DISCLAIMER: It’s important to note that the posts in this page are NOT intended to be a medical reference or to replace professional care during pregnancy, labor, or birth.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Father's Support in Making Breastfeeding a Success

Assalamualaikum & Greetings.

How many of you ladies face difficulties to breastfeed/ failed to do so due to lack of surrounding support as a major factor?

For most ladies/mummies, the Husband/Father of the Child is the first line of support.

Do all husbands/fathers support breastfeeding? Some do, some don't & some don't care.


"The most common reasons bottle-feeding was chosen included: 1) mother's perception of father's attitude, 2) uncertainty regarding the quantity of breast milk, and 3) return to work" 
-Major factors influencing breastfeeding rates: Mother's perception of father's attitude and milk supply.Arora S, McJunkin C, Wehrer J, Kuhn P.

"In many families, fathers play a strong role in the decision of whether to breastfeed. Fathers may be opposed to breastfeeding because of concerns about what their role would be in feeding, whether they would be able to bond with their infant if they were personally unable to feed the baby, and how the mother would be able to accomplish household responsibilities if she breastfed" 

-Wolfberg AJ, Michels KB, Shields W, O’Campo P, Bronner Y, Bienstock J. Dads as breastfeeding advocates: results from a randomized controlled trial of an educational intervention. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004;191:708–712. [PubMed] 
-Dennis CL. Breastfeeding initiation and duration: a 1990–2000 literature review. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2002;31:12–32. [PubMed] 
-Scott JA, Binns CW. Factors associated with the initiation and duration of breastfeeding: a review of the literature. Breastfeeding Rev. 1999;7:5–16. [PubMed]

The articles listed above are evidence-based facts with regards to how important a father's role is to make breastfeeding a success. So how can fathers participate?

1. Attend antental/breastfeeding classes with your preggy Mrs, and gain knowledge on breastfeeding.

2. Take part in choosing breastfeeding equipments with your partner/wife. That way, you will learn more about the equipments and be able to assist her when the time comes.

3. If possible, assist your partner/wife during labour so that she is more calm and will be in a steady state of mind to breastfeed later :-)

4. Upon delivery (if in hospital), help your wife to remind healthcare staffs that she wants to fully breastfeed and insist on early skin to skin contact for mother and baby. (Fathers should practice skin to skin contact as well to promote bonding).

5. At home, you can help your partner/wife handle the baby (eg change diapers, bathe, burp) so that your partner/wife can take a nap, pump milk, bathe and etc..
6. Wake up with your partner/wife for night feedings. Keep her company while she is breastfeeding, get a warm drink for her while she is pumping/feeding. A relaxed mind with help a mother's milk supply tremendously.

7. You can participate in feeding by warming up expressed breastmilk and giving cup/syringe feeding to your baby.
8. You can help massage your partner/wife's back to ensure her milk ducts open and milk flows smoothly.

9. You can help with breast issues like engorged breast by soaking hot towels for your wife to compress.

10. Show her love, care & gratitude for carrying your little one in the womb and for feeding your little one!

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