It might not be you who will be breastfeeding but your support and encouragement are a vital part of ensuring that both your baby and partner are happy and comfortable. Dad is a great website that offers you lots of information on how you can help your partner during breastfeeding and we’ve answered some of the most common questions that are on dads’ minds here.
For more ideas on how dads can support their partner while she's pregnant click here
Do I really make a difference?
Dads play a big part in their partner’s decision to breastfeed, so if you’re positive then your partner should feel more comfortable and proud to breastfeed.
What can I do to help?
Successful breastfeeding takes a lot more than just breasts, and your help plays a massive part in how comfortable and happy both your partner and baby are. It’s normal to feel like a bit of a spare part at first but there are plenty of ways to get involved and play your part:
- Make time to talk and tell your partner how well she’s doing, there’s nothing like a compliment to keep her happy and positive. There might be a lot going on but try and make time to talk to your partner about how you’re both feeling and offer your support and love.
- You might not have breasts but there are plenty of other ways you can keep your baby happy. Bath time, nappy changes, playing and walks are all activities that you can make your own.
- You can take charge of the housework and make sure that any older children in the family keep out of mischief.
- Encourage your partner to keep her strength up by eating and drinking regularly, and if she’s finding things difficult help her to seek out any extra support she might need.
I’m worried that I’ll feel pushed out.
It’s normal to feel a bit left out when everything seems to be about the baby and your partner’s doing all the feeding but it’s a really important time and breastfeeding gives your baby the best start possible.
There are plenty of other ways that you can get involved to start off with and once your partner is breastfeeding successfully then she might be able to express some milk so that you can feed your baby too. It’s really important not to introduce formula milk to replace breastfeeding, as it will affect the amount of milk your partner produces and there might not be enough milk for your baby.
I think breastfeeding will be embarrassing when we go out.
Lots of dads worry about this before their baby is born but once your baby arrives and starts feeding you’ll realise how discreet and handy it is. Your partner can feed while you’re out and about and most people won’t even realise.
There are also lots of shops and restaurants that are breastfeeding friendly so there’s no need to worry.
Will breastfeeding affect our sex life?
Having a new baby to look after tends to mean couples have less sex whether they decide to breastfeed or not, although many women find that breastfeeding boosts their sex drive!
If your partner is breastfeeding it can sometimes result in vaginal dryness so you might want to try a lubricant. Breast stimulation can sometimes cause milk to be ejected so either have a towel on hand or make sure your baby has had a feed before having sex.
You might have heard that breastfeeding can act as a contraceptive but you shouldn’t rely on it, it’s always best to use other contraception as well if you don’t want another baby just yet!
Dad's and breastfeeding leaflet courtesy of NCT Click here to download the current resource.