xplorer Shoes: Top 5My Profile

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