Caring for a baby can be hectic and stressful for a mum – as a dad, you may be wondering what you can do to lighten your partner’s load a bit. Here are some ideas for helpful dads...

  • Ask your employer about paternity leave – the first couple of weeks can be really nerve-wracking. Your partner will appreciate having you home for support.
  • Those late night feeding and changing sessions make for an exhausted mum. Offer to look after your baby during the day so your spouse can get some well-deserved rest.
  • Take over basic housework responsibilities – laundry, meal preparation or tidying up the house
  • Bring your partner a snack or drink during breastfeeding or help out with bottle feeding.
  • Learn how to change nappies and how to bathe your baby – share in the responsibilities!
  • Even though you can’t breastfeed your baby yourself, educate yourself so you can aid in breastfeeding. Look for signs of hunger, monitor the frequency of feedings and help your partner feel comfortable during feeding sessions.
  • It’s important that mum remains healthy throughout the taxing experience of breastfeeding. Encourage your partner to eat regularly, hydrate and get plenty of rest.
  • If your partner is having trouble breastfeeding, encourage her to seek help from a specialist and be supportive.
  • Coordinate any help from family, friends and neighbours.
  • Encourage and praise your partner – it’s hard work being a mum!
  • Be a gatekeeper – friends, relatives, co-workers might be eager to see your precious little one. If this attention becomes too overwhelming, try to limit the visitations and give your partner a break.
  • Be a source of emotional support for your partner. Listen and talk to your partner, and learn to spot symptoms of postpartum depression.

There are a lot of ways for dads to help out their partners. Make sure to maintain open communication with your partner and be a constant source of support.

References How can dads and partners support breastfeeding? / Fathers and breastfeeding How to be the perfect new dad