The week between August 1 and August 7 is World Breastfeeding Week that is aimed at promoting breastfeeding and encouraging support for breastfeeding. While it may look like breastfeeding is a mother's business, it is not. In fact research has shown that the presence of fathers during breastfeeding has significant impact on the rate of nursing. Though it is clear that the involvement of fathers is crucial in breastfeeding, not all fathers know how to be supportive. Here are some ways to support your partner during breastfeeding.
Take the baby to her when she needs to nurse
For couples whose baby sleeps in a separate bedroom, it may be tiresome for your partner to keep walking to the baby's room when it's breastfeeding time. You can make her life easier by bringing the baby to her.
Also, resist the temptation of rolling over and going back to sleep when your partner is breastfeeding. Instead stay up and keep her company. It instantly communicates support and lifts her spirits.
Take care of the other kids
If you have more than one child, you can keep the other children busy as your partner breastfeeds. Breastfeeding is as psychological as it is physical. Your partner may not be able to breastfeed properly when your other kids are shouting and pulling her to get them a snack.
Help her position the baby
Sometimes, your partner may be too tired and sleepy to position the baby in the correct way. You can help her put the baby in a position where they can latch perfectly. After, breastfeeding, can take the baby and rock them to sleep to allow your partner some time to rest.
Prepare meals for the new mom
Mothers need a healthy diet for them to be able to produce enough milk for their baby. Be available and willing to prepare meals and snacks for your partner during their breastfeeding journey.
Bottle feed your baby once in a while
If your partner and baby have already gotten comfortable with breastfeeding, you can encourage your wife to express breastmilk which you can then bottle feed the baby as your spouse takes a much needed nap.
Encourage your partner and appreciate her
For first time mothers, breastfeeding is a new experience and they may not know everything. Encourage them and appreciate that they are doing their best. Do your research and stay informed on what breastfeeding entails. Also, be patient with her. This is not the time to stamp your authority as a man.
Take care of the baby
It helps your partner a lot if you can change your baby's diapers, put them to sleep, or burp them. Bonding with your baby is also a way of taking care of them. Skin to skin contact is especially good as it stimulates the production of oxytocin which helps you and your baby bond.
In a nutshell...
It may be naturally impossible for you to breastfeed your little one. However, there are so many other ways that you can participate in the breastfeeding process and your partner will thank you for it.