Breastfeeding with Dad

May 5, 2017

Occasionally, I hear dads feeling left out because they are not able to breastfeed…and to that I emphatically say: nonsense! With babies, there is plenty of work for everyone.

Feeding is obviously a huge part of newborn life, but there are so many things dads can do to support mama and baby on the journey. In fact, studies show that a nursing mother with a significant other who is educated about (and supports!) her choice to breastfeed is much more likely to be successful.

Here are some of my go-to recommendations to dads who want to feel present and active in their child’s nursing routine:

Build a “nursing nest”

Set up a spot with everything she needs to nurse. No need to reinvent the wheel- just find her a comfy chair, footstool, pillows, snacks, water, a cell phone charger, nursing pads, hair ties and anything else your nursing mama might need.


Hold the baby

Yep, it’s that simple. Remember, new moms often neglect the essentials of their own routine while caring for your little one. Tasks like eating, showering, using the restroom, etc seem to fall by the wayside when a nursing schedule comes on the scene. Help mama prioritize these things and take care of herself. Furthermore, be aware of her positioning when she is nursing. Is she sitting at an odd angle? Tweaking her neck or wrist? Try throwing in a gentle back rub and make mama feel like as much of a priority as baby.


Be the gatekeeper

We love our family but even the best intentions can muddle our vision of what’s right or wrong for mama and baby. Of course, advice is great but be conscious of when it is overwhelming the nursing process more than improving it.


Honor the process

If mama is committed to breastfeeding then support her on the journey and don’t try to change it. Allow the process to unfold and give mama confidence it will be ok.  It won’t always be easy but you will figure it out together.

Listen closely to the professionals

New moms have a ton going on- it’s hard to keep all this new information straight. As my very experienced and wise husband says, “making it easier isn’t the point, supporting mama through the struggle is.” As the mother of 3 very unique little bundles, I couldn’t agree more.

Breastfeeding with Dad

Willow Merchant

Momseze Blogger

Mother of 3 diverse boys ages 8 to 16, lover of all things mama & baby, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Registered Nurse(RN), International Board Certified Lactation Consultant(IBCLC), Reiki Master, Certified Infant Massage Instructor(CIMI), Certified Childbirth Educator(CBE), Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician(CPST).

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