Breastfeeding support from the father can play a critical role for a mother. A first time mother can be encouraged by knowledgeable support from the person who is with her the most and knows her best--her husband. This support can help her tide over the first few stressful weeks of nursing and make breastfeeding successful for both her and the baby.
Husband's Support during Breastfeeding
New fathers should be made to realize that breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant's life are crucial to the infant's health and wellbeing. They should also be taught to cope with the problems associated with breastfeeding. They should read articles on the subject of breastfeeding to gain relevant information. A few words of encouragement to an exhausted mother or to one who is worried about the amount of milk her child is getting can help immeasurably towards the success of the breastfeeding program.
A supportive father can ensure that the mother is also enthusiastic about breastfeeding and continues to breastfeed for a longer period of time. Active involvement by the father during breastfeeding also promotes deeper bonding and helps both parents adapt to parenthood.
How a Husband Can Be Supportive
A husband should sit near the wife and baby while the infant is being breastfeed. He can help the mother by giving her a glass of ice or milk and ensuring that she's comfortable. Gently massaging the infant's body during nursing can help the father bond with the baby and also stimulate the baby's physical and mental development. Fathers can help burp the baby after a feeding. He can also provide privacy to the mother if she is nursing in a public place by standing between her and other people in the room. If the milk is expressed manually, the father can bottle-feed the baby and be actively involved in the process of feeding.
A husband can provide both physical and mental support to a mother and infant in the first few months of the baby's life and enhance family bonding.