Friday, August 10, 2012

A Question for the Dads out There

In gathering background for a short series on dads, I ran across a paper on a study that focused on dads of breastfed babies. The study included measures of the support and help that the dads had received since they had become fathers. The researchers reported that 83% of the participants reported that they "did not find the help they received in recent weeks to be helpful." Even more, none of the dads in the study reported that the help they received was very helpful. None. While I would hope our readers are getting the help that they need as they learn about their babies and their new roles, I really have no idea. So, I want to ask our dads out there, what kind of help do you most need? What action, knowledge, or support would be most helpful to you?

Leave us a comment and let us know.


  1. I'm a new father - we have a sixteen month old, and the next is due in February. My wife breast fed for about 13 months. I don't recall actively searching for information; my wife was proactive in her search for information, and she included me whenever she felt it was necessary. My guess is that I'm in a relatively common scenario. I'm in the target demographic for the study your question references, and I don't know how I would answer the survey questions because I didn't really do much searching.
    I can't think of anything I needed to know that wasn't covered in my wife's notes for me. She served as filter/distiller. What she needed to know spanned several books. What I needed to know could fit in a bulleted blog of 20-50 points. Maybe someone just needs to document those 20-50 points and make them searchable/discoverable.
    The information is definitely out there, but it's largely buried within information that isn't terribly relevant to the partner - what the milk letdown feels like, how to estimate volume, nipple care, etc.

  2. Though I'm not a father, I teach "baby wellness" classes to expectant parents and parents of infants 0-6 months. Our classes focus on how to play, handle, communicate, and bond with babies at this age. The feedback we've received from dads has been great with the most common thread being an increase in confidence with what to expect as well as how to carry and interact with babies. Often times the comments are also about not knowing what questions to ask or general anxiety about how to handle a baby that young.