Whenever a family welcomes a newborn, there is always a sense of unexplained happiness and excitement that the tiny little one has finally made its arrival in this world. A precious life has indeed been sacredly given to expecting mom and dad as they take on the role of parenting. The choice of whether a mom decides to breastfeed depends entirely on a few factors. Needless to say, we all know that breastfeeding is good for the child.
Therefore, as a father, it is only wise to support mommy’s effort when it comes to breastfeeding. A common perception from fathers is that they tend to confine, restrict and leave breastfeeding duty entirely to moms. Little did they know fathers can make a difference to facilitate the process of breastfeeding.
Ensure Continuity in Giving Support to Moms
A little bit of support for mommy from a father’s perspective will ensure mom does not feel overwhelmed. Your partner may not feel intrusive if you offer to help the best way he could. Breastfeeding shall not be left entirely to the mom’s responsibility. It takes two to clap a hand to nurture your child through breastfeeding effort. Understanding the importance of a fatherhood role is crucial to help your partner in her breastfeeding pattern.
Fathers can play a key role in striking up the first conversation and understanding their partner’s concerns, difficulties and challenges by showering them with encouragement, support, motivation, and compliments. This is extremely important as a man will never understand what a women’s experience is like carrying a child as no amount of work or task per se we googled, searched and have held will able to replace a mother’s labor-intensive job as she brought a new life to the family.
Mom may feel extremely stressed and tired from the constant attention given to the child, because it is a norm that once a mom, always a mom where her child comes first, knowingly neglecting her joy and priorities.
Forget about the ‘manly egoism’ and the notion ‘I am out making money and you’re at home taking care of the child’. You should understand how breastfeeding works. Virtually all new moms may feel helpless about their ability to breastfeed. This is where father needs to step in to help their partners by asking for help, such as from your doctors, lactation specialists, attending parenting classes, breastfeeding workshops and so on.
The more informed and well-equipped you are, the better it is to not only help your partner allay her fears, and you will also get to develop and nurture a deep relationship with your child.
Provide Practical Help
A father can help to breastfeed the child while the mom takes a rest. Nowadays, moms can opt for an electrical breast pump. And this is where mom may come up with a schedule to induce milk, depending on the her ability and health condition.
A father can then attend to the child’s feeding process. Even when mom is still nursing the child, you can sit next to her, wrap your arms around her shoulder, have a casual chat about how you used to date her, massage her. These small little actions will make mom feel secured and safe as she is not alone in the whole breastfeeding routine. When the mom has done with her feeding, the father can help in putting the child down to sleep.
Always remember that your partner’s tiredness is not a result of your career of having to go through daily meetings, conference calls, and deadlines to submit proposals. It is a result of constant worrying, doubt, and sometimes helplessness that may trigger stress in their emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. This is far more energy-draining than at workplaces.
Therefore, try to take some time off, given most companies are providing paternity leave now to accompany and spend a little time with your partner to foster a good loving relationship between husband, wife, and now the child. Taking such off days can be vital for the support needed at home. Your presence will enhance the level of trust and shared responsibility in taking care of the child.
Sometimes, you should also consider having a little husband and wife time away from your child. Alternatively, let her get away with her own time to pamper, enjoy and rejuvenate through activities she has always wanted to do, before getting pregnant, maybe with her girlfriends.
Setting the Family Priorities – Parenthood & Working
It may come to a time when mom may decide to get back to the workforce. A father should not be the main deciding factor. Compromise may need to be made if mom is working. You can support your partner by ensuring both mom and dad duties are not neglected while she pursues a career or job of her choice.
Most workplaces now provide employees with the ability to work remotely. However, this is easier said than done as the child may as and when need undivided attention while you’re working from home. Hence, discuss if there is a need to hire a helper, send the child to the nursery, or get a babysitter.
A father should not say no to a mom’s decision to return to the workforce without a thorough discussion. She may feel left out, neglected, and perhaps depressing if too much time is spent at home.
In fact, mom are always more ready than fathers in preparing the required amount of breastmilk for their child. Hence, a father can be assured that the duty to breastfeed has been well-planned should the mom go to work. Commitment, understanding, and constant communication are all a father needs to set the family priorities right.
So, mom let the father do his role as well. Allow the father to soothe the crying baby, feed, sing, play, carry and nurture the child. They may not be able to do it right. However, it’s better than not doing it at all or not doing it often. An understanding and loving father will do whatever it takes to participate in the overall child’s development than just helping to change diapers, breastfeed and think of it as more of a mom’s responsibility than his.
Happy Breastfeeding Father!