Did you know that fathers can significantly influence whether their partners breastfeed and for how long? However it can be difficult figuring out how to support a breastfeeding mama.

Dads tend to feel excluded with the breastfeeding relationship that develops between mom and baby. Many dads want to help their partners with breastfeeding but don’t exactly know how. If her nipples are sore or the baby cries a lot, should he offer to get bottles and formula, or encourage her to hang in there?

Here’s some ways breastfeeding moms can involve dads:

Share information with him about the importance of breastfeeding- When he knows why it matters, he’ll be more motivated to help.

Discuss Breastfeeding Goals:
While it is recommended to breastfeed for two years and beyond, each family and situation will likely mean different. Maybe you think three months is long enough; maybe you see two years as just the beginning and plan to nurse until your toddler weans himself. This is when you should talk to your partner about what’s important to you.
If you start to encounter problems, then you need to discuss what would you like him to do? Do you want him to rub your back and encourage you to keep trying? Or head to the store to buy formula and bottles?
Communicate ways different kinds of hands-on support are also appreciated:
Perhaps he could bring you the baby, with a drink and snack if you need them. Maybe you discuss and make a plan like once the baby’s done, Dad can change diapers, help burp and rock the baby back to sleep while you get a little more rest. While they can’t directly help with breastfeeding, there are several ways that dad can support mom and baby.
Encourage a relationship between dad and baby
Dads can special superpowers when it comes to their babies. He might be brilliant at getting up stubborn burps, or have the magic power to sing the baby to sleep with his deeper voice. Putting the baby skin-to-skin against his chest can also be soothing for the baby as well as encourages attachment. This is also a great way to do “tummy time.” Keep in mind that this will require a lot of trial and error but as he begins to learn the baby’s individual cues and signals and personality, their relationship will be able grow stronger.
It is important to support each other through the early challenges of breastfeeding and parenting. This is not only important for mom but also for dad.

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