While the act of breastfeeding takes place between the mother and baby, dads are integral to the breastfeeding relationship. A dad's support (or lack thereof) can make or break the breastfeeding relationship. Here is a helpful list of do's and don'ts for dads of breastfed babies.
‣ DO support the mother in all of her breastfeeding decisions, whether that is to breastfeed for a short time, extended breastfeeding, exclusive pumping, supplementing with formula, nursing in public, deciding to wean, etc.
‣ DON'T get uncomfortable around her breastfeeding or if she chooses to breastfeed publicly with or without cover. It is beautiful, natural and a legal right.
‣ DO stick up for her if family, friends or complete strangers make rude, unnecessary comments.
‣ DON'T insist the baby needs the boob every time he or she cries. Attempt soothing your little on in other ways before handing the baby to mom.
‣ DO offer to take over a feed if mom needs a break, especially in the middle of the night. She'll appreciate it immensely.
‣ DON'T insist on bottle feeding the baby before mom is ready to introduce bottles. The breastfeeding relationship is delicate in the beginning and babies could develop nipple confusion. You'll get your chance to feed your little one soon enough.
‣ DO your research on the benefits of breastfeeding, potential problems, legal rights of breastfeeding mothers and lactation consultants in your area in the event that mom needs some help.
‣ DON'T encourage mom to give up breastfeeding before she is ready. Encourage her to continue as long as it's benefiting her and your little one.
‣ DO help mom by washing bottles, offering to bring her snacks or drinks while she's stuck under the baby and help with household tasks.
‣ DON'T FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT EVER put the baby on the mom's breast without her permission. This is so incredibly irritating and utterly disrespectful to the mother and her body.