Dad, Partner & Breastfeeding Champion

Dad play's a vital role in the breastfeeding journey

Here at the milk bank, we believe family is what you make it. There’s no such thing as “one size fits all” and that’s the beauty of it. While there’s nothing we love more than singing the praises of our milk donors, we know that both breastfeeding and milk donation require a village. Fortunately, many of our donors have the support of a variety of partners, spouses, and relatives – all of whom are worthy of celebration. So this Father’s Day we’re sharing a few words from our incredible collective of moms in honor of their baby’s dad.

A vital role . . .

We may poke fun at dad and his “jokes” but there’s no denying that a father’s involvement impacts every aspect of a child’s life. And now, research confirms what many of us already knew: a father’s active support is critical in those earliest months – especially when it comes to breastfeeding. In fact, a recent study indicates that moms who have the help of a partner within the household see both increased breastfeeding initiation and duration rates.

“Dads have a vital role to play when it comes to breastfeeding and making that journey a success” says Dr. Brenda Anders Pring, Board Member at Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast and Pediatrician at Atrius Health. “Whether cleaning pump parts or making mom a meal, I’ve seen first-hand the difference it makes when a partner is supportive and encouraging.” 

Further underscoring the importance of dad’s role, UConn Health RN and Lactation Consultant Marisa Merlo explains “Mom may be the one feeding the baby, but breastfeeding takes a village. Incredibly time consuming, mom may feel “boobie-trapped” for long periods of time. Fortunately, dad can be extremely resourceful while mom is stationary. Bringing her water, offering words of encouragement, assisting with household chores, these simple acts go a long way. Fathers should know that their involvement in their infant’s nutrition is critical, helpful, and desired.”

And with breastfeeding providing an array of well documented health benefits for both mother and child, we say it’s also worthy of celebration . . .

In praise of . . .

Erica on Adeline’s Dad, Bradley:

“My husband has always been supportive of my breastfeeding journey, and for that I’m so lucky. I collected colostrum at 36 weeks and would be discouraged when my output wasn’t where I felt it should be. Bradley would always remind me that I was doing great and not to put too much pressure on myself. Our daughter, Adeline, is now six months old. Every single night he gets up when she gets up – even if just to soothe her while I get ready to feed her. Now that I’m back at work, he bottle feeds Adeline at night and washes her bottles afterwards. He also tidies the house every evening so there’s less to do the following morning. Every day their bond grows stronger. It’s really special to watch.”

Rachel on Archie and Jackson’s Dad, Eric:

“Whether bringing our little ones’ over to me in the middle of the night or packing the car with tons of pumping gear, Eric has always supported my breastfeeding journey. While often overlooked, it’s those seemingly small gestures that can make the biggest difference. When Archie was born it was especially helpful to have him entertain our older son, Jackson. He made it much easier for me to not only feed our newborn but eventually become a milk donor.

Jessica on Lucas’ Dad, Shayne:

“My husband Shayne is an extremely hands on dad. In fact, our family and friends often comment on how much he does for our family. It’s something we’re incredibly grateful for – especially knowing that this isn’t the case for everyone. Shayne has learned and truly mastered all aspects of being a supportive breastfeeding partner. From memorizing all of the storage and thawing guidelines to cleaning what can feel like all 500 pump parts (not to mention keeping track of our milk in all three freezers – because what if one breaks?!) he’s our rock. I feel so lucky to have such a supportive partner especially through one of the hardest yet most rewarding year of our lives raising our son. 

Devora on Jordan’s Dad, Tyrel:

“Tyrel is a wonderful man and truly the best father to our son, Jordan. He’s always been my greatest supporter – especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Every day he encourages me to keep going. Cleaning bottles, tracking feeds and packing up milk donations? It’s a lot of work but Tyrel’s support makes it all so much easier. I’m truly grateful for his support and feel blessed to do life with him.”

Key Supporters

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