A Los Angeles father-of-two has shared his advice for other dads who are unsure of how to help and support their breastfeeding partners
Muhammed Nitoto, who documents his parenting on The Chronicles of Daddy, shared his touching post on Facebook on September 5, days after Breastfeeding Awareness Month came to a close.
Alongside an image of his partner Hejira breastfeeding their younger daughter Zuri, Muhammed explained how he tries to support Hejira while she’s tiring herself nursing, from offering to help in the middle of the night and insisting she rest to showing patience.
The couple has two children together, older daughter Zendaya and younger daughter Zuri.
Zuri is still nursing, and Muhammed shared a snap of himself with Hejira feeding Zuri while holding her little hand.
‘I figured I’d drop some knowledge on my fellow Dads and soon to be Dads. Here’s what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born,’ he wrote.
‘Yup if mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you’ll wonder “what is there for me to do?” Here’s my top 5 tips for any Dad after your child is born.’
First, he wrote, don’t let mom get up alone in the middle of the night.
‘When mom wakes up in the middle of the night. You get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far,’ he wrote.
Second, he said, ask the mother if she’ll pump and designate one feeding that dad will always do.
‘Mom will take on almost everything and will burn herself out if you let her,’ he explained. ‘At times you may have to force her to rest without worrying about the baby. This is an easy way to do that without a fight.’
Third, he said, ‘Don’t put a time limit on how long mom breastfeed the baby.’
‘It’s not just about feeding your child it’s about them bonding as well. I know everyone has a different length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad it’s hard to fully understand,’ he said. ‘Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and rush this process it’s not our place and it’s not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can’t win.’
Fourth, he encouraged fathers to be patient.
‘I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important yet. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way,’ he said.
Finally, he encouraged anyone who has access to paternity leave to take it.
‘The early stages of a child’s life are not just for moms to enjoy. I know as men [we’re concerned about] making the money, especially after having a baby, but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life.
‘It doesn’t make you more of a man to not take the leave. It’s equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child.’
Since he shared the post on September 5, it’s been liked 74,000 times, and inspired thousands of supportive comments.
Muhammed frequently writes lovingly about fatherhood and how it has changed his life.
‘For anyone who has asked me if I miss the things you can do without kids, here’s my answer. NO I DON’T MISS ANYTHING. Not one ounce of wonder, not one bit of regret,’ he wrote back in February.
‘I sleep on the edge of the bed with someone in my space everyday and I love it,’ he added.
After spending a night with Hejira without the kids, he said it ‘taught me … that my life would be boring as hell without them,’ because ‘every day is an adventure.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Carly Stern