Breastfeeding and expressing is restricted to mums and their babies, and this makes complete sense since it is only mums who are capable of producing breast milk to feed the baby.
However, dad’s role is often overlooked as there are so many ways a dad can get involved in the feeding relationship. Much of their responsibility comes when mum needs some help in expressing and feeding the baby.
Below is a number of ways a dad can get involved and give practical help;
1. Look after the baby
One of the easiest ways dad can assist mum when she is expressing is looking after the baby. Pumping normally requires both hands and restricts the mum’s movement. Having a supportive partner who can look after the baby will make the process more peaceful for her, which should result in a better milk flow.
2. Help find a comfortable sitting position
Pumping can be an everyday occurrence for feeding and expressing mums and it should be made as comfortable as possible. Finding a comfortable position for mum will not only produce better results but it will also help her make the process more enjoyable.
3. Take time and listen
Nothing means more to a new mum than the love and support of her partner. Breastfeeding and expressing is a learned experience, especially for first-time mums. Giving your partner moral support and taking time to listen to her frustrations makes things much easier for her. What she needs most at this particular moment is your love and affection. Encourage her to keep trying and assure her she is going to perfect it with time.
4. Store the milk and clean up
As we indicated earlier, expressing breastmilk involves both hands so any practical support will work wonders. Offer to take the breastmilk when she is finished expressing and store it in the fridge or freezer for later use, taking care to label the date and time. Another practical support you can offer your partner is to clean the pumpset and component parts after she has finished the session, this would be a great help.
5. Bring her a glass of water
Breastfeeding and expressing mothers are always thirsty. There has been proven research correlating suckling, Oxytocin release, and immediate thirst. Therefore, make sure she always has some water even before she asks for it.
6. Play her favourite music
Play your partners favourite relaxing music and allow her to unwind, this will take the attention away from expressing. Buying her some snacks, or some magazines to read is another way to support her and get involved.
The above are just a few ways of supporting your partner with her feeding and expressing. Have a discussion with her and you can both come up with the most effective ways to help. Always keep in mind that any effort you make in supporting your partner directly benefits your baby. In the process, this will at the same time create a strong bond between you and your baby.