5 Ways to Involve Your Partner in Breastfeeding
It could be the one bummer of breastfeeding: It's not easy for Dad to help with feedings when Mom's got the goods. But you can still get him involved, making life easier for yourself and letting him in on some of the baby bonding.
1. He can bring the baby to you. Big deal, right? It may sound like a minor contribution, but when baby is up every few hours all night long, you will be seriously grateful if your partner gets out of bed and brings that little bundle to you. It saves your back a few minutes of strain, and gives you a feeling of camaraderie -- the whole family is up together.
2. He can burp baby afterward. To prevent gas and other digestive troubles, you should pat or rub baby's back for five or 10 minutes after a feeding, You won't always get a burp, but you frequently will. If you've been up breastfeeding for half an hour already, being able to pass the baby to your partner so you can go back to sleep will be a blessing.
3. Have him give the occasional bottle. You may find yourself with extra milk, especially in the morning, Pump and save it, and let your husband give it to baby in a bottle. (While he does so, you'll probably have to pump again, but that's okay.) Baby might be fascinated by the fact that Dad's doing the feeding, and your husband will probably like being able to provide the milk once in a while.
4. Ask him to massage your back or feet while you nurse. This is SuperDad territory! But seriously, your husband would probably be happy to help you feel better. Just tell him what you'd like him to do -- men can't read minds. Some nursing moms find that they don't want to be touched, and that's okay. Perhaps he can bring you a glass of water, put a pillow behind you, offer you a magazine, turn on the radio, or provide whatever else you need to feel comfy.
5. Get him involved with solid-food feeding. Some breastfeeding moms get so used to being in charge of meals that they keep right on running the show once baby is on solids. But introducing solids is a great time to get Dad in the act -- he's just as capable as you at wielding a spoon of rice cereal.
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; La Leche League
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.