10 great ways dads can support breastfeeding mums

Yes, you can make your wife’s breastfeeding journey easier ― try these suggestions!

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Whether you’re a mum or a dad, we just want the best for our babies.

And while we know that breastfeeding has incredible benefits for our little ones, there’s no denying that breastfeeding is hard work.

And unfortunately, most of the burden does seem to fall on the mum. But listen up, dads! You can do plenty of things ― priceless ways you can help your wife – to help her shoulder this task of breastfeeding your child.

Here are 10 ways you can help your wife succeed in her nursing journey.

1. Learn about breastfeeding

Even before bubba arrives, dads can pick up a book or two to learn about the benefits, and potential challenges of breastfeeding. Another option is to take breastfeeding class ― most hospitals have them all year round.

Make sure you know some key facts ― like how long each breastfeeding session should last, how often your baby should feed, and what to do if your wife feels pain on her nipples, or is engorged.

Whether you should offer these nuggets of information is secondary ― the whole idea is that your wife feels that she’s supported, and not alone on this breastfeeding journey.

Gently and firmly remind them that while you know they are trying to help, their comments may be counterproductive.

2. Be encouraging

Did we mention that breastfeeding was tough? Your wife may shed tears and say harsh words, especially while she ― as a new mum ― is going through a roller-coaster of hormonal changes. It’s up to you to gently keep her going.

Compliment her on her strength and dedication, and tell her what an amazing mum she is. Tell her she looks beautiful ― sometimes, it’s what a woman really needs to hear as she goes through 3am feedings with leaky breasts. Says mum of two Nora Ashikin, “Everyone else can say what they want, but as long as I knew I had my husband’s support, I would persevere through breastfeeding.”

3. Be her gatekeeper

Friends and relatives may long to see your newborn, and you’re probably receiving countless text messages asking when it’s a good time to visit. But you’ll know that there’s no set schedule to your peewee’s next feed, plus, if your wife gets stressed and feels flustered when bubba is crying, entertaining visitors will be the last thing on her mind. “Defend” her from the crowds, and provide her with a quiet and secure environment to nurse.

In addition, well-meaning aunts, confinement nannies and other relatives may want to offer their two cents as to whether she is producing enough milk, and whether breastfeeding is the best thing for her. Don’t just leave her to fend off all the questions, gently and firmly remind them that while you know they are trying to help, their comments may be counterproductive.

4. Care for the older siblings

Older siblings can start to feel neglected now that mummy has to turn most of her attention on the littlest one. That’s where you dads come in ― explain to jie jie that it’s daddy-daughter time, and focus your attention fully on her. Take her out on a surprise ice-cream and movie date, and let her know that you’re there to talk, read her bedtime stories and give her hugs and cuddles. And when her newborn brother or sister is older, it will be an amazing time because they’ll get to do stuff together as a family!