WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK - AUgust 1-7 Health

The dad’s guide to breastfeeding

It’s not just the feeding pillow; I too supported my wife in our endeavour

“Here, have a glass of milk please,” I pestered my wife one evening, even as my then two-month-old daughter broke into a cry in her crib nearby.

“So suddenly you’re all concerned about me. All because I have to feed your baby,” she said, only half in jest.

The modern-day dad, and I include myself in it, does everything for our babes. We change diapers, we clean poop, we make the bed, and we wield the kilugilupu (rattle) with elan to spread cheer. But the most frustrating thing is that we just cannot breastfeed.

Breastfeeding has always been a hush-hush topic, something that the men usually stay away from. I was determined not to. Armed with Google, the good advice of a lactation consultant, and the resolve to figure this out (as only one who is clueless has), we discussed feeding as pillowtalk. We had some very basic questions (How will this to-be baby know how to latch on), and some next-level ones (How do we ensure no germs, from say clothes, enter the baby’s system?). Ask them, not just for the sake of your baby, but also for your partner.

One of the first things we did was to buy a breastfeeding pillow. For people who aren’t parents yet, this might be amongst your first investments once you start planning a family. I highly recommend buying one. It helps your better half and your baby, and most are reusable, so you can pass it on to an expecting mother or keep it for baby number 2.

I’ve always felt that my wife had an unfair advantage because of God’s design. In the initial months, my baby always preferred being with her. Those were the days I’d feel jealous. The feeling would worsen, thanks to relatives who would ask me to deposit the crying baby to her mother for milk.

Today, my situation is far better. Ask my two-year-old daughter “yaaru pudikum” (who do you like?) and there are bright chances that she’ll say, “appa”.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 6:33:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/the-dads-guide-to-breastfeeding/article28822096.ece

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