FATHERS PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN SUPPORTING MOTHERS IN BREASTFEEDING, SAY ST. KITTS-NEVIS’ HEALTH OFFICIALS

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 16, 2019 (SKNIS): Fathers, although they do not breastfeed children, have a lot to do in any successful breastfeeding relationship between mother and child, thus making their role extremely vital.

“Breastfeeding is very important in the child’s development, not only for the child but also for the parents, and when we say parents [we mean] fathers too. And right now, we are having fathers very involved in breastfeeding,” said Nurse Jacquelin Duncan, Assistant Nurse Manager of the Maternity Unit, during her appearance on Wednesday (August 14) edition of ‘Working for You’. “So, when we say we are advocating for breastfeeding, it is because from a healthy baby we can have a healthy nation with less complications and less adulthood diseases…”

In addition to the intimate bonding between mother and child, fathers also bond with their babies and can help calm them when their fussy. This fact was proven by Nurse Naomi Brownbill, Staff Nurse at JNF Hospital Nursery and Breastfeeding Coordinator.

“With the father, it happens as well, especially if the father is around because the baby usually knows its daddy’s smell, voice… We have seen instances ourselves where we might have a fussy baby and as soon as daddy reaches and says something the baby [goes] quiet one time. That is the voice they are familiar with,” said Nurse Brownbill, while encouraging fathers to play a pivotal role in the development of babies.  “Stick around the mommy, let the baby get accustom to hearing your voice, knowing your smell and everything.”

Breastfeeding.org states that while breastfeeding continues the exclusive relationship the mother and the infant experienced during pregnancy, it is important that a baby has a close, loving relationship with both of his parents. Getting a lot of skin-to-skin contact is good for both the baby and the father. Cuddling, bathing, and reading in a chair while the baby naps on the dad’s chest are all great relationship builders. These will give the dad and the little one a chance to bond in similar ways to the physical closeness.

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