New dad seeks advice on how to support his breastfeeding wife
Find out what words of wisdom his fellow parents had to offer him
Any new parent has to deal with many transitions and changes. One such change is that
One new dad on theAsianparent Community sought the advice of some of his fellow parents, wanting to find out how best to support his nursing wife. He wrote: "I am a new dad, and I want to know ways that I can support my nursing wife. Any advice for me?"
Majority of the responses he received, so far, were from moms who went through the same thing with their husbands when they were new parents.
One mom, Tresa L., began by congratulating the new dad and then wrote: "Like all moms, we hope to have a supportive husband in our journey in breastfeeding. Help your wife with sterilising the equipment, help with the baby, enjoy the fussing baby moments and laugh with her."
"Cheer her on, make sure she knows you are supporting her and this breastfeeding journey."
New mom Roshni M. offered three tips:
1. Cheer her on, make sure she knows you are supporting her and this breastfeeding journey
2. Ensure she is drinking enough water. Give her a glass of water after every feed.
3. Don't pressure her for sex. She will probably be dehydrated and less in the mood.
Jasmine C. offered some tips of her own:
1. Prepare a hot drink before she feed the baby. This is to help her relax and will help her for better milk flow
2. Offer to burp the baby after your wife finished feeding the baby.
3. Help to change the baby if needed after feeding. (Babies usually poo after or during feeding, I don't know why)
4. Swaddle the baby after feeding and changing
5. Offer to massage your wife, it can be tiring at the neck and the back.
6. Encourage (her) with love.
"Try not to pressure her by asking 'Is baby still hungry?'"
"You can do simple things like getting her a drink before and after feedings. Offer to help her wash her if she needs to pump," suggested Reine T. "Try not to pressure her by asking 'Is baby still hungry?', 'Is baby not having enough?' and most importantly is to give her all the support she needs!"
Reading up on how to deal with breastfeeding problems such as blocked ducts, engorgement, and mastitis is what Jacq Ng suggests. Adding that patience is key as well as helping out "with other household chores so that she won't need to worry about those would be good, too." She ended by commending the new dad by saying that his wife is "lucky to have such a supportive husband."
On the next page, find out what his fellow dads and a lactation expert's advice to him was
There were also responses from his fellow dads. Like Pushan D, who began by welcoming the anonymous theAsianparent Community user to the "new dads league". He then offered some advice that helped him support his own wife at the beginning of her breastfeeding journey.
He suggests that new dads can help by changing diapers, coming home early from work to help their wife relax, or by singing and reading to their newborn. Adding that making sure the baby's bed is clean at all times is a must. Constantly asking their wife if there is anything they can do to help is one way to show their support.
He believes no one must be allowed to touch a baby's cheek and that all gadgets such as phones and wifi routers must be kept at a safe distance at all times. Lastly, he reminds his fellow dad to simply "enjoy fatherhood".
"Be genuinely sensitive to your wife's needs."
Another dad, BoonCheong P., believes dads should be "genuinely sensitive to their wife's needs, and not pressure her into anything she already doesn't like doing." His mantra? "Always take care of the mommy, because everyone would want to take care of the baby first."
Catharine Monet, a certified International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiner, generally offers the same advice. As recounted in an article on the Huffington Post, the important things dads should remember about breastfeeding support are:
"When you first think about bringing a new life into the planet, you must remember that communication is important, not only with yourself, but your belief system and partner. Discuss the benefits of breastfeeding with your partner and weigh out the pros and cons. Have an open mind and remember that it doesn’t work for everyone. Don’t feel pressured to nurse."
Attend a breastfeeding seminar
This not only imparts information and knowledge, it also brings partners closer together.
There a lot of valuable information online, as well. But, Monet believes it's important for new parents to curate what information they apply to their breastfeeding journey. This goes without saying but, not everything you read online is factual.
More advice for new dads on the next page
This is an integral part of the process. Being truly present doesn't only benefit your partner but you as a new parent as well.
"If he helps this relationship develop, then the child has a better relationship. If an environment is created where focus is on mother and baby, and the father or partner is part of that then he can change the bond," explains Monet.
Dads can provide loads of comfort by learning the basics of massage. It also helps the milk let down. Happy mother = happy baby.
"Remember that if you want to breastfeed your child then wonderful! However, if you choose not to breastfeed then that’s OK too," clarifies Monet." You can still be a wonderful parent without breastfeeding. It usually takes 2-3 weeks until the baby is comfortable. Milk may not come in right always, or breasts may be very sore. It’s difficult in the beginning. However, if your milk supply is good and you want to give it a try, then ask your partner to come along for the journey."
She ends by offering a dad's to-do list during breastfeeding:
1. Adjust the positioning of the pillow
2. Provide water and food
3. Adjust the lighting in the room
4. Burp the baby
5. Change the baby if needed after feeding
6. Swaddle the baby after feeding and changing
7. Clean / cook
9. Take a shift
10. Encourage with love
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