Family/Parenting News Alert: Study Shows New Dads Need To Take Active Role In Breastfeeding Process


A father's role in the breastfeeding process may not be obvious to some
men, who may assume that they either have no role or little influence on the
process. "Dads can sometimes feel left out," explains Sue Huml,
international board certified lactation consultant and member of the
advisory board for Lansinoh Laboratories, a leading provider of products for
breastfeeding moms and babies. "Although mom is physically responsible for
breastfeeding, a dad can either support or undermine the success of
breastfeeding."

In fact, a new study just released last week on whether support from a
husband can help breastfeeding moms, one-quarter of the mothers were still
breastfeeding exclusively or predominately when their babies were 6 months
old - compared with 15 percent of women whose husbands attended a class on
general infant health and nutrition.

There are many things that dads can do to build their relationship with
their breastfed child. Huml offers the following tips for dads who want to
share the bond of breastfeeding:

**Share the Bond: Remember that the only thing you can't do is breastfeed.
You can change diapers, soothe a crying baby, carry the baby, and play with
the baby.

**Clean Up: Pitching in and taking over some of the household chores is a
great way for dads or partners to help out during the postpartum period.
During the first few weeks after the baby is born, pick up around the house
or run errands so mom does not have to worry about it and can concentrate on
breastfeeding and the baby.

**Gate Keeper: Moms are vulnerable to any advice because of their desire
to be the best mother. Many friends and relatives suddenly become experts
about breastfeeding and parenting when a new baby arrives. Protect your mate
from these meaningful, but sometimes harmful/hurtful, 'words of wisdom'.

**Pitch In: Mom is going to need extra sleep and care while her body
recovers. Serve drinks and snacks while your partner recovers and
breastfeeds. Get up with the baby when you can, and bring the baby to her in
the middle of the night for feedings whenever possible. When you go back to
work check in with her during the day. When possible, take a walk with the
baby and suggest your partner relax, nap, or take a bath.

**Engage Older Children: When there are other children involved a new baby
can shake things up a bit. It's important for you to step in and fill your
partner's role. If possible take a paternity leave to help with the older
children during the first few weeks. Give jobs to older children and explain
why it's important to mom that they help.

**Door Man: While it's not recommended for postpartum parents to become
recluses, it's important to only socialize when you feel like it. You can do
this by designating certain days of the week for visitors and times for
letting the answering machine get the phone. It's important to spend time
together with your new baby and alone when the baby is sleeping.

**Be On Guard: Keep an eye on mom for signs of postpartum depression. This
is the most critical job dad takes on after the new baby arrives. If you
notice your partner is restless or irritable, feeling sad, depressed or
crying a lot, lacks energy, experiencing headaches, chest pains, heart
palpitations, numbness, or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing),
talk with her and seek the advice of a medical professional. Postpartum
depression is not uncommon for both new and veteran mothers and is treatable
with the help of a medical professional.

Adding a new baby to the mix is always going to stir your life up a bit,
even if it's not your first baby. Fathers of breastfed infants soon learn
the many ways, apart from feeding, that they can bond with their new baby,
partner and even older children. Being involved is what makes you a "dad"
and not just a "father."

New and expecting moms can visit www.lansinoh.com for more information
about Lansinoh products or to register for the new weekly "Nurture Note," an
e-message that provides breastfeeding tips and words of encouragement and
support from the Lansinoh experts, as well as a free sample of the Lansinoh
Disposable Nursing Pads (while supplies last).

Note to Media: Contact Laura Giardina at (914) 241-0086, ext. 20, for more
information about Lansinoh Laboratories or Lansinoh product samples.

For the complete Lansinoh breastfeeding survey results and information and
tips about breastfeeding, visit
Lansinoh online.