A dad’s role

I'll be writing a 4 piece series with Philips Avent in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week in August.

This is my third piece: A dad's role. Have you read my first and second pieces?

Avent recognises the equally important role that daddies have to play in the parenting journey, providing families with convenient solutions for baby's best start in life and leaving more time for family bonding. Thus this is a jointly written piece from both Skai and I. Pretty much like a "She says, He says" kind of article.

Let's start off with his thoughts.

Here are some tips he has shared on how to be a supporting husband.

He says.

1. Make things comfortable

When Nadia needs to breastfeed, I usually try to make things as comfortable for her. I know in the beginning, it took a long time for Aidan to feed and she would get bored. Usually I try to make things as accessible for her. Like ensuring her phone is charging beside her, within reach so that she can always catch up on her social media news or play some games while latching. I would also prepare a handkerchief for her to wipe up.

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2. Take over, when needed

After Nadia has finished breastfeeding, I would after that pick Aidan up and burp him. I dare say that I can burp Aidan way better than Nadia now. Hurhur.

3. Cure her boredom.

If we are in the living room, I would play her favourite music or shows for her to watch and listen.

4. Remove 'distractions'.

When Nadia needs to pump, I usually try to bring Aidan out of the room so that she won't be distracted. There were times where she was pumping and Aidan cried. She was so frazzled that she toppled over her milk. So much for the saying of "Don't cry over spilt milk." She was so sad to have wasted her precious milk that she took so long to express.

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In the beginning, I made the mistake of not recognising Aidan's hunger cues.

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Like Aidan chewing on his hands and fisting his hands. These are the early cues that he's hungry and needs to feed, according to Mrs Wong Boh Boi, the lactation consultant from Thomson Medical Centre.

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The late hunger cues would definitely ensure a full-blown crying baby. I've now learnt how to pinpoint such cues. That being said, we are always thrown curveballs these days and are always constantly learning how to recognise such cues.

5. Have some me-time.

Nadia and I believe in having time to each other. We believe in "off-days". There are days where she'll meet up with her girlfriends for dinner or where I would go for my weekly soccer sessions.

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It's also a good time for us boys to bond with each other.

6. Papa can be mama too.

Most importantly, I try my best to lessen Nadia's load as much as possible. I can't breastfeed like her or do the things she does. But I can try my best to help her.

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While she takes a quick shower, I can be 'mama' too. I can feed Aidan with the milk that she has expressed. In fact, I'm solely the one bottle-feeding Aidan. When I use the Philips Avent Natural Feeding Bottle with its wide, breast-shaped nipple, I really wonder if he can tell the difference. Mama = boobs. Papa = bottle.

These are just some of the things I do as a husband and a father.

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I enjoy playing an active role.

She says.

Truth be told, in the beginning pumping wasn't easy. It was difficult. I was exhausted beyond belief in the beginning from the lack of sleep AND the burning nipples from latching Aidan. Some days Aidan didn't latch much (especially during the first few weeks where he had jaundice and slept a lot) and my breasts would feel painful, heavy and uncomfortable.

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Breast pumps were a lifesaver. Back then, my supply was slow. I would take a while to be able to pump a full bottle. It was really a time consuming and laborious process. While I have used a variety of breast pumps, I like that the Philips Avent Comfort Double Electric Breast Pump is the most gentlest to my breasts. I like the fact that I need not lean forward while pumping and I could actually rest because I can lean back!

Thankfully now, my supply has increased tremendously. In fact, I'm now an oversupply mum. Nowadays, I pump to relieve the engorgement and not to empty the breasts. The Avent pump makes it so convenient to do so. Also, the expressed milk is used to feed Aidan when I'm back at work.

Did you know that Philips Avent also has a range of innovative products perfect for breastfeeding moms?

The Philips Avent Breast Milk Storage Cups SCF618/10 and Philips Avent Breast Milk Storage Bag SCF603/25 are perfect for milk storage. I’m sure a lot of new mums also experience sore nipples during breastfeeding. Another item that Philips Avent offers are the Philips Avent Nipple Protectors to help mothers who suffer from them.

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Parenting really requires daddies to play an active role. While there are days where Aidan would nap leaving me time to do my chores, cook and pump, there are days where it's pretty impossible for me to do so. Thankfully Skai is a very hands-on dad who has pulled his weight in being a great support and help especially when I need to breastfeed, pump and have my own time.

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Overall, I think we did well. Parenthood has been challenging for both of us but it has been extremely rewarding.

I will be blogging about my transition back to work soon. I hope you are enjoying this series of posts 🙂

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