These three tips for breastfeeding parents will help families who are having hospital births, that is over 98% of the population. For those having home births and birth center births, this is great information too!
What most people don't know is that in a hospital birth, you don't get much sleep. If you have an epidural or caesarean section, that can add a day or two onto your stay. You see, when you're in the hospital, people constantly knock on your door, go in and out, not to mention all the beeping machines just to name a couple of your sleep killers. For those of you in a home birth or birth center birth, you'll get a little more sleep, but you will also love these tips. If you're not breastfeeding, these tips still work for you, too!
TIP #1: Sleep When the Baby Sleeps!
Many times when couples get home they immediately start having guests. This is definitely not the time to have a lot of people around. Mom and dad need to get into a routine and if mom is breastfeeding, she needs to feel comfortable having people around her. When you have guests and the baby goes to sleep, mom and dad go into entertainment mode and it's time for adult conversations with your guests. This is not a good thing. Sleep deprivation makes it much more difficult for new parents to acclimate and happily bond with their baby. My suggestion is that when baby goes to sleep, both partner and mom sleep as well. It may only be 10 minutes or it could be 4 hours, but you've got to take it when you can. This makes for a happy family.
Tip #2: When the Baby Feeds, Feed Mom a Snack!
As a partner, this really gives you some street CRED. Your partner is working very hard getting used to feeding your baby if she is breastfeeding. Simple snacks can be something like cheese and crackers or bites of a protein bar and maybe even a smoothie! Many times moms that are breastfeeding are tired and have a hard time taking care of themselves. This is where you become that key partner and she's going to tell Facebook how much you rock! By the way, you can even have a little snack with her. Make it fun and social when you bring offerings to your partner.
Tip #3 When Baby Gets Clean, So Does Mom!
Partners are such an integral part of breastfeeding. Beyond just helping mom with latch corrections and making her feel loved and safe, you can also change the baby's diaper. After you have given mom a snack and she is feeding the baby, you can either set up a shower or nice bath for her so when you change the baby, mom can get clean as well. This is an amazing way to show mom that you care for her and your support can only strengthen your relationship.
Having Worked with over 21,000 expectant families, Brian created and teaches the popular Rocking Dads and Facilitating Fearless Birth classes. www.thebirthguy.com
If you’re reading this in the early morning while trying to rock your baby back to sleep, then parents: we stand with you. We’ve all been there, trying to figure out when our restless munchkins will let us catch a few more Z’s. While you can’t predict the exact timing of when your baby’s schedule will normalize, it can be helpful to get a sense of how long most babies sleep, why they wake up, and how to help them.