I remember when my wife gave birth to Sophia, she immediately started breastfeeding and got a hang of it, but it all started when we arrived home. A few days after birth my wife was struggling to juggle recovery, nursing and breastfeeding Sophia. I could help her with the nurturing and recovery part, but not the breastfeeding part as I cannot actually breastfeed her. After feeling emasculated in my role as a husband and dad, as I felt helpless during birth and now this ‘breastfeeding.’ Seeing her waking up throughout the night to feed her and you’re just laying there, wondering what you could do. Obviously I had to do what we as husbands should do, be there and ask how we can help.
Anyway, this most debatable dilemma will be answered and explained from Midwife Lara-Marie.
MalteseDaddy: Our readers missed you, today I am looking forward to what you have prepared for us as the below information was researched and written by you correct?
Lara: Yes and yes, it’s been a while and all the information I provide is from the intensive research I do about all topics related to my job as a midwife. Today I will be going through how a dad can help if you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your child. I will point out steps and ways on how to help your child and wife.
Let’s start with Daddy and breastfeeding:
- Be in favour of breastfeeding and support your wife, deflect any negative opinions or thoughts from relatives
- A newborn feels more comfortable with a clean diaper, so you can help in changing his/her diaper before a feed
- None likes a cranky baby and if the baby is restless they tend to not be fed well, so Dads you can help in calming baby before a feed
- Help mummy get into position prior to feeding: ensure she is comfortable (helps to know the different positions of breastfeeding: lying down, sitting, football hold etc)
- You can help bottle-feed expressed breast milk: allowing mummy to rest while dad bonds with baby
- Can help in bringing mum food and drink while breastfeeding
- Encourage skin-to-skin with the dads after feeding or before feeding
Bottle-Feeding your child is the best way to bond with your child as a father, so I would recommend the below:
- Be calm and confident you know what you’re doing: know the basics of preparing a bottle (If you don’t see below)
- Find a comfortable position before starting the feed
- Make sure the temperature is right: not too hot and not too cold: test it by dropping some milk on the inner part of the wrist.
- To keep your baby from choking, hold her in a more upright position
- Always look at the baby during feed for any signs of reluctance to feed
- Skin-to-skin during feeding also helps baby creating better bonding
- Help baby burp: know methods of burping: over the shoulder or on the lap
- For very upset babies: daddies can try swaddling baby before a feed
How to prepare a bottle for feeding your child:
- Ensure sterilization
- Boil bottled water in a kettle and pour in the bottle till the desired ml amount.
- Add the desired amount of formula powder to the boiled water
- Stir milk by rolling between hands and not shaking
- Put in a bowl with ice water to get the right temperature prior to feeding.
MalteseDaddy: There you have it, dads, a guide to how to help your wife with breastfeeding and how to bottle-feed your child. Thank you Lara-Marie for your detailed guide on how father’s can be involved in the early developments of their children. What advice would you give new dads?
Lara: You are very welcome and yes my advice to all of you dads, make sure to bond with your child from an early age and be as involved as you can, this will surely build a good relationship with your child and also help your wife with the help she deserves.
Thanks again Lara-Marie for giving us your thoughts and research about an important role a dad must take during the early development of our children. Do you have any other ways a dad may help, with feeding or breastfeeding? Comment on my socials and keep following Lara-Marie’s expert advice on how to take care of our children.