In this 21st century male involvement has been a discussion that has been brought to the foe, if the same concept can be applied during paternity leave then it can be one of the best foundations to improve exclusive breastfeeding and help reduce both financial and social challenges and by extension reduce infant mortality that are attributed to lack of proper breastfeeding.
Hey daddy!!! Did you know you have a bigger and better role, as you celebrate the bouncing baby (boy/girl), as you rush to post it on social media platforms, taking photos and tagging friends with captions of how God is faithful and the joy of being a father?.
Remember before you sign leave forms under the pretext of going for paternity leave you should know you have more than a million plus roles to play. The main one is to support her breastfeed the baby. Not to hang out with boys in social joints to celebrate and brag to the senior bachelors how ‘NDUME’ (bull) YOU ARE.
Hey daddy!!!! do you know that you can always increase breast milk flow by just telling mom that she’s doing a great job, organizing dinner and taking the opportunity for precious dad-and-baby time (e.g., take opportunities to carry the baby in a sling, or to just cuddle him; cuddling skin to skin can help settle the baby) so mom can grab a bit of sleep are all important.
She may want to express milk, and the pain of the aftermath of CS may be too much that’s where you come in handy to support holding the pump while pumping so that the baby may not go hungry.
- Mom may need a pillow or help propping up to get baby lined up just right or changing wet diapers. At that moment she’s probably not in the best position to jump up and grab a pillow for support from across the room—you’re on it! Remember-Positioning is key.
- In addition to all the other things prolactin (a hormone that takes action in the breastfeeding cycle) does, it often causes mom to feel intensely thirsty just as her milk is really starting to flow. Does she have a glass of cold water? You know what to do! To quench her thirst.
- Breastfeeding goes best when mom is relaxed and feeling happy about her baby. Can you adjust the lighting? Put on some music? Rub her back? These are all opportunities to be a hero- Be a hero.
Nuggets to think about during your paternity leave.
If you are an upcoming daddy or you are already enjoying your leave.
- Not every mom can or wants to breastfeed exclusively for six months because it’s not a walk in the park. For those who do, however, it would be great if more dads striped up and helped.fathers can offer rest, food, water, and encouragement.
- When mothers nurse the new babies, fathers can help by being enthusiastic, supportive, and knowledgeable, you can dance, sing to both the baby and mother, whisper some sweet words it’s very therapeutic.
- When it comes to baby food, this is crystal clear—there’s nothing better than breast milk for the baby. Breastfed babies get fewer infections, and mothers who breastfeed have lower risk of osteoporosis and type-2 diabetes so you need to support her.
- Fathers obviously can’t actually breastfeed the babies. But their attitude and support can be crucial as mothers learn how to breastfeed. By learning about how breastfeeding works fathers can also be more “part of the team” and support mothers through any early difficulties.
If you didn’t know then now you know.
By John Otieno Otieno.