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Father’s role in the Breastfeeding journey – Changing patterns By Dr. Priya Shashank

Most moms find breastfeeding to be a very satisfying and empowering experience, but the initial days of breastfeeding a new baby can seem quite daunting, leaving her physically and emotionally drained. The support of a partner is invaluable during this time and has been found to have a big impact on the duration for which a mother breastfeeds. If you are the partner of a new mom, or a soon-to-be mom, here are a few things you can do to make her breastfeeding journey comfortable. It is highly recommended to attend a breastfeeding class with a certified lactation consultant a few weeks before the due date as it enables both the mom and baby to start their breastfeeding journey well and gives the new mother evidence-based information that will come in handy during the initial days of breastfeeding. Also, it increases the partner’s knowledge about the possible difficulties during breastfeeding, making the mom feel that she’s not alone in this journey. Caring for the mom when she is new to breastfeeding also plays a big role in showing her that she’s not alone. It can be small things like praising her for choosing to give the baby the best possible nutrition, making sure the mom’s diet includes plenty of water and fresh fruits, attending to the baby after feeding so that the mother can get her much-needed rest or encouraging her to spend time doing things she likes. Small gestures like these go a long way, in not only strengthening your bond as a couple but also in making the mother’s breastfeeding journey a comfortable one. As a lactation consultant, I see moms and babies routinely, and several times the person to call me for an appointment is not the mother but her partner. I also see dads taking notes during a breastfeeding session and I can safely say that couples with such a mutual understanding and respect for one another have more chances of breastfeeding success than a mother who feels pressured and alone in her breastfeeding journey. The support of a partner is not only valuable in a mom’s overall breastfeeding experience but also helps in preventing, early recognition, and seeking help for postpartum stress.
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