When you become a dad, there are so many emotions you experience. In addition there are nerves that start to creep in as well. You are now in charge of another human being. There are so many changes that you will go through as a dad. Yet, as we all know, mom has gone through so many more changes. Now more than ever is when you need to be there not only for your child, but your wife. I have teamed up with Medela and their Kin program to help dads understand things you might miss when new baby arrives. As a father of two, I would like to share with you some of the things that I did to help out my wife when she was breastfeeding.
Go Beyond Washing Bottles When It Comes To Breastfeeding
One of the biggest themes I hear from new dads is that they feel useless when it comes to feeding their baby. New dads look for ways to connect with their child. It is tough since the mom is the one who nurses their child. When our kids were little, I told my wife I would be happy to do anything to help with feeding our child. My wife started pumping breast milk using Medela products long before I started the Art of Fatherhood. I would clean the equipment, bottles and parts to try and do my part. I would help with bottle feedings. This gave my wife some time and me some quality bonding moments with our new baby.
That was an easy part. When my wife went back to work, I needed to step up my game even more. I was the stay at home dad. I would communicate with my wife on how many bags of breast milk I used that day. It was a way for us to keep up with the demand of her breast milk. When my wife would have dinner out with her team for work or she would have a much deserved night out with her friends after work, I would meet her in the parking lot so she could nurse our children. It was through communication that helped my wife and I create a plan that would work for us. A piece of advice I would offer to new parents is talk openly with each other and how you can work together during this time when your wife is breastfeeding. Each family is different and you need to do what is best for your family.
What I Learned Working With Medela
One way that we can all help moms feel comfortable with nursing is making sure that both at home and at work there is a safe environment for breastfeeding and pumping breast milk. My wife, like many women who got back into the workforce after having a child, had a lot to deal with on many fronts. One is getting back into their routine at work. There is also the stress of balancing work and home. The list goes on and on. These factors and others are things we should all think about to make sure that women feel supported when going back to work.
What about a safe place at work for women to either breastfeed or pump their breast milk? I would encourage men and women to talk with their HR department. They can learn what the company has in place in terms of nursing stations and ways to talk with women who are coming back from maternity leave. Of course it might be an awkward conversation without knowing what to say. Men might feel uncomfortable talking to women who need help in creating an area where she feels safe to nurse at work. This is where talking to your HR team comes into play. The more steps that are already taken before women get back to the office, the better it will be for everyone. Whether you are at home or in the office, take the time to go the extra distance to create a welcoming atmosphere for women who are nursing. For more on how you can help check out the Kin program over at the Medela website.
Please note: I am working with Medela on a sponsored campaign. I am receiving payment for my work, but my thoughts are my own.
21 thoughts on “New Dads, Let’s Do More to Help Her Be Successful With Breastfeeding”
The baby monitor was always on my side. I remember nights of getting up, getting my daughter, placing her on her mother to feed and getting her back to sleep without my wife ever even waking up. lol
That is legit!! Well done Jeremy!
This takes me back a few years. I tried to do whatever I could when my wife and I became parents. New dads, listen to Art. He shared a lot of great points.
I wish my company had systems in place like this when I came back to work. I was stressed finding a place to pump while at work. This is an issue men and women should have at work. Thank you for raising awareness on your platform.
Totally agree Kelly.
I listened to your podcast as well with Jeff from Medela. The sandwich example is very powerful. This is something I feel goes unnoticed. Breast milk is food and companies need to make sure women can pump their milk in a safe and clean place. Go Medela!!!
Yeah, that sandwich analogy is perfect to put perspective on this topic.
Never really thought about this even though my wife and I have three kids. I will talk to my team to see if we can be proactive instead of reactive at work to create a friendly environment for women comign back from maternity leave.
Good to hear Gary. Glad you are looking to be a great advocate at work!
When I was a new dad I was just thinking about being a good dad and did forget to care for my wife as much as I did before our child came into our lives. This was a good gut check for dads to check on their spouse as much as they care for their newborn.
I know a lot dads felt the same way. It is tough to balance everything when your baby comes into your world.
Thank you Art for letting dads know how they can do more. I am lucky to have a partner who was very helpful when we brought our baby home. He would help with feedings and other things so I didn’t feel like it was only on me.
Thanks Brenda. Glad your partner was making sure he had your back!
Just heard both podcasts with the two people from Medela. Really didnt think about women needing a safe place at work when they are breastfeeding. Those podcasts were very eye opening.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Peter. Make sure you check out the Medela website for more info.
I am right there with you, Art. When my wife gave birth to our twins I tried to do as much as I could to help out my wife. She did all the work. The least I could do is pull my weight around the house and help take of my kids AND my wife.
Well done Harry! Well done!
I was trying to do too much for my wife. I never asked her what she needed. After we learned this, it was easier getting into a routine with our new son. I spoke to my team at work about Medela as well. Trying to make sure other new moms are taken care of too.
Thanks for the honesty Lenny. Like I say on my podcast, communication is key!