9 Ways Dads Can Support Breastfeeding Moms

ByJerni Camposano-GomezAugust 2, 2023
breastfeeding family
Dear dads, you play an important role in the milestones big and small of pregnancy and parenthood—including in breastfeeding, which requires a team effort. With the many challenges that nursing a child presents, mamas need all the support and encouragement they can get. You can make a difference, especially when they feel like giving up and when they are not meeting their breastfeeding goals. 
So you might be wondering: "What can I do to support my partner so that she feels empowered and confident in her decision to breastfeed?" Let us count the ways.
1. Join her in a breastfeeding class.
Before your baby arrives, consider attending a breastfeeding class with your wife. These classes teach first-time parents how to properly nurse a baby. This does not only show how much invested you are in breastfeeding, but will also equip you with the right tools and knowledge on how to be a reliable father to your baby.
2. Be sensitive to her needs. 
A simple question like “Is there anything you need?” takes some of the burdens off your wife’s shoulders. Some mamas may have a hard time moving around after giving birth. Does she need a nursing pad or a nipple cream? Does she want to watch something while feeding the baby? When nursing, ask her if there’s anything you can help her with. These gestures may seem little, but they make a whole lot of difference to a breastfeeding mama. 
3. Help her with other chores.
Are there chores you can divide or you can take from your wife so she can spend more time resting? You can offer to change the baby's diapers, prepare her meals, put your baby to sleep, or even bathe your little one. There are plenty of tasks you can take charge of that may not be related to nursing, but will give your wife more time to take care of herself. 
4. Be there during nighttime feedings.
Although nighttime feedings only require the moms to wake up, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer support at this time. Your wife may be up all night feeding your baby and even if she tells you she doesn’t need anything, your mere presence will surely make her feel better. Fix her a glass of water or just keep her company while she breastfeeds your precious baby.
Taking care of the baby is also an opportunity for dads to bond and establish a connection with their child.
5. Look after the older kids and the house.
While your wife is breastfeeding, you might want to be the one in charge at home. If you have bigger kids, attend to their needs so that it’s one less thing to worry about for the nursing mom. She can also focus on breastfeeding if she doesn’t need to think about doing the dishes or folding the laundry.
6. Spend time with the baby when they’re not feeding.
Moms need a break, too. After breastfeeding and when you’re sure your little one’s all good, be the one to burp the baby so that your wife gets to rest. You can also be the one to change their diaper or play with the baby. This is also an opportunity for dads to bond and establish a connection with their child.
7. Avoid situations that can cause her stress. 
Stress can affect a mother’s milk supply and her postnatal recovery. Ensure that nothing is stressing her out and that she is enjoying the best time with the baby. 
8. Take care of the breastfeeding equipment and accessories. 
If your partner’s pumping milk, offer to be the one to wash the breast pump and its parts. She’ll be more than grateful when these are all clean and ready, and she just needs to use them.
9. Show your breastfeeding hero how much you appreciate her.
Women who have just given birth go through a lot of adjustments—even and especially with breastfeeding. They may feel uncomfortable and in pain doing it for the first time. And when breastfeeding is not going well, they may feel like they are not doing things right. Always show and tell your partner that she is doing an amazing job, how much you appreciate them. Always offer words of reassurance and affirmations.

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