Source: Krista Gray, IBCLC lactation consultant and mother of four children. http://www.nursingnurture.com
Dads are a vital part of breastfeeding. Without their love, compassion, support, and encouragement a mother’s ability to nurse their new baby is not only more challenging, but will many times fail entirely. However, many first-time fathers may feel insecure in their new role as the mother and baby seem to get all the attention; he finds it challenging to bond with his child who seems to spend most of her time breastfeeding; he feels helpless during breastfeeding; and/or he struggles with the idea of his wife’s breasts either exposed or full of milk.
All of these feelings can be normal emotions! But, there are so many ways for a new father to not only bond with his baby but help his partner with breastfeeding. Focusing on these things can make breastfeeding a wonderful relationship for all three of you. It will also provide your baby with all the antibodies, immune defenses, and life-saving properties in a mother’s rich, creamy, organic, free, perfectly prepared, always-ready, delicious,amazing milk.
Here are 10 ways for dads to bond with their breastfeeding babies (and help the new mom too!):
Breastfeeding is normal and natural, but it’s not always easy. The number one reason that moms feel pain during breastfeeding is due to poor positioning and attachment of the baby at the breast. A new mom may be flooded with emotions and stress, but dads are usually able to pay close attention to breastfeeding help given after the birth and are a tremendous source of help in getting the baby at the breast correctly. Breastfeeding is new for both mom and baby and they often need support; there is no better person to help make sure baby is properly positioned than dad!
- Diaper changes
Newborns nurse frequently; they also make lots and lots of wet and dirty diapers. Mom is usually tired in the first weeks of motherhood and having someone who helps with (or takes over) diaper changes is a huge blessing! Not only does it help mom but it is also a great way to bond with your little one. Babies need to feel love and security, be fed, and be changed. If dad takes over this responsibility your new baby will learn to look to dad to fulfill this need.
- Bringing baby to mom/burping afterwards
Though mom is the only person who can breastfeed your new baby, bringing him to mom, helping him get positioned correctly, and then burping him afterwards are great ways to help mom and spend lots of quality time with your baby.
- Wear baby in sling
Newborns love to be held and, despite what some “experts” might assert, you cannot spoil your baby by holding him too much. In fact, sometimes your baby is fussy not because he’s hungry but because he wants to be held close to his parent’s heart. Tucking your baby in a sling or wrap to help him fall asleep (or just feel your touch) is a great way to bond with your baby.
- Give her a bath
Baths can be fun and relaxing times for your baby that she looks forward to. And this is a great way for dads to bond with their babies. In fact, water is so relaxing that you could even take a bath together and hold your baby skin-to-skin!
- Baby massage
This is another great technique to calm, relax, and bond together. Learn how to gently massage your baby and do it frequently – even every day!
- Rock your baby
Babies love movement. Perhaps because they were in their mother’s womb for nine months and gently swayed in the amniotic fluid as she went about her day, babies continue to enjoy gentle movements once they are born. Rocking your baby in a chair or gently gliding around the floor with your baby in your arms are wonderful calming and bonding techniques.
- Read books together
Get some board books, cloth books, and bath time books and read them with your baby often. Their attention span might be extremely short in the beginning but the stories will become familiar and they will love the feeling of curling up with dad and reading books even as they grow older.
Sing funny songs, made up songs, nursery rhymes, praise songs, prayers, and more. Babies love sound and are not only calmed by singing they will get to know your songs and, as they grow, begin to sing them with you. Then, one day, you might even hear them singing these songs to their little ones…
- Go for walks
What can be better than some fresh air, a gentle breeze, warm sunshine, falling leaves, or even bundling up in the cold and going for a walk? This is another great way for babies to feel movement, have a change of scenery, and feel the outdoors – which can do everyone a world of good. Whether you tuck your newborn in a wrap/sling or put him in a stroller, take lots of walks together.
On Friday the car was a mess and the weather was sticky and the thought of getting into the car to breastfeed was completely unappealing. I think my little three month old man felt exactly the same way as I did. So, we sat on the side of the curb by the car. I lifted my double layered breastfeeding top and did, what I thought was, a very discreet job of breastfeeding him.
Discreet or not, it made my husband uncomfortable. I don’t think it’s because he’s bothered by my breasts possibly being exposed. I think it’s more that it ignites his protective instinct. He just wants to shield me from how other people might perceive my breastfeeding.
