There’s no stronger bond in Mother Nature than the one between a mother and her baby, but a newborn needs as much interaction as possible with Dad as well. What better time to help a father strengthen his bond with his newborn child than during feeding time?
When we examined the health benefits that breastfeeding provides to mothers and their babies in a previous post, we stressed that those benefits can be both physical and emotional. Mothers typically experience feelings of happiness and fulfillment, and research shows those feelings can even help prevent the onset of postpartum depression.
But as wonderful as an experience as breastfeeding is, it can also be very frustrating and stressful if the mother has trouble producing milk or difficulty getting the baby to nurse. One reason new mothers may struggle is the lack of knowledge on hand expression techniques. A father can play a key role in building (or rebuilding) a mother’s confidence and relieving anxiety by simply offering words of encouragement when a mother is trying to nurse. He can also be proactive in educating himself on how hand expression is performed and helping her learn.
Another significant way fathers can relieve stress is by discouraging and deflecting negative comments about breastfeeding in public and being an ally for all women. It may (finally) be legal in all 50 states, but too often mothers endure unnecessary stares and remarks from strangers, friends and family members who consider nursing babies in public to be an indecent act.
Dads should not think they can only play a supporting role. They need to hold, caress, and speak to their babies as often as possible. Also, consider that infants see best at a distance of eight to twelve inches and are most receptive to engaging visually when they’re in a quiet, alert state. So, feeding time presents the perfect opportunity for a father to build a bond with his baby, and providing breast milk via a bottle lets him experience that precious emotional connection.
Dads can play a huge role throughout the entire breastfeeding and pumping process by serving as an emotional and physical support to their partners and babies. Our device, Nurture by Imalac, will make pumping simpler and more convenient by mimicking hand expression, ensuring that both mom and dad can provide breast milk to their baby at home or on-the-go. This is a great way to gradually introduce a baby to the bottle as they grow older, or if Mom is preparing to go back to work or school and will rely on Dad to take over on some feeding times.