Are you a new dad? Have you ever wished you could do more to help, watching as your partner struggles to nurse your child? Thought about telling her how to do it? Surely not. Helped to get her more comfortable? Hopefully! Dads and partners alike are a critical part of the nursing process, but the ways in which they offer support can make all the difference. Here are a few ways you’ll be able to aid a breastfeeding mum and live to tell the tale!
Even though they know it’s coming from the right place, saying things like ‘you got this’ or ‘just try and stay positive’ to a new mum can just become annoying. Instead, simply sit near, listen incessantly, massage her neck or shoulders if she likes it and let her know that you’re there for her, whatever she may need. If you’re feeling super generous (which you will be) once mum and baby have finished, pop your child onto your shoulder and burp them. Let your partner know you’ll take it from there and that they can have a nap or shower to relax.
Get to Know Your Stuff
Just because you won’t be doing any breastfeeding yourself, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to learn your stuff. Cluster feeding and engorgement can hurt like hell, so researching and suggesting different ways for her to hold your baby that might make them both a little more comfortable can do the world of good. Try to avoid sounding patronising with your knowledge, but calmly explain what you’ve read and ask her if she was aware of it as you think it might help.
Resources to Hand
Make sure you have contacts to hand when your partner needs a professional second opinion. Keep a note of your regular doctor, GP or nurse’s number so that if you feel she’s struggling you can ask if she wants you to make a phone call.
You’re Part of it Too
You may not be supplying the milk, but you don’t have to be a useless sack... Which you’re far from anyway! What you can do is create a warm and satisfying setting for mum and baby. This could be done by plumping the pillows, keeping her cool or warm when needed, making sure she’s hydrated and doing other errands that need to be completed around the house that will reduce stress. Doing so will leave your partner at ease and you’ll both be able to focus your efforts on your child.
One Step Ahead
Whether you have pets or older children, always make sure they’re occupied with fun activities that’ll leave their mother to nurse in peace. Try to be on step ahead to avoid any arguments about the kids getting in the way or making too much noise when you know your baby is due a sleep soon. Keeping this kind of stress out of home will keep the atmosphere calm.
After you've let them take all this in, let us know what the best thing is that your partner does to help while you're nursing in the comments.