Breastfeeding can be a challenging task. Even if the mother knows what to do, she might need some help. This is where the dad can jump in to help moms with breastfeeding. There are small ways in which they can make sure that both the mother and baby are comfortable, and that the baby is able to feed properly.
Here are 6 ways in which Dads can support/help breastfeeding moms:
1. Adjust the positioning of the pillow
When feeding the baby, mothers usually take the support of a pillow to make sure that they are rested properly and are hence able to feed properly. This easy-looking ‘pillow arrangement’ chore can seem like a normal activity, but it can get very difficult for a mother to arrange the pillow while she has the baby in her hand. Having to do two things simultaneously can be a bit of a juggle for the mother. Dads can help arrange the pillow and make sure that both mother and baby are comfortable in their positions.
2. Burp your baby after feeding
It is essential to burp your little ones after feeding them to prevent reflux. Since the mother is exhausted from the effort of feeding, dads can gently massage the baby’s back till they burn to prevent any feed coming back up.
3. Encourage her to breastfeed rather than suggesting formula
Some encouragement goes a long way. Breastfeeding is the most natural and healthy way to feed your baby at an early age. If your wife has taken the decision to breastfeed, do not suggest formula. Compliment her on her dedication to breastfeeding. It'll help keep her motivated during good times, as well as through sore nipples, mastitis, 3 am feedings and other breastfeeding challenges.
4. Do some chores
Your wife is beaten and exhausted due to breastfeeding. In most of the cases, she is also always sleep-deprived. Try to do some household chores to give her adequate rest. Tackle some laundry and wrangle some mess. Create a nice and neat nest for your family to bond in. Your wife will surely notice and appreciate this.
5. Get up with her at night
Although your work schedule may make it impossible to do this every night, try getting up with your wife for some nighttime feeding sessions. See if she wants anything to drink or eat, a blanket, or just some company. (Or consider taking turns with nighttime feeds: let her sleep while you bottle feed your child some formula milk). Some moral support can help the both of you to get through tough nights and would also keep the regular breastfeeding schedule going.
6. Take a breastfeeding class together.
Breastfeeding may look like a simple thing, but it is not so in most cases. Especially if it is your first baby, it is essential for the both of you to have some training. Remember how fun those exercise classes were when she was pregnant? Yes, it will be the same amount of fun and will help you to go about the entire process of breastfeeding with a lot more ease than you had imagined. Also, this will help you bond as a family.