So, how could you be a breastfeeding Dad instead of formula-feed Dad?
- As soon as you've got confirmation on your wife's pregnancy, discuss with her about breastfeeding. Ask her whether she wants to breastfeed and if so, how long does she want to do it for? After getting the consent from your partner, pray to Allah to make it an easy journey for your wife and you during the pregnancy, labour and also breastfeeding stage. Let Allah know of your intention wanting your wife to breastfeed your child, tell HIM how many days/months/years you would like your wife to breastfeed for. Try to make du'a after each and every prayer, Insha'Allah your prayers will be answered by HIM. Within that 9 long months (trust me, it's not long enough), research as much as you could about breastfeeding with your wife's presence, don't expect her do the research on her own. The only reason is because researching could be long and daunting process for her to grasp it all by herself! To make it easier, try and research within these topics, what food to eat, how many litres of drink a day she should consume, when should she be feeding the baby, WHY she should breastfeed! These will make it easier once the baby arrives.
- Once the baby is out, you're an official Breastfeeding Dad!!! Your duty to make sure both your wife and child gets enough nourishment begins straight after the birth. By this time, your wife would be too frail and tired. The research both of you did beforehand will come in handy by now. Make sure your wife gets enough rest whilst you do the running about (get the baby/breast pump, water/drink ready by her side, and whatever in betweens).
- Give breastfeeding a try for a month or two before you think about giving up. If you can handle nicely by this time, Insha'Allah it'll only be easier from then on. Nowadays, parents give up straight after the baby is born. No doubt, I was almost one of them. I wasn't being advised much on breastfeeding by my midwife and nurses. Khairaldin had to drink formula milk on his third day and at that time I thought, that's it, I haven't got any milk! Tried pumping and there was only a few drops coming out. Little did I know, most breasts will produce milk on the third or fourth day!! So, try not to give up before one week if your wife still haven't enough milk in them.
- Here's a fact, at one day old, baby's stomach is only about a size of a marble. It's impossible for baby to drink a lot of milk for the first few days. When the baby reaches 10 days, the stomach should increase in size and by now it should be about the size of a ping-pong ball. That is why it is normal for the milk to produce later after the birth.
All the best newly Dads and Moms!!! Let's make this journey an interesting one for your little new family. :)