Breastfeeding Dads–How to Prepare Before the Baby

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Are you a dad-to-be who’s partner is planning to breastfeed? Do you think that breastfeeding is something a woman does alone? Think again. One of the most important factors in determining whether a woman breastfeeds is the support of her partner. Here are some things you can do before the baby is even born that will help ensure that your baby gets off to a good start.

Remind the mom-to-be that you know what breasts are for and how amazing she is. Let her know that you appreciate that she wants to give your baby the best possible start in life. Marvel out loud that she will be able to nourish your baby with her breasts.

Go to a prenatal breastfeeding class with your partner.

Read about breastfeeding. Learn the facts. Dr. William Sears and Dr. Jack Newman are authors that dads tend to enjoy.

Counter any criticism with confidence.

Interview pediatricians and do some research to find breastfeeding-friendly doctors in your area.

Ask friends, neighbors and healthcare providers about recommended lactation consultants.  Call them. Have a name or two on hand and bring phone numbers to the hospital or birthing center. Your wife will love it if you take some ownership of the decision to breastfeed.

Arrange for meals and other support from family/friends/neighbors for the first 6 weeks or so—especially for after you return to work.

Learn why breastfeeding is important to the mother of your baby. Have confidence in her and be proud of her choice!

Written by Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC. Renee is a lactation consultant in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is available for home/hospital visits and phone consultations. Renee can be reached at www.second9months.com

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