8 Helpful Ways New Dads Can Support Their Breastfeeding Wife
New dads may think they can't do much to help their breastfeeding wives...but they'd be wrong. Check out these ways new dads can get involved!
New dads are usually as eager as anyone to begin their journey along the long winding path of fatherhood. While they may be eager to be the best dad they can be, a lot of dads get discouraged knowing that there's not much they can do to aid their wives while they nurse their newborns...or is there?
Actually, there's quite a lot that new dads can do to help and support their breastfeeding partners. Of course, you won't be able to take the responsibility of nursing directly out of the hands of your wives, hubbies. But, there's still a lot of ways in which you can make the nursing period as comfortable, easy, and carefree for your partner as possible!
Check out this helpful list of ways you can support your partner as she nurses your children and learn how to be your wife's knight in shining armour when needs it most:
1. Attend a breastfeeding class
If you attend a breastfeeding class with your partner, you'll be able to offer valuable information when needed and help her feel more confident about addressing the situation as a whole. Knowledge is power, so if you and your wife have been armed with helpful tips and tricks when it comes to breastfeeding, there's no doubt that you'll be of great help when it's time to start nursing your child. Just make sure that you take the course as serious, if not more, than your wife so you can help her as much as possible.
2. Develop the skill of recognising your newborn's hunger cues
Your baby's source of nourishment may come from your wife, but that doesn't mean that the responsibility of recognising when your baby is hungry relies solely on her. If you attended any breastfeeding classes, there's a strong chance they taught you or guided in the right direction of learning how to detect and anticipate your baby's hunger cues. Be observant and take note of the signs and indications of your baby's hunger. Help to make t easier to care for and nourish your child.
3. Cater to your wife's needs
When it comes to breastfeeding and nurturing your child, it's important to know that you're the sidekick. As valuable as you may be, she runs the show and so you should do what you can to make sure she's happy, comfy, and has everything she needs to properly nourish your child. This means that while she's breastfeeding you should be giving her your full attention and be willing to be flexible when it comes to her needs. Address her problems, and cater to your wife's needs when she's breastfeeding. It's the least you can do.
4. Keep the pump parts and bottles nice and clean
For the most part, it's the little things that go a long way. One way you can help your wife during the breastfeeding stage is to take some of the smaller responsibilities out of her hands. She'll be pumping quite often, and one less thing to worry about is keeping those pumping parts and bottles clean. It's a small gesture, but it's one less thing for her to focus on and she'll be appreciative of that. Guaranteed.
5. Help out around the house
Along with those pump parts and bottles, you should strive to keep things around the house clean and in order. She'll have a lot on her mind, and she'll be genuinely exhausted all the time. Not to say that you won't either, but if you want to extend your helping hand out as far as possible, doing your fair share of cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc. is a great way to say thank you for doing an awesome job nurturing your children.
6. Change the baby and burp him/her when needed
You and your partner may have a system in line for keeping diaper duty even. However, if you really want to be a big help and take your dad skills to the next level, you should go above and beyond your shift and help change the baby and maybe even burp them more than usual. Your wife gets to spend unique bonding time with your baby when they're nursing, so think of changing and burping your child as a way to make up for that mummy only time. It can be your own unique, albeit dirty, bonding time with your baby.
7. Embrace skin-to-skin
You don't have to simply stick with "dirty work" like diaper duty if your want to spend time with your baby. Another way for new dads to get some bonding time with their children is to adopt the skin-to-skin technique. The benefits of this technique are already pretty well documented, so there's really no excuse for new dads to not try it out ad get to know their baby a little bit better.
8. Be a positive, encouraging breastfeeding coach
If you took the time to try out those breastfeeding courses with your wife, then you probably picked up some much needed information on the topic. So, with that knowledge in your arsenal, you should work to offer as much help as you can to your wife. But, being a good breastfeeding coach goes beyond that. A good breastfeeding coach will remain optimistic, and will encourage his wife every step of the way. You should always tell her how great of a job she's doing, and support her spiritually and physically as she breastfeeds your child.
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