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For dads in breastfeeding families, Father’s Day marks a special time to call attention to their own health and wellness along with that of their loved ones. Breastfeeding is a family health issue impacting all new parents, including 1.9 million stay-at-home dads and 48% of fathers taking time off, with or without paid paternity leave, for the birth or adoption of their children.
Searching for ideas to celebrate fathers and paternal partners who support breastfeeding? Look past the goofy gag gifts and tired symbols often associated with this traditional holiday.
Here are some ways to recognize the amazing dads who are caregivers to nursing moms at work and at home:
Kitchen hero. Dad’s help in the kitchen lets mom stay healthy and rested to focus on feeding nutrient-rich, immunity-boosting breast milk to their child. As active caregivers, fathers can prepare nutritious meals and clean breastpumps and breastfeeding items. Cookbooks, milk-boosting food and ingredients, and smartly designed, safe cleaning items can be bundled into a kitchen-themed Father’s Day gift basket for special dads among families, friends, and work colleagues.
TLC-section. Post-operative recovery calls for extra helping hands in breastfeeding plans. With sore abdominal incisions, Caesarean mothers will need assistance positioning their newborns for skin-to-skin breastfeeding right away. Dads can ease the experience for moms after C-sections by changing baby’s diaper first, placing her into a comfortable position for latching at the breast, and then soothing the little one to sleep after feeding. After the milk supply and latch are well established, moms can occasionally pump their breast milk, which dads can bottle feed to baby. Make dad and baby’s bonding time together special with an ample supply of milk storage bags, bottles, and a baby donut pillow.
Baby blues. Did you know that 1 in 4 new fathers have PPD, or Paternal Postnatal Depression? Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 10% of new dads can experience depression before or immediately following their baby’s birth. Rest, exercise, and a healthy diet are essential, but so is mental well-being. It’s important for fathers to talk about their own feelings with a confidante or health professional committed to helping their families thrive.
Healthy Horizons welcomes both fathers and mothers in breastfeeding families!
Connect and learn by enrolling in Healthy Horizons' online support groups and lactation classes, along with webinars! To inquire directly, contact Healthy Horizons at Services@hh-bc.com or (650) 579-2726.