There's one really great way to level up and become an extraordinary first time dad, and it's simple: focus on bonding with your baby. But, how do you do that exactly? Well, in this post we break it down for you, and share the perfect tool to help you do it.
In our practice as lactation consultants we have the honor of supporting families with our prenatal class and have been given insights from the perspective of countless dads, and partners about their views of becoming a new parent. What we see commonly: the partner feels left out of the whole pregnancy experience, and can feel disconnected from the process.
And that makes sense I suppose. I mean, all the appointments and classes are about mom and baby. Not about dad. So it would seem their role is secondary to their partner and baby. That is not how we feel. We feel very strongly that partners need to be fully included in the prenatal experience, and have a crucial role in the breastfeeding relationship as well. Being an extraordinary first time dad/partner comes down to one very simple thing- Bonding.
But how do you bond with your breastfed baby? Do you give your baby a bottle and give your partner a break from breastfeeding? (Well... if you've read our top tips you know we don't recommend this.) Do you play with baby? Read to baby? Massage baby? Often partners are discouraged from bonding with their babies because newborns are very mom obsessed, and usually are happiest at the breast. Nobody wants to hold a screaming baby.
But, bonding with your baby can be easy if you have a few skills, and there's one crucial bonding method that is tried and true, and will set you up for success!
For those of you who are exclusively pumping, I absolutely applaud you. You deserve all the brownie points, and all the brownies. In my opinion, exclusive pumping (EP) is more challenging than nursing a baby at the breast. At least, emotionally, and sometimes physically too.
It's harder to establish and maintain a milk supply when you EP, challenging to pump and care for a baby, and often comes with a slew of emotions around not nursing baby at the breast. These are just to name a few.
That being said, there are countless women who are not afraid of that challenge and take on the EP journey with stride (and a whole lot of support!) And to those of you in it, I tip my LC hat to you (and my momma hat, and my friend hat, and my stranger hat) because I see the struggle EP mommas face in my practice, and want you to know I see how hard you're working, and no matter what anyone says to you or thinks you're just as much a breastfeeding mom as any other breastfeeding mom.
With that said, I also wanted to provide you, brave EP momma, with more than just recognition. In today's post, I have some gold for you (liquid gold if you will). We are going to cover the topic of Exclusive Pumping, as I chat with an EP expert and share all of her best tips, and a few of mine too.
What you don't know about your breast pump actually can hurt you..... literally.
It can hurt your nipples, and your milk supply. So knowing how to use your pump properly, and having a pump that fits is the difference between being successful with pumping and struggling to keep up supply, or worse (and we've seen it often) causing damage to your nipples.
When you're struggling with pumping and maintaining your milk supply with your pump, don't be hard on yourself, it's likely not you, momma. The first place you should be looking is the equipment you're using, and how you're using it. It's almost never something wrong with us, and instead improper pump usage or malfunction.
So if you're not sure if it fits, pumping is uncomfortable for you, or your output is not what it should be, you can get support to figure it out.
How much time have you spent thinking about your birth? If you're like most first time moms, I bet it's alot! You want to know exactly what to expect, and that makes complete sense- you've never done this before. You've taken the birth class, you're preparing for labor and practicing your pain management techniques... All of this is good, really important stuff, BUT- you're missing one really important piece.
One of our new segments on the blog is the Successful Breastfeeding Story Series, and the journeys we are capturing are absolutely blowing me away! This one is no exception.
This episode of the Successful Breastfeeding Podcast I had the honor of chatting with Gopika. She is a single mom, which is no easy feat (I've been there too!) and she is raising a beautiful daughter with some unique challenges.
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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