Breastfeeding mums face huge challenges – from latching issues, engorgement, breastfeeding illnesses such as mastitis and difficulties expressing milk comfortably at work. Breastmilk has been shown to be beneficial to babies’ development and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends to breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months of a child’s life.
A breastfeeding mum requires loads of support. If you’re a new father, here’s how you can play a part to give your wife a morale boost to ensure that your baby receives the best form of nutrition.
- Lend a helping hand
Whether mum direct latches or exclusive pumps, dads can support mums in different ways. When mum is latching baby, you can place a cushion behind your wife’s back to make it more comfortable, or bring her a drink to help her stay hydrated.
If the baby is on the bottle, offer to take over the feeds. Not only does it give your wife some time for a power nap, you also get to bond with your baby! That’s a win-win situation! After your wife finishes expressing breastmilk, help her to wash her pump equipment, bottles and pop them into the steriliser.
- Read up more about breastfeeding
A mother new to breastfeeding may encounter sore or cracked nipples which may bleed. By reading up on the causes of painful nipples and correct latching methods, you can help to soothe your wife’s misery and make the breastfeeding journey a more pleasant one. Otherwise, search for recommended International Board Certified Lactation Consultants available in Singapore.
Breastfeeding Mothers’ Support Group and hospitals such as National University Hospital and Mount Alvernia have certified lactation consultants who will be able to ease engorgement, correct latching methods and assist in the use of breast pumps.
- Feed her well
Did you know that breastfeeding mothers require an additional 500 calories daily? Stock up the refrigerator with wholesome, fresh foods such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrain, fish, poultry, seafood, beans and legumes to make sure that the calories taken in are nutritious as well.
There are certain ingredients which may help with the production of breast milk, such as oat, salmon, flaxseed, millet and barley. Take note that the milk-boosting effects may not be apparent for every woman and an ingredient which increases breastmilk production for one woman may cause a decrease in supply for another.
In addition, 88% of breastmilk is water. To prevent dehydration, it is essential that a minimum of 2L to 3L of fluids a day is consumed. Besides water, breastfeeding mums can consume soups, juices, water, lactation tea or even milk to make up the daily fluids needs.
- Support your wife against naysayers
During the breastfeeding journey, your wife may encounter unpleasant remarks from relatives, friends or strangers. Some may downplay your wife’s breastfeeding efforts and make her feel lousy by commenting on the amount of milk produced or the size of your baby.
Support your wife’s decision to breastfeed by fending off these remarks politely but firmly.
- Pack breastfeeding essentials for outings
With a constant lack of sleep, your wife may be too tired to pack baby’s diaper bag when your family goes out. Other than packing items that baby needs, remember to throw in a nursing cover and/or pump equipment with milk bottles so that your wife can breastfeed comfortably even when she’s outside.
Congratulations on this brand new journey together as parents! The above tips should help daddies to make your wife’s breastfeeding journey more bearable and less stressful. Have more tips to add on for new dads? Add a comment to let us know!