Breastfeeding and Dads: The Ultimate Guide For Dads

Dad & Baby! Amazing!

You may be wondering , how does breastfeeding affect dad? I believe it does have some effect on them.My husband I can happily say, he wanted me to invest in breastfeeding our children. Not many fathers are happy about having their partner breastfeed for various reasons. But lets ask the question…for real. Does breastfeeding benefit dads? Honestly I think there are many benefits.

It gives them an opportunity to help out with chores, focus on important matters to make the family better, take really special care of mom, build confidence knowing that mom is giving his baby the best nutrition ever. Some men admire how the breasts plump up so much during pregnancy and lactation. This helps to see their partners more sexier!

Moms Beware! Don’t Leave Dad Out

I had an experience where I found myself leaving my husband out of everything after our first child was born. I was so consumed in the baby. Mamas do not make the mistake I made. Keep those fathers involved. Even though they might not appear withdrawn, do all you can to keep you relationship in good condition.There are many ways I did this after the other kids were born.Here is a list of some of the things we didi:

  • Spent time talking after baby went to sleep
  • Took a break to spend time together while a relative watched baby
  • Spent time in prayer and reading the bible
  • Cooked his favorite meals
  • Surprised him with his favorite things. Just to see the smile on his face lit up my day.

There were times when I noticed that he looked a bit withdrawn and lonely. I would call him to come and help me out with baby. the father’s perspective, which is often an overlooked aspect of breastfeeding. Researchers agree that breastfeeding is good for babies and moms. Breastmilk likely protects babies from infections, makes them less likely to become overweight, and the bacteria in breastmilk builds the foundation of an infants’ gut microbiome — the ecosystem of microbes inside the digestive system that can help keep a person healthy throughout their life. Nursing has even been found to potentially protect mothers from some cancers and type 2 diabetes.
Babies win. Moms win. Guess what the research found? That most dads actually struggled while mothers breastfeed.

Many mothers feel they bond with their infants during their nine months of pregnancy in ways that dads just physically can’t. “What breastfeeding meant for a lot of dads was almost an extension of this exclusivity,” Sihota says — one that hinders their own chance to bond with their baby.

Breastfeeding Can Add Pressure To Dads Mental Health

Breastfeeding can take a toll on dads mental health!

Difficulty during breastfeeding, like an infant who won’t latch, can lead to even more troubles for dads. In conducting research on this subject, Francine deMontigny, a professor of nursing at the University of Quebec, found that breastfeeding problems can trickle into a marriage. Fathers are often left feeling helpless and inadequate. These insecurities, combined with the time and bodily commitments placed on their breastfeeding partners, can strain their relationships, and dad’s mental health.

Feelings of inadequacy and relationship challenges can exacerbate paternal postpartum depression, which afflicts more than ten percent of fathers, according to a large analysis. Another study found that the fathers of breastfed children had a lower quality of life than the fathers of bottle-fed children.

Breastfeeding Brings Partners Closer Together

Keep your partner close to you!

These problems are serious, Sihota says, but they don’t warrant giving up breastfeeding and picking up the bottle. For one thing, fathers’ experiences aren’t easy to pin down and there are ample studies showing breastfeeding in fact had a positive impact on dad’s life. In one study, Pakistani fathers said they felt breastfeeding brought them closer to their partners. Fathers in a different study easily found their role supporting the mother and infant during breastfeeding.

The difference between these two groups is perhaps one of finding motivation and purpose for dads. Even though mothers typically carry out the feeding, there are plenty of ways fathers can get involved and find their role in breastfeeding. They can pick up the household slack by taking charge of older children or chores, for example. Bringing a nursing mother water or the remote are small ways dads can support and make the mother comfortable while she nurses. Dads can read up about breastfeeding so that they are prepared to help troubleshoot when problems arise. There are psychological benefits to these chores: In one study, deMontigny found that fathers who took on these sorts of tasks adapted more easily to breastfeeding and felt more competent.

Dads Have A Lot To Offer

Dads have so much to offer!

But of course, bonding with baby is the big hole that dads with breastfeeding partners are trying to fill — and finding those opportunities is crucial. Fortunately, baby’s needs extend far beyond breastfeeding and dads can take on more of the other tasks, like burping and changing diapers, calming down at night, and, if moms are pumping, offering a bottle to give mom some space. Being close to baby, after all, isn’t just a psychological boost — it is part of the physiological transformation (dropping testosterone, a rise in oxytocin) that can set dads up for long-term success as a parent.

Give Fathers Time To Bond With Baby

Give dad the time he needs to bond!

