Breastfeeding for dads
Guys – ever wondered what it was like to breastfeed a baby? Well – if your partner had a cesarean and is still recovering from a GA you might be asked to “breastfeed” your baby. Basically your baby will be placed on your tummy with the head up on your chest (in the same way they would place the baby on a mum’s chest). In most cases the baby will try to find a nipple and start sucking. Talk about man-boobs, eh!
There was an article in El Pais recently that had a story about a dad who had to do this. Very cool I thought … but it is actually a common practice in hospitals in many countries (except China where it is not done). The technique was originally invented in Colombia in 1979 but became widely accepted as a helpful practice in the 90s.
The technique also referred to as “Skin on Skin” or “Kangaroo Dad” method has been found to have a number of benefits for the newborn, such as:
• Babies feel the heat of a human body (which they are used to)
• Help newborn babies regulate their body temperature
• Babies tend to cry less
• Support of the baby’s sucking reflex
• Better latching afterwards when they are on their mum’s breast
There is of course the general benefit of skin on skin contact with a human being right after birth (which is well documented) but this technique also provides a fantastic bonding opportunity for dads. When I read about this technique I wondered whether the baby would get confused between mum and dad, but there is no evidence that I could find to suggest that it had any negative impacts on the baby or their ability to feed.
So there you go – your chance to see what breastfeeding feels like … perhaps worthwhile giving a go whether or not you are asked to do it. Let us know if you happen to be a Kangaroo Dad!