How Dad’s can help
There are a number of reasons your partner may not want you to breastfeed. They may feel left out or rejected, as the new Mother and baby bond through breastfeeding. It’s worth noting that what used to be a sexual part of the body is now off limits and reserved for baby instead.
Some partner’s want to help by giving a bottle and feel they can’t do this if baby is breastfed. On a superficial level, there may be concerns that breastfeeding could cause saggy boobs or affect the figure.
Some partners see breastfeeding as a struggle and strain on the new Mother. They may have experienced a previous breastfeeding scenario that made their loved one tired and emotional. This could cause anxiety and worry if the Mother voices her wishes to breastfeed again.
With these things in mind be sensitive to their concerns. Check why they don’t want you to breastfeed. Explain how important it is to you and the reasons why.
Suggest you go to the breastfeeding session together so they have an opportunity to learn more and ask questions. As a parent, your partner is going to want what’s best for their baby, so explaining the benefits of breastfeeding can help make them feel it is the right choice, even if they may have to make some sacrifices. However, most of the concerns are illusions and can be quickly turned into positives.
Here are some suggestions of how the partner can be involved with the breastfeeding process:
- Help with hand expressing – massage etc.
- Help time the feeds in the early days and remember which breast to feed from.
- Help calm a crying baby with skin to skin and rocking/walking
- Bring food and water for Mother.
- Help checking the position and latch.
Once breastfeeding is established, the Mother can express a feed for the partner to give from a bottle if they want to do this. Frequently this would happen in the evening to give the woman a break.
Note that breastfeeding burns up to 500 calories per day and is the best thing in terms of getting your figure back! Saggy boobs are a cause of pregnancy and not necessarily breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding does not require getting up in the middle of the night to make bottles. Baby can be quietly fed from bed or in a comfy chair in a corner.
Breastfeeding does not require endless sterilising and washing up.
Breastfeeding does not require buying formula or any other costs – it’s free and on tap.