Moms might help by stepping away more often to give fathers and infants alone time, deMonitigny said. Many of the men in her research were surrounded by women — their partners, mothers, and mothers-in-law — who told them how to pick up, hold, and interact with their babies. In response, some fathers withdrew. Giving dads the space to parent in their own way can give them a chance to bond, and it can be good for the baby. “The research has found that dads interact differently with a child, and that’s okay because it brings a different kind of stimulation, interaction, and information to the child, and the child benefits,” deMontigny said.

With little research and few resources to help new fathers during breastfeeding, there’s only so much families can do alone. “I think the responsibility is placed on the healthcare provider,” Sihota says, “When the mom and the dad are here and we are engaging in a conversation about infant nutrition, breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, et cetera, [we need to ask] how can we include dad?” That doesn’t mean dad can’t raise his hand and ask the same question.

How Dads Can Bond With Their Breastfed Baby

Sometimes dads worry that they’ll feel left out if their partner decides to breastfeed. But, taking care of a baby involves much more than just feeding. There are many other ways to care for and bond with your child. By spending time with your new baby, you can enjoy getting to know her while giving your wife a chance to rest. And, the more time you devote to your child, the more confident you will become in your parenting skills. Here are some ways dads can bond with a breastfed baby.

  • Holding: Pick your child up and talk to her while she’s awake and alert. At bedtime or naptime, you can rock her gently until she drifts off to sleep. When she’s sleeping, you can just sit and hold her in your arms.
  • Skin-to-Skin Contact: Direct skin-to-skin contact (kangaroo care) promotes a deep connection. When you place your newborn on your bare chest and snuggle together while your skin is touching, it stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is responsible for love and bonding. It helps forge a close relationship between you and your child.
  • Providing Daily Infant Care: Before, during, and after breastfeeding, there will be plenty of diapers to change. Between switching breasts or after feedings, you can try to get a burp out of the baby. You can also be in charge of bath-time which may be enjoyable and soothing for both of you.
  • Having Some Fun: It’s good for you and your child to spend time playing together. When your child is a newborn or infant, you can get on the floor for a little tummy time, shake a rattle, try peek-a-boo, sing a song, or make some funny faces and noises. As your baby grows, playtime will become even more exciting.
  • Getting Out of the House: Put your baby in a sling, baby carrier, or stroller and go out for a walk. The fresh air and movement are calming, especially if the baby is fussy.

These are just some of the ways you can get involved with the care of your baby. As your baby grows, there will be so much more you will be able to do.

Fathers: Feeding Your Breastfed Baby

Das time for feeding baby will come

There will come a time when you as a father you will be able to feed your baby. Trust me that time will come in short order! Well it depends on your on your family situation. You might decide not to breastfeed. If you decide to breastfeed it would be best to wait until the breastmilk is well established which can take about 4 -6 months if mom is only breastfeeding. t some point, you’ll be able to feed your child, too. Depending on your family situation, it may be a few weeks after your child is born or after four to six months of exclusive breastfeeding; or 4-6 weeks.

  • Your wife may decide that she doesn’t want to breastfeed exclusively, so she may pump breast milk to give to the baby in a bottle or use infant formula for some feedings.
  • After a few weeks, your partner may have to return to work or spend time away from the baby on occasion. You may start bottle feeding at that time.
  • If you and your wife decide she will breastfeed exclusively for the first four to six months, then you’ll get to introduce his first solid foods when he’s ready.

It may seem like you’re being left out of feedings in the beginning, but it’s only for a short time and the time goes quickly. Before you know it, your child will be eating all sorts of things that you can help prepare and serve. I encourage you to stay involved and committed to this journey because it is worth it!

BOTTOM LINE:

Dad should be included in every aspect of pregnancy because his role is vital to the success of breastfeeding. If dad begins to withdraw from the relationship, this could mean the end of breastfeeding for Mom and baby. Difficulty with breastfeeding can result in dad adding pressure on Mom not to breastfeed because he is not apart of the experience. So moms please keep dad involved for the sake of you and baby. Its just too much to loose.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you learned something. I encourage you to support and love one another. The postpartum period can be overwhelming, but God has given you the power to be courageous and strong. I wish you a happy, safe, and healthy breastfeeding with baby and dad. If you like, you can comment below. Please stop by again.

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Dad, your new role is so important!

Published by Marilyn Smith

Hello. My name is Marilyn Smith. I am a Health Specialist with specialized skills in Clinical Practical Nursing, and Midwife of thirty six years. I am also a certified Lactation and Grief Specialist. I am well qualified to assist in meeting your breastfeeding needs. Breastfeeding is indeed the best for your baby. Congratulations on making such a wonderful decision. Consider this your home as we learn about the joys and pains of pregnancy & breastfeeding

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