My wife and I are expecting our second baby in a few months. Truthfully, I’ve probably been a little lax in my own mental preparation for taking care of two of these things. A reality check came in the mail yesterday….
Oh yeah. Breastfeeding. Dear God.
A flood of memories comes pouring in. Countless little breast pump supplies needing scrubbing, breast pads as far as the eye can see, and…. AHH! Something squishy just touched my elbow! Damn you rogue nipple shield! Really??? How can we be out of lanolin again?!?!
Buckle up, here we go!
I’ve discussed this before in my blog, but I wanted to take a second to remind all the dads, spouses, and significant others out there that breastfeeding is a team sport. I like to think of it as co-breastfeeding.
Relax bro, your nipples are safe. But you can help in other ways.
A new study in Pediatrics this month studied the impact of providing both parents with breastfeeding support information. At 12 weeks postpartum, significantly more moms in the intervention group were still breastfeeding, compared to a control group.1 Dads also felt more knowledgeable and helpful on the subject, and Moms felt more supported.
In our nursery at Hendricks Regional Hospital, I always make sure to make eye contact with both parents when talking and educating about breastfeeding, because I don’t want moms to feel like they are going it alone. It takes teamwork, and success can depend on it!
Again, read my earlier breastfeeding survival guide for dads to find ways you can help your amazing spouse/friend/girlfriend with this important endeavor. Attending a breastfeeding class as a couple, available at most hospitals, is a fantastic idea as well.
Good luck team! You’ll do great.
Dr. Tony GiaQuinta, MD
- Abbass-Dick J. Coparenting Breastfeeding Support and Exclusive Breastfeeding: A Randomized Controlled Trial.Pediatrics. Vol 135. January 2015.