The more support and encouragement you get from your partner, the longer you're likely to breastfeed for.
Top tips from dads, for dads supporting their partners to breastfeed
- “Don’t worry if your baby struggles with breastfeeding at first. Our son took a few days to get the hang of it but we got there in the end.”
- “I think we might have had too many visitors in the first few days which made it harder to focus on getting to know our baby’s needs, so I’d try and keep this to a minimum.”
- "Don’t be scared to ask for help. It’s OK for you to call the Health Visitor, the Midwife or the National Breastfeeding Helpline, it doesn’t need to be mum who calls."
- “Do everything you can to make her life easier while she’s breastfeeding – make her a drink, or a snack to help keep her going – these wee things make a big difference.”
Partners' tips on helping with breastfeeding challenges
- “I could see that breastfeeding was painful for my wife, so I did a bit of research online and found out that just changing the position slightly of the baby on the breast can make a big difference.”
- “It can be tough just standing by if it’s not going smoothly. There’s not much I can take credit for but I reckon just encouraging her to stick with it day by day and offering moral support made a difference.”
- “Surprisingly, we soon realised that some friends and family thought formula would be just as good as breast milk. So it helps to know a few facts, such as: breast milk boosts your baby’s ability to fight illness and infection and lowers your partner’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer the longer she keeps feeding.”
One reason some mums consider other feeding options is because they want their partner to bond with baby too - but there are plenty of other ways they can build that connection.
Partners can bond with their baby by:
- bringing baby to you for breastfeeding and rubbing their back for a burp afterwards.
- placing them on their bare chest for skin-to-skin contact, creating a bond and soothing their baby.
- bathing your baby together - it's a fun way to create a bond as a family.
- reading a story is a great way for your partner and baby to spend time together. Your baby will grow to recognise and love the sound of their dad's voice.
- changing nappies! Sing songs, pull funny faces or simply talk to baby: your baby will love the one-to-one attention and you will love the break!
For more information.
Our Feedgood website is full of information to help partners know what to expect, spot any issues, and know how to support you at each stage of feeding your baby. Both you and your partner should also feel free to call the National Breastfeeding Helpline (0300 100 0212 between 9.30am and 9.30pm) for help and advice whenever you need it.