Fathers often struggle with becoming comfortable in their new role after the birth of the first child because they worry that they may be doing something wrong or feel helpless in being unable to feed the baby themselves when it's hungry. This initial insecurity is normal and should not be a reason to despair. As the father, you can make an important contribution to the wellbeing of the mother and the baby.
Feeding the baby is only a small part of nurturing. An equally important aspect is taking care of the child, something that you as the man can do equally well as your partner. Whether it involves changing diapers, giving baths, rubbing in cream or putting the baby to bed, there are many ways of spending time with young kids and building close relationships. And your partner will appreciate having some often urgently needed time for herself to recover.
Giving birth and breastfeeding can be exhausting for your partner. For this reason, we recommend that you not only help out with taking care of the baby but also chip in when it comes to doing the household. Studies have shown that mothers who get strong support from their partner will breastfeed their baby longer. The World Health Organisation recommends that women breastfeed their babies for six months.
As a man, you of course are unable to give your baby the breast. However, your partner may want to pump some breast milk, which will keep in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for several weeks, allowing you to feed the baby with a bottle at any time. But please note that not every woman is comfortable with pumping milk, and that the baby needs to get used to drinking from a bottle.
No experts are made in heaven
There's no reason to get upset if not everything works perfectly right from the start. We recommend that you consult various sources for information or ask your partner or the midwife for advice. The main thing is that you spend as much time as possible with your new family. The mother and baby will appreciate the attention and support in every case.
The app for modern dads
The app «Mein Papi der Profi» from Hirslandenbaby provides valuable support for newly minted dads. As a digital resource, the it's effective and fun to use, thanks to its interactive videos, animations, simulations and virtual trainer.
As a person insured with SWICA, you can call the doctors and medical staff at the breastfeeding helpline of sante24 if you have further questions relating to health and breastfeeding – free of charge, around the clock. Tel. +41 (0)44 404 86 86
SWICA supports the breastfeeding campaign 2014. For more information, visit www.stillkampagne.ch