The Father's Role in Breastfeeding
The father’s role in breastfeeding is today’s topic for discussion. Fathers play a fundamental role in a growing family, yet their role is often unfairly relegated to a secondary position.
Becoming a parent is certainly one of the most wonderful moments of a person’s life. However, while much about mothers and taking care of their babies is well known and talked about, this isn’t the case for fathers.
Women can easily find information on what to do before, during and after pregnancy, and at every stage of a baby’s life. But what about dads?
Fathers can, and must have important and fundamental tasks in caring for their children. This is not only a gesture of consideration for their partner, but also allows fathers to build a solid bond with their children.
This is why a father’s role in breastfeeding is also essential.
Dad Provides Support in Breastfeeding
Of all the activities and care that a newborn requires, breastfeeding is perhaps the one that requires the most time and sometimes causes a lot of physical wear for the mother.
Although it comes easier to some mothers than others, we all need a hand (and sometimes several) in order to be able to breastfeed and especially to enjoy this time.
The father’s role in breastfeeding is fundamental, as they are the mother’s primary support person, day and night.
This is especially true in the first few weeks when caring for the baby requires the most work and the new parents are still adjusting to their new roles.
The father’s job when it comes to breastfeeding:
- The father should also be involved in the decision to breastfeed or not.
- The father must know as much about breastfeeding as a the mother. This means getting involved in reading, listening to others’ experiences, and attending the breastfeeding consultation. Only a father who understands the wonderful advantages of a mother’s milk for the physical, cognitive and emotional development of their child will be able to be the best ally.
The father must empathize with the mother and support her in the challenge of breastfeeding.
Understand that some mothers find it a bit complicated to breastfeed at the pace that their baby demands, but that the reward is always well worth the effort.
- A father must be the mother’s protector in the face of the thousands of thoughtless remarks, as well as recommendations from family and friends. They must work as a team.
- The father should enjoy this time just as much as the mother does. This mystical communion at the moment of breastfeeding must include all three family members.
- The father can help with breastfeeding chores, such as keeping the baby awake while nursing so that they keep eating until they are finished, bringing the mom water, finding her a comfortable place to lie down with pillows or cushions (they are always good at this!), burping, and changing the baby.
- The father can also help with household chores. Breastfeeding is an activity that takes up a lot of time and many mothers report that they feel stressed because they spend time “sitting there doing nothing” when they have other things to do. The father can help with chores like washing dishes, folding clothes, and preparing something to eat, so that the mother can have more time for her and the baby.
- The father can help with the visitors that come to the home to meet the little baby.
The father’s role in breastfeeding is essential
If you want your child’s father to play an active role in your baby’s development and childhood, breastfeeding is perhaps a gateway to this. Just because the woman is the one with breasts does not mean that this task is exclusively theirs.
Mothers always think they know best about their baby and their care. Give the father a chance to show that he also knows about his child. Enjoy having a partner in this process.
The father is the best support person for the mother – her confidant and her backup. Allow the father to step into this role.
The father’s role in breastfeeding is a right
Fathers who have been an active part of the breastfeeding process describe it as an experience that they would not trade for anything.
For them to feel important in a process where they have usually been relegated to fifth place after the baby, the mother, the grandmothers, the aunts and the neighbors, makes them feel vindicated in their fundamental role as a member of this new growing family.