All the same, my husband’s reaction reminded me that breastfeeding in public is not as easy as it should be.
When I breastfeed in public, I try very hard to not show anything at all because I know that it makes other people uncomfortable – even if they don’t want it to make them feel uncomfortable. And, because I know that it makes other people feel just that little bit awkward, I also have to put on a bit of bravado and completely forget what I’m doing. Otherwise my anxiousness about making other people uncomfortable rubs off on bub and the feed goes terribly…usually resulting in me spraying half the room with breast milk because little man keeps popping off.
As a general rule, people are very tolerant of breastfeeding in public and it’s wonderful that Australian law states that a woman is allowed to breastfeed her child anywhere and at any time. But there is still a stigma of awkwardness.
Does it bother you too? If it does, how do you cope with it? Or do you find that you can’t and you end up organising your feeds so that you are at home or in a place that you do feel is comfortable? Is there anywhere other than home that you do feel 100% comfortable breastfeeding? And finally, do you think it is possible to change this awkwardness?
Perhaps it is simply something that will change over time as more and more mums take the plunge and breastfeed in public. Society might then become so accustomed to it that it simply isn’t an activity worth worrying about which direction you stare in anymore.
This post was written by a Mum who works for Mamaway. Mamaway designs and sells maternity wear as well as breastfeeding tops and dresses that are easy for breastfeeding. If you struggle with breastfeeding in public, please take a look at this articlewhich offers some tips for stress free breastfeeding in public
We have all heard about the great benefits of choosing breastfeeding as the option to nourish your child. There are countless studies that will profess all the health benefits that come with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding will help prevent a long line of illnesses including but not limited to stomach viruses and ear infections. Breastfeeding has also been shown to reduce the risk of allergies as well as asthma for children. Breastfeeding has also been shown to increase the intelligence level of children and help reduce the risk of SIDS. As for mom, there are multiple benefits for her as well. As a mother, when you choose breastfeeding as an option, there is less risk of postpartum depression and a lowered risk of certain types of cancer. Have you ever thought though that in addition to all the health benefits, that there are also a great deal of monetary benefits to choosing breastfeeding as well.
Monetary Benefits of Breastfeeding
1. Reduced Cost of Formula: when you choose breastfeeding as an option one of the greatest financial benefits that you will see comes from not having to purchase formula during the first 6 months to one year of life. This figure is estimated to be £300
2. Reduced Health Care Costs: One of the great benefits for breastfeeding are the numerous health benefits that come from making the choice to breastfeed. Those health benefits also translate to monetary savings in the form of reduced visits to the doctor (reduced copay), reduced hospitalizations due to preventable illnesses and reduced costs when it comes to having to buy over the counter drugs or prescription drugs to cover those illnesses.
3. Savings on Bottles and Accessories: Finally, when you choose breastfeeding as an option you eliminate the need to purchase bottles and accessories that go along with formula feeding.
As you are making one of the most important decisions of your babies life in terms of whether to breastfeed or not, remember that the decision is a personal one and that there are groups that are here to support you along the way, because when you win, we all win.
When you first find out that you are expecting a new bundle of joy, a lot of things race through your mind. Am I ready? Will the baby be healthy? Then, finally when you settle down long enough for all the nervous energy to subside, you are faced with another challenge. How will my style change, and what all will I need to be comfortable and stylish at the same time. There are a couple of staple items that every woman should have in her collection as she prepares to embark on the biggest adventure of her life.
Start With a Comfortable Bottom
At the top of your list should be a comfortable go to bottom. That perfect bottom will depend on the time of year that you are dressing for. If you are pregnant in the summer, look for a comfortable short that will breathe well during those humid summer months. Take into account that your waistband needs to be flexible and expand with you as you move further along in your pregnancy. You also need to choose a great pair of jeans that can be worn to an evening event. If possible, look for a darker wash because these will appear to be dressier than a lighter wash. Finally, opt for a great skirt that you can wear with or without leggings so that you can create a more versatile look.
Choose Multiple Tops for Multiple Occasions
In addition to a comfortable bottom, you will need a variety of tops that can be worn to different occasions. Start with a couple of regular t-shirts that can be worn both with the shorts and the denim trousers. Choose colors that will flatter your complexion and that you will also feel beautiful in. Next, opt for one blazer that you can place over the t-shirt and pair with a trouser for an evening event. The most important element to look for when you are choosing the perfect top is the pull away feature that will provide easy access when it comes to the nursing process once the child arrives.
