I often hear a parent or grandparent talk about introducing a bottle so the baby’s father can participate in feeding the baby. But what if we found other ways for Dad to be involved so he can support the breastfeeding relationship between Mom and baby?
Research shows the role of the father in breastfeeding is extremely important. It is the father who has the greatest influence over the mom’s success in breastfeeding, in terms of how long she will breastfeed and how successful she will be overall with the whole experience.
Here’s ways fathers can help create a successful breastfeeding experience:
- Burp the baby after feedings – My dad clients love showing me their successful methods for burping their babies!
- Provide skin-to-skin time with baby lying on chest or by wearing in a sling or wrap.
- Provide supplementation if needed after Mom finishes nursing the baby.
- Begin offering one bottle-feeding a day when baby is about 2 weeks old and breastfeeding is well established. The first part of the evening is a great time to do this, allowing mom to take a relaxing bath and/or get a long stretch of sleep.
- Fill and deliver water bottle and prepare and bring healthy snacks while Mom feeds the baby/babies.
- Aid in latching and positioning when Mom is working on breastfeeding skills.
- Give Mom stretches/back & neck massages between feedings.