Last Reviewed: March 2017
Why breastfeeding is important
Father’s support is very important for successful breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding protects and contributes to your baby’s optimal health and well - being.
- is best for baby
- is free
- is portable and requires no mixing or heating
- makes for a smoother running baby (breast milk is easy to digest)
- boosts the immune system which guards against illness (just like rust proofing)
- makes for a quieter operation (less likely to be colicky)
- lets baby eat as much as he/she needs
- reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), infections and obesity later in life.
How dads can help
To make enough breast milk, mom needs rest, sleep, and food. Your help is vital. Cooking (which also includes getting take-out from mom's favourite restaurant), cleaning (yes, the vacuum), answering the phone, entertaining guests (or telling them to come back another time), shopping, doing the laundry and dishes, along with all the things you did before, are a few small things which will help keep the breast milk flowing.
Dads can help with breastfeeding by:
- Supporting mom and tell her she’s doing a great job
- Learning about breastfeeding together and get help early
- Running interference with public, family, meddling neighbours, or whoever challenges her decision to breastfeed
- Trying to help mom relax and get extra sleep
- Doing whatever mom asks (could be anything at any time of the day or night)
- Feeding mom
- Bringing baby to mom
- Helping with positioning of baby at breast
- Checking baby’s latch (baby’s attachment to mom’s breast)
- Burping baby
- Changing baby when asked or whenever needed
- Holding baby after feedings to help settle him/her to sleep
How often do babies breastfeed
Babies need eight to 12 feedings in 24 hours (amounts and times are different for every baby). Growth spurts are typically at three weeks, six weeks, and three and six months. During a growth spurt, it is normal for a baby to feed more frequently for two to four days and then return to their usual routine.
Your baby is breastfeeding well if you see:
- Day 1 1 wet diaper
- Day 2 2 wet diapers
- Day 3 3 wet diapers
- Day 4 4 wet diapers
- Day 5 6 wet diapers
- Day 6 and after at least 6 wet diapers
Don’t be surprised if every time your baby breastfeeds he/she also has a bowel movement (poop). For the first month your baby should have at least 3 bowel movements (poops) everyday.
Get help if your baby:
- Does not feed at least eight times in 24 hours
- Has fewer number of wet diapers than number of days old (for babies less than five days old)
- Has less than six wet diapers per day (for babies five days or older)
- Has less than 3 soft poops in 24 hours (if your baby is 3 days or older)
- Is very sleepy and hard to wake up to feed
- Has yellow skin and eyes and is not feeding well.
How to burp your baby
Burping is helpful to avoid build-up of gas. Dads can become pros at this in no time (some baby’s burp on their own). Place baby on your shoulder and pat gently but firmly on the back. This can be done easily sitting in your favourite chair or while strolling around the house.
For more information
- BreastfeedingInPeel.ca (Region of Peel - Public Health)
- Region of Peel - Public Health
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216
- Telehealth Ontario