Dads & Breastfeeding

Twelve Ways a Dad can Assist his Breastfeeding Wife

Dads are very important people in the early years of their child’s life and the more hands on attention given will create a lasting bond between Father and child.

Here we suggest several ways a Dad can assist and support his wife, especially if she is breastfeeding in the first weeks and months after the birth.

Breastfeeding is important and concerns both parents. We have discussed the benefits of breastfeeding in earlier topics. It has been documented that a child is directly affected by the support his mother receives from her husband/partner during the breastfeeding period woman are more inclined to breastfeed for longer with the Father’s support - therefore the baby will benefit from her milk and it is the best food and comfort she can offer him.
  1. Insist your wife has plenty of rest by helping to prepare and serve meals.
  2. Help with the housekeeping when-ever possible.
  3. Protect your wife from unsolicited advice which can be confusing. Mother’s, Mother’s-in-law and Friends may say things which have little to do with current medical knowledge and upset the breast-feeding mother.. Channel their help in a more positive direction looking after the needs of any other children or perhaps ask them to prepare a meal or two.
  4. Be warm and loving to your wife/partner a cuddle, hug or loving kiss works miracles with a tired, not-so-confident new Mum.
  5. Assist with the bathing of the baby.
  6. Encourage the new Mother to eat a snack and have a drink while feeding, this can be brought to her by Dad or become Grandma’s responsibility.
  7. Keep a close eye on her water intake as this is an essential requirement for a breastfeeding Mother, 6-8 glasses at least per day are recommended. 
  8. Suggest you give her a massage, as sometimes a new Mother will suffer from an aching body as a result of constantly holding and feeding, even in a comfortable position nursing can take a toll during the first weeks of breastfeeding after the birth.
  9. A lovely gift to a new Mother is a professional massage from a therapist who will come to the house. Someone who is trained in the massage of post-natal Mum’s.
  10. See your wife/partner gets as much sleep as possible, an afternoon rest if you are about or during the weekends when you can take care of the baby.
  11. Assist with winding and settling of your baby it takes time to get to know this newborn person.
  12. Learn the art of changing a nappy, this will be a great help to your wife and give you hands-on time to bond with your baby.
An article worth readying on the importance of Dads and their changing roles can be found here - Fathers in Finland.

Dads are very important in the early years of their child’s life. The more interest and inter-action they take in their child’s development, the closer their bond will be in later years.