A Motherlode of Breastfeeding Information
The father of a breastfeeding baby is an important part to the breastfeeding relationship. In ancient times, the men would go hunt while the women would stay close to camp tending children and gathering plants. Obviously this does not suit our active lifestyles today, but in essence much is the same. It is imperative for the baby to have his mother close at hand. The breastfeeding relationship is based on supply and demand. This means that the mother needs to be close by her baby so that she can allow her baby to nurse as much as possible.
The father's role in this relationship is very important. The father of the baby can help to create a situation where mother and baby can be together. Many fathers fear that they won't be able to bond with the baby without feeding bottles. This is very far from the truth. Bonding doesn't occur through the ingestion of food through plastic. Bonding occurs through a physically, loving relationship. There are many ways for a father to connect to his new infant. Bringing the baby to the mother to breastfeed is a great way to demonstrate to the baby that the father can, in fact, meet his baby's needs. His baby will be well aware of the fact that daddy is the transportation to the food. Changing diapers, bathing, holding, carrying in a sling, singing, touching, massaging and just loving the baby are all ways that a father can bond with his baby. These are all crucial ways that a new father can develop a loving, trustful relationship with his child.
The other very important role of a breastfeeding father is as support to the mother. The early weeks of breastfeeding can be a time of exhaustion and confusion. This can be helped so much by an actively participating father. As the mother's support, the father can bring water, make food, and ensure that mom is getting plenty of rest. A father being available to care for and nurture his baby is essential in allowing the mother time to tend her own needs.
As a baby grows into a child, she will see the consistent and loving care that dad has given to her and her mother. This will create a strong bond and a valuable trust relationship between father and child, which can help mom more than a few feedings ever will. As a father, you have the opportunity to help your child get the best possible nutrition (breastmilk) for her health. You baby and his mother will love you for it.
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