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Are supportive dads the secret ingredient to breastfeeding success?

Danish men believe in breastfeeding so much that it becomes a team effort rather than just a woman’s experience.

Are supportive dads the secret ingredient to breastfeeding success?

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, people say.


From my experience, this is like saying that twisting yourself into a pretzel while preparing sushi is equally as simple. For those who have been through breastfeeding and think it is the most natural thing in the world, please stop reading this article.

Breastfeeding, for me, was very, very difficult.

And if it hadn’t been for having a husband who deeply believed in breastfeeding and wanted me to do it, I would never have made it through. He was determined to help me. He rubbed my back in the middle of the night while I cried from the pain and exhaustion of thinking I didn’t have enough milk. He sat by as I learned to use the robotic and invasive breast pump. He encouraged me to keep going when I didn’t think I could, and he lovingly pried the formula box from my hands when I begged to give up.

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This may sound like no big deal, but believe me it wasn’t. Let me say that my husband is Danish and in Denmark, breastfeeding is pretty much a given. I don’t mean to say that in a hard-core “breastfeed or die” kind of way. I just mean that it’s very much a part of the culture in Scandinavia and men help women because they want it for their babies too.

Danish men believe in breastfeeding so much that it becomes a team effort rather than just a woman’s experience who decides when to stop or whether to try at all.

Want to support your female partner in her breastfeeding journey? Ask how you can help. Bring her water each time baby’s at the breast. Take up extra tasks around the house to free her up to nurse. Encourage her to pick up products that make feeding baby easier. It’s the little things that go a long way.

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Research shows that women who get support from their partners and family members are more likely to achieve the breastfeeding outcomes they desire.

Breastfeeding never went out of style in Denmark, as it did in the U.S., so there are not gaps in generations that received conflicting messages about its efficacy. These conflicting messages, regardless of what we know now, get passed on.

You see, many people don’t realize that only about 20 percent of American women breastfed in the early 70’s. This was an all time low in our history.

Doctors were very powerful people in those days and if they told you that formula was better for the baby, then people believed it. My mom was given a shot in the hospital to stop her milk when I was born. She wasn’t even given the choice to breastfeed. It just wasn’t the done thing then.

I am not saying formula is bad, or that bottlefeeding is wrong or anything of the sort. Believe me. I was certainly ready to use it (desperately) and stared longingly at it many times. But what I am saying is that for those who really want to breastfeed but are on the fence about it, or it gets too difficult to follow through with, then the man can be essential in making the difference to keeping going.

From cracked nipples, to not having enough milk, to breast infections and the like-those first months are hard! Having someone there to support you literally and physically, with encouragement, understanding or even a back rub at 3am can be key.

Someone who is accepting of unintended boob exposure that inevitably comes from nursing and helping you manage the embarrassment that still exists around this, is also a big help. I still don’t get why bouncing boobs on MTV are more acceptable then nursing boobs on a park bench but hey….let’s hope the times they are a changin.

While it’s clear we need better maternity and paternity support in the U.S. we can at least start by seeing breastfeeding as a team effort that dads can get in on too. If both parents want it and the man is well-informed to help her through, then a woman has a much higher chance of succeeding at it.

We already knew that dads love boobs. But when men find ways to support of breastfeeding and the mamas who do it?

That’s sexy.

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By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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What you need to know about President Trump's Supreme Court pick

The President has reportedly selected his third SCOTUS nominee.

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