Five Ways to Support a Breast-Feeding Mother
I have been lucky enough to stand alongside my woman and personally witnessed all the ups and downs of breast-feeding in the last 16 months. Let me let you in on a few secrets as a dad on the sidelines. You might feel pretty useless in the first few months when your girl is spending 12 hours a day feeding an insatiable alien connected to her chest. You’re just kind of on the sidelines waiting for the baby to poop, because that’s when it’s daddy‘s turn to hold him.
That brings me to number one, change diapers! It gets pretty tedious after a while being the number one maintenance man in a large poop factory. Do you feel slighted? Just remember that your woman is dealing with major engorgement, and all those crazy hormones. You got off easy buddy.
Number two, to cover or not to cover is not your decision! When your woman ventures out of the house for the first time after the baby is born she will probably be very nervous. You probably will be too. I know I was. I know that the last thing you want is the possibility of some strange guy goggling your girl as she attempts to feed the baby in public for the first time. Especially with honkers five times larger than they were when you first met, and you haven’t even gotten near them yet. She might not feel comfortable putting a cover over the baby. It might upset the baby and to not latching. It might be too hot, or just too complicated. Maybe she needs your help with the cover because she doesn’t want to breast-feed without it, but she doesn’t quite know how to get everything in all the right places. Offer to adjust the cover, or just sit in a way that blocks other peoples view. Just remember to ask her what she feels comfortable with, and ask how you can help.
Number three, leave feeding decisions up to her! I know all of this is wild and crazy. It’s new to both of you, and you’re both stumbling around in the dark, but if you want to help her remember to ask before giving the baby a bottle. If she is exclusively breast-feeding a bottle means that she has to pump, and there could be 1 million reasons why she doesn’t want to, or it’s not a good idea. It is optimal to stay away from Breast Pumps for the first six weeks while she is establishing a supply, and giving a bottle could seem harmless, but just take my word on this one, leave the decision up to her.
Number four, learn to cook! If you don’t already know how, it might be a good idea to look up a few recipes. A breast-feeding mom Burns an extra 500 cal throughout the day breast-feeding. She will probably be pretty hungry. It’s like a full work out every day, and after that who has the energy to cook?
Number five, words of encouragement! It might seem a little insignificant. I mean, after all, you’re changing all these Poopy diapers, cooking, and remembering to consult her with all the super complicated feeding decisions. Doesn’t she know you support her? Well, no. There are so many doubts, worries, and hormones in these first few weeks that it might be easy for her to get discouraged. Just a few simple words can make a big difference. Tell her she is doing a good job, and truly see the miracle that she is performing with her own body. It is pretty miraculous. Chocolate probably wouldn’t go a miss either. Remember, she has to make up for those 500 lost calories.
Dad’s play a surprisingly important role in breast-feeding. Your support can make or break this relationship. Keep these five things in mind, and hopefully you won’t find yourself with your foot in your mouth as often as I did.