Choose the Right Undergarments
The final element that you need to add to your maternity and nursing collection is the right bra. Look for a bra that will be both comfortable and supportive and understand that as your pregnancy progresses, it is important to continue to have your measurements taken so that you continue to enjoy a comfortable fit. Just as you did with your perfect tops, also consider how comfortable you will be nursing in the bra that you choose.
During one of the most exciting times in your life, it is essential that you keep your focus on keeping your baby healthy and keeping yourself feeling beautiful and comfortable. After all, when you look and feel good baby will too.
A nice feedback from a customer
i just thought i’d say i really like the top i bought – it’s so much better than the other ones i’ve got as it makes me feel normal again and not like there’s nothing fashionable out there for nursing mums. I wear this top more than all my other ones as it feels so comfortable.
One thing that every mom to be does when they find out that they are expecting is to ready every book imaginable in order to get ready for what is sure to be the biggest new adventure of their life. Inevitably one of those books is going to tell you about all the must haves that you need to have in your bag the night set that you set out to welcome your new bundle of joy. One of those essential items to add to your overnight bag is of course, the perfect pair of pajamas. Your pajamas will be that one item in your bag that will make your stay feel like you are right at home. There are of course certain new factors to consider as you make your pajama selection.
Your first consideration should be the comfort level of your pajamas. Depending on the type of delivery that you will have will play into your comfort considerations. If you are having a c-section then you will want to avoid any type of pajamas that will put pressure on y0ur mid-section. Next, consider the fabric content of the pajamas that you choose. Look for soft, cotton fabrics that will breathe well and be soft again your skin.
As you are planning your necessity bag, there is another consideration that should be on your list when it comes time to make a pajama selection. You will find yourself with a new need at the hospital, a need to breastfeed. When you are comparing pajama options, pay special attention to the pull away option at the bustline. As you begin the process of breastfeeding for the first time, you will want a flap that is easy to manage and comfortable for both you and the baby.
When you choose Mamaway UK as your trusted source for your nursing lounge wear, you can rest assured that we have designed our pajamas with you and your needs in mind. We want to be there with you as you celebrate one of the most memorable experiences of your life. At Mamaway we provide you with fashion forward nursing options that will allow you to breastfeed with ease and still maintain your feminine persona during a vital transition into the realm of the new mother.
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It used to be that the words congratulations you are expecting where the kiss of death when it came to your style options. Now, though with the emergence of stylish maternity wear and nursing wear like those created by Mamaway UK you can remain your fun, stylish self all the way to the delivery room and beyond. One of the hottest trends this summer in terms of the fashion world is the maxi dress. When it comes to the summer maxi, Mamaway UK has you covered. Not only will you find the hottest colors in light, cotton fabrics, those summer staples will come with all the design elements necessary for an easy access feeding. Here you will find maxi dresses that all have a pull aside feature that allows you an easy access and modest way to feed the baby without an awkward fashion transition.
Take for example the Jubilee Maternity Dress, this maternity dress stretches while your baby bump grows throughout the various stages of your pregnancy and still provides stylish options immediately after the baby is born. Light ruching adorns the bust and waist line of the blue or red dress. A pull aside feature boasts stress free flexible feedings. With the Jubilee Maternity Dress you get the best of both worlds, a dress that you can rock in style and an easy way to provide your new bundle of joy the necessary nourishment they deserve.
The reason that the maxi dress is such a summer staple is because of the amount of versatility that it provides. A maxi dress is an all in one look that can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion. During the day, pair your maxi dress with a summer sandal and a loose beach wave in order to be ready to tackle of those important marathon shopping trips. If you are looking to style your maxi dress for an evening occasion, look for an embellished flat that will provide a touch of class to your look and then finish it off with an updo and some layered jewelry to add a more formal tone to your look.
This summer choose Mamaway UK as your summer style source, and you will not be disappointed. Here you will find stylish options that you can use to transition your style persona from pre-baby all the way to the delivery room and beyond. Here we are mothers too and understand all your concerns and want to provide you with the design elements necessary to remain stylish and comfortable during one of the most important times of your life.
We also want to give you an opportunity to try our fashion forward style for yourself so we are sponsoring a giveaway that we would love for you to enter:
Please click the link below for your chance to win a gift certificate to spend on items of your choice
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