In more than 60 percent of all births, dads are present. Weekly baby showers and the new dad’s first Father’s Day have passed, and now it’s time to focus on the mom, who will bring home a new addition soon. It can be difficult for fathers to be excluded from so many special moments with their daughters, but there might be something good hiding in this disappointment. Consider all the ways dads support nursing moms without realizing it, from purchasing formula or pumping equipment to helping change diapers or feed their daughters. This article covers the primary reasons why breastfeeding for dads is beneficial for both mom and baby, as well as tips on how to help make it easier for him.
Dads Can Help With Nursing Support
Breastfeeding can be a challenging and rewarding experience for both mothers and fathers. While it is true that mothers are the ones who physically breastfeed their babies, fathers can still play a significant role in supporting nursing moms. Here are some ways fathers can support their partners during breastfeeding:
- Be a cheerleader: One of the best ways to support a nursing mom is to be her biggest cheerleader. Encourage her and tell her how proud you are of her for providing the best nutrition for your baby.
- Help with positioning: Breastfeeding can be physically demanding for moms, especially in the early weeks. Help your partner find comfortable positions in nursing and be there to support her as needed.
- Take care of household chores: Breastfeeding can be time-consuming, and moms must care for themselves and their babies. Fathers can help by doing household chores like cooking, cleaning, and laundry, so moms can focus on breastfeeding and caring for their babies.
- Attend breastfeeding classes: Attending breastfeeding classes together can help fathers understand the benefits of breastfeeding, learn about common breastfeeding challenges, and learn how to support their partners.
- Be patient and understanding: Breastfeeding can be a challenging experience for both moms and dads. Be patient and understanding with your partner, and remember that breastfeeding is a learning process that takes time and practice.
- Be there emotionally: Breastfeeding can be an emotional experience for moms needing emotional support from their partners. Listen to her concerns and be there to provide emotional support when needed.
Fathers can support nursing moms in various ways, from helping with positioning and household chores to attending breastfeeding classes and providing emotional support. In addition, by supporting their partners in breastfeeding, fathers can help create a positive and rewarding breastfeeding experience for both mom and baby.
Dads Can Help With Other Caregiver Tasks
Dads can help with many other tasks that new mothers are likely inexperienced or unprepared to do. Some common ones are these:
- Babyproofing: New moms may not know the best ways to keep their babies safe and out of danger, such as not using baby gates when they can climb up and drop into a baby safely. A dad who is used to watching his child, and can offer advice and assistance, can be a huge help here.
- Handling Diapers: New moms, especially working moms, may not have the time to do their laundry and housekeeping. Luckily, the vast majority of diaper rash can be treated at home with simple precautions such as diaper rash solutions. A partner who can help with laundry, cooking, and other household duties can be a tremendous help.
- Meal Preparation: Many working moms have difficulty juggling their responsibilities and forcing themselves to eat a healthy diet. A partner who can take the lead on meal preparation, and help ensure the diet is nutritious, can be a tremendous help.
Including Fathers In The Bond Is Important For Moms, Too
One of the best fathers can do for their breastfeeding partners is to show them love and respect. This can be a challenge for many men, who may have difficulty separating their love for their daughter from their love for their wife. Many breastfeeding partners report feeling more connected with their partner when included in the daily parenting activities, such as feeding, changing diapers, and playing with their child.
Why Is Breastfeeding Beneficial?
Breastfeeding is good for babies, and there are many reasons why dads should breastfeed their daughters.
- Breast milk contains antibodies that protect newborns from many serious illnesses, including HIV, SIDs, and even certain types of cancer. Breastfed babies are less likely to develop these illnesses, and the longer a baby is breastfed, the less likely he or she is ever to be given formula. Breast milk has been shown to reduce the risk of asthma by almost 40%.
- Breast milk is easier for babies to digest, which can help prevent digestive problems, such as diarrhea, constipation, and even bad breath.
- Breast milk is easier for babies to absorb, and babies who receive breast milk are less likely to develop obesity than formula-fed babies.
- Breast milk has been shown to improve toddler respiratory development and decrease the likelihood of learning disability by as much as 40%.
- Breast milk has important anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the risk of allergies.
- Breast milk has been shown to improve cognitive development, such as language and motor skills, and decrease the likelihood of behavioral problems, such as ADHD, according to Lakewood ABA therapists.
- Breast milk has improved social development, such as better friendships and increased confidence in social situations.
There are many reasons why breastfeeding is beneficial for dads, both as a way to protect their child against disease and to give them the nutrients that their body needs to grow. In addition, breastfeeding is a positive experience for both parents and can help the bond between dad and daughter. Ultimately, the reasons why breast milk is so beneficial are the same reasons why dads should help with breastfeeding since it helps protect your baby’s health. With these tips, you can make breastfeeding for dads as smooth and easy as possible.