Fathers are Ace!

I am just listening yet another talk on our professional body ILCA’s website: a research study on fathers’ role on breastfeeding outcomes.

“Mothers who received support from their child’s fathers had an exclusive breastfeeding prevalence of 25% in the intervention group, as compared to 15% in the control group.”

That is a BIG difference!How can we help fathers, partners and family members be more supportive of breastfeeding, and hence CHANGE OUR APPALLING BREASTFEEDING RATES IN THE UK?

1. Just knowing this fact is an eye opener, isn’t it?

2. Informing fathers, partners and family members as well as health care professionals about the basics of breastfeeding goes a long way!

3. Paternity leaves would be an amazing game changer!

4. Making fathers aware of THEIR own importance and directing support towards them, involving them in ante- and postnatal preparation and support sessions.

How does it translate into my practice? I talk to FAMILIES as opposed to just mothers.

Almost all my antenatal and newborn video calls have fathers present, and I make sure they are SEEN and ADDRESSED. They are such a central part of the team and they rightly want to be appreciated for it! They are not a spare part who will ‘take the baby’ occasionally when mother needs a break! They will do the BEST job supporting the mother of their babies, IF they are involved in all discussions around baby, trained and informed in how they can boost the confidence of the mother and protect the breastfeeding relationship.

What is/was your experience?

Did you get supported by your partner/husband?

What sort of things did they do or say that helped you most?

Do you wish anything happened differently and would change next time around?

What support would your partner/husband have appreciated?

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