A Father's Presence Is Important 

From the very earliest newborn days, fathers have an impact that reaches far into the future of our families. A father's presence is important from the beginning of a baby's life. Attachment begins during pregnancy, especially, for obvious reasons, for mothers. For both mothers and fathers attachment to a new baby unfolds and deepens over the early days, weeks and months of a baby's life.

A mother's experience is intense during almost every moment of the early newborn days. And given that much of my work as a lactation consultant and postpartum doula is to encourage and share information regarding ways for breastfeeding mothers to reach their breastfeeding goals, my focus is typically, mostly on mothers.

However, the father's presence during a lactation consultation or postpartum visit is valuable, too. During those visits, I include fathers in the process and the info I share. Fathers and other family members are often able to remember details and specific suggestions more readily than the new mama. Fathers are also in need of the information. They are not likely to have heard extensive information regarding breastfeeding or new baby care before the birth of their baby. I like to acknowledge them in the important role they have, even in the early days of parenting. There is research that confirms that a mother's breastfeeding journey is more likely to be successful if she has a supportive partner.[1] Dads are frequently the biggest cheerleaders for breastfeeding.

A father's role goes way beyond support for breastfeeding though and every family's baby moon (postpartum season) is filled with adjustments and learning. Becoming a father is a process of learning, growth and new revelations. A baby can capture the attention of his/her father and prompt total absorption by dad of his new offspring. Researchers have given the experience a term to describe it. They call this fascination fathers have with their
newborns "engrossment".[2] Have you witnessed it?

I haven't missed and suspect you haven't either, that the value your
baby's father adds to your life and the lives of your children is priceless. Remind him of that regularly. He will soak it up.

Enjoy the moments!

1. Wolfberg, A. J., Michels, K. B., Shields, W., O’Campo, P., Bronner, Y., & Bienstock, J. Dads as breastfeeding advocates:
results from a randomized controlled trial of an educational intervention. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2004;

2.Sears, William, Becoming A Father How to Nurture and Enjoy Your Family. La Leche League International 2003

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A Baby Moon Company™

Dad and baby.