Join Us in our Breastfeeding Journey
Like any other daughter… I am what you call a daddy’s girl, between me and my sister. Unfortunately my sister died when she was 6 years old and I was already 9 years old then. I always call my dad Dadbud and he is a home body man. Growing up, my parents never fight over money and anything else. His vices was not an issue and I can say that simple life is a joy! Since June 15 was Father’s Day I am so proud to express my love for him because it also happen to be his 78th Birthday! To my Dadbud Happy Birthday and Happy Father’s Day!
So how do I relate it with my topic? and to what I’m going to write about….
“Involving The Dads in your Breastfeeding journey.” First, I would like to give honor to my Dadbud as well as all the fathers around the globe who in one way or another had major roles and made an impact in every motherhood’s experience.
Since I’m not yet married and didn’t literally experienced breastfeeding, I can only describe the things which dads, fathers and husbands should know in order for them to be involve and know they’re in this journey!
For nearly 8 years of being a breastfeeding coach and conducting free breastfeeding classes for 4 years, I have seen and observed Dads – Husbands participate in a mother’s breastfeeding journey. During that duration, 40% of the husbands are really supportive to their wives and it’s not just because they’re being forced to attend or just join the bandwagon. To my observation and surprise, other husbands had eagerness and willingness to know and learn more on how they can support their wives when the baby arrives and also when the breastfeeding starts…while 20% are dependent to infant formula which is easy to purchase. Ooooops! Do I see a raised of eyebrows and some facial expressions upon reading this ?! Or, nodding of heads….? Saying, Yes! Dads should be involved and be a part of this breastfeeding journey ! In my heart I’m smiling 😉 and have the feeling of relief if you’re agreeing with I’m saying. I will share with you steps and ideas on how a Dad, a father or a husband can have his part…. Ready?
1. Let’s Do the Talk – expectant moms, should read articles about breastfeeding an infant (developing inside the womb). The meaning and explanation of full term, twins and preemie which you can Google. Set a time to share the information with your husband. At least he will have an idea on how you can handle several challenges and difficulties during the trimester or few months of your pregnancy.
2. Have a Date – “Prioritize attending free breastfeeding class as much as you can” but be wise enough not to attend classes that will only sell products that are not a necessity or vital while breastfeeding (be practical). Invest only on things that can help you continue with breastfeeding.
3. Try Shopping – I’m always saying in my class to shop for your doctors (OB-Gyne and Pediatrician) who can give support and more knowledge on breastfeeding not just telling you to do it.
4. Write it Down – Make your birth plan ahead of time and discuss it with your doctors. Know your right as a parent and insist on things that you know will keep you and your baby safe as the mom. Topics like
a) Skin-to-Skin Babe is In! It’s a method of human incubator. Putting or placing your baby In-between your chest without anything and just covering him/her with blanket or towel. Skin-to-skin is by just putting the baby’s in-between the chest even with clothes on. Warm body and hearing the heart beat of the mom or dad is also a part of skin-to-skin. So, what I’m saying to these expectant couples…. Do it! This is not only advisable for Mom but also for the Dad. This could be the best bonding time with your little buddy. You can be an instant human incubator and iPod…just by hearing your heartbeat brings music and happiness to them
b) Rooming-In is another best option for mom and baby. While Dad can help in changing the nappy, hold the baby upright or even cuddle after nursing. But if baby falls asleep with the mom it’s okay no need to burp. Dads can offer water and snack to the wife or any other assistance while mommy is nursing the baby.
c) Intaking of supplements. Do not give any of it to your Infant unless prescribed by the physician. A Dad can cheer up the wife to relieve the stress after childbirth. It can make her breastfeeding fun because the cry of a hungry baby is sometimes deceiving which gives a tired mom stress and frustrated. A simple cheer can make her feel special and loved.
5. Designate the Tasks – Discuss everything with your partner on who’s going to do the task like preparing, checking, changing, doing some errands… Grocery and buying other stuff.
6. Invest and Get Help! Nowadays, everything are “instant”, 3-in-1… just a remote control and soft touch, isn’t? But when it comes to breastfeeding or expressing milk for your precious child, you need to invest for the best and get help as much as you need to ensure that there would be no interruption for a mom when she nurses or when she is giving pure breastmilk.
a) If you’re a working mom or really loves to travel, go and buy a breast pump which is very useful. Just check if you’re comfortable with the funnels.
b) To ensure that you’re not going to encounter common breastfeeding problems like trauma of sore nipples, engorged breasts, lumps or clogged ducts, inflammation and more struggles of latching your baby, you need to learn how to maneuver your pump. Call a breastfeeding coach and set an appointment prior to the delivery so your wife and baby will have a “Romantic Introduction” leading to Love at First Sight and not the horrific experience hearing your wife say… “My baby is a monster!”
On top of all this lists Involving the Dad in this journey… sure you can still add some knowledge and idea to them as far as I can think… Control and Hosting is usually common to Chinese couples and families which is a part of their culture and tradition… Welcoming a newborn is a Good Luck and everyone are excited to see the mom and the baby immediately after delivery. Meaning everyone will go to the hospital for a visit. Dads, you can make an advance requests to friends and relatives that they can visit in 3-5days or just limit the numbers of visitors so mom & baby can have the luxury time together to “Getting to Know” and practice latching… Nursing direct. Feeding a baby , attachment and bonding comes first.
Hope after reading all the lists you’re eyebrows are still on the normal level. 😉 Don’t quote me as I don’t imposing anything. I’m just giving you some tips on how the Dads can be involved and be part of the Breastfeeding Team.
Again, if you can say No to any supplements and artificial teat and bottles… It’s the best way to avoid any problems. Breastfeeding should be an enjoyable, nurturing relationship that reaches deep into the heart and creates a bond of love and trust between the child and mother.” -Coach Z