Written by Ashley Treadwell, IBCLC
We hear so much about the benefits of breastfeeding for baby - the amazing immunity they get, the perfect nutrition, the bonding with mom. We also hear a lot about the benefits of breastfeeding for moms - the output of good hormones, reduced risk of breast cancer, weight loss! But what about the benefits of breastfeeding that specifically affect the partner? We asked our fans for their ideas and here are some of the answers we got!
Hillary: The ability to hand over a fussy baby and say "here, he wants boob" and walk away.
April: They don't have to wash bottles either, or wake up in the middle of the night.
Colleen: The diapers are less unpleasant to change.
Elisabeth: Cost. That's a big one. Formula is expensive! The health problems later could potentially cost money too.
Julie: The satisfaction of knowing that you're doing the best thing for your child. My husband was very active in working with me on positioning and latching early on and when we lay in bed to nurse to sleep, he lays with us. Most nights she pops off several times to play with him. Dads can definitely be a participant in breastfeeding!
Anna Mar: Big boobs
Megan: The benefit of watching the mother of your child show ultimate love and patience toward their baby. Breastfeeding is such a extraordinary part of what us women do for their world. We have the capability to give the best nutrients to another life. That's such a miracle in itself that it is a learning time for the partner to see. The woman is giving of her love, time and energy. Such a sacrifice and that's very much a reason for the partner to strengthen their relationship!
Here are just a few more from us!
A happy wife! Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, which is often called the “mothering” hormone. It helps to decrease blood pressure and stress, which makes a mama happier, which makes life a lot easier for her partner, as well.
Birth Control. If dad is nervous about having another baby soon, exclusive breastfeeding can act as a natural birth control. No condoms or pills needed! (Note - there are specific instances when breastfeeding can and cannot be used as an effective form of birth control - as mentioned here.)
You can soothe your baby when your wife can’t. Sounds strange, right? But often, in the early weeks and months, a baby grows fussy the minute mom picks him/her up, as he/she smell mom’s milk and wants it. When mom hands that fussy baby over to her partner, the baby often calms down immediately! This could mean a lot of fuss-free snuggle time for dad and mom.
It goes without saying - breastfeeding is good for the entire family!