Dad's Role in Breastfeeding

Mom, all you really have to do is hold him close, keep him "in the kitchen" and allow him to do what he needs to do. Your healthy newborn will surprise you, I promise.

The Breastfeeding Father's job has the hardest job in the family. I hate to say it, but it is true. But have no fear; I know that you are man enough to breastfeed for your family. Dad, your job is to do my job when you take your lovely new family home. When your bride wakes up at 3 in the morning and needs help getting your progeny to the breast, she won't ask me or her midwife to help get the baby on, she'll ask you.

When you go home, the spotlight will be on. You are a powerful team member and your team will have a much better chance to succeed if you are actively involved. So get in there, roll up your sleeves and breastfeed. Don't worry, I'll show you how, in part two of this series.

Tom Johnston is a midwife and lactation consultant. Tom obtained his Bachelor's degree in Nursing at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee and his Master's Degree in Midwifery at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston.

Tom is uniquely placed as a man in both Midwifery and Human Lactation and the father of seven breastfed children. He has spent his career advocating for the rights of fathers in the perinatal arena and has spoken on a variety of topics at conferences around the world, most recently for the Association of Woman's Health and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and the International Lactation Consultant's Association (ILCA). In his written work he has advocated for better science in the field of bedsharing and has authored a chapter on the role of the father in breastfeeding for Breastfeeding in Combat Boots: A survival guide to breastfeeding in the military.

Copyright © Tom Johnston. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.