Breastfeeding doesn’t just have to be between you and your baby. While it’s important for mama and baby to bond in every way possible, there are ways to get your man involved too! If you’re a dad reading this post, check out all these ways to help support your partner below. And if you’re a mama, show your partner this list and let him be a part of the process too!
Before the Baby Comes
- Be supportive of your partner’s decision to breastfeed by understanding the benefits of breastmilk.
- Help your partner find information on what breastpump your insurance will cover. The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to provide equipment and support with no co-pay, but the actual pump provided will vary from company to company.
- Join your partner in preparing for the experience of breastfeeding by taking a course that will provide you both with the information you’ll need to know.
- Seek out other fathers who have supported their partners while Breastfeeding to gain real world advice.
At the Hospital
- At the hospital, be an advocate for your partner. Make sure the staff knows that she wants to breastfeed and that formula should not be given to the baby without consent.
- Find the lactation consultant if mom is struggling. Many hospitals have one on staff, and early intervention and support from a professional is crucial, particularly for first-time moms.
- Ask the hospital staff about local breastfeeding support groups for after your family goes home. Peer encouragement is helpful, and it’s an excuse for mom and baby to get out of the house.
- In addition to making sure your partner has what she needs while she heals from childbirth, you can help the breastfeeding transition to home by making sure she is comfortable while nursing—by bringing her pillows, foot rest, water, etc.
- It doesn’t sound glamorous, but diaper changes are a great way for you to get involved in baby care. In addition to giving your partner a break, it’s a chance for you and your baby to start practicing conversation skills by making eye contact, cooing noises and engaging your baby with changing facial expressions.
- If your partner starts pumping, you’ll have a chance to bond with your baby over a bottle and give your partner a break. You can further help your partner by washing and sterilizing pump parts and bottles.
- Be your partner’s biggest cheerleader. Breastfeeding can be frustrating and difficult in the beginning, but you can provide moral support by acknowledging the difficulty of nursing and offering to find a professional to help, such as lactation consultant (which should be covered by your insurance). And remind your partner of why she wanted to breastfeed in the first place!