During the Golden Globes, Ian Somerhalder earned an unofficial-but-significant award: The Internet’s Favorite Dad—all because of the way he supported wife Nikki Reed by casually carrying her breast pump around the ceremony while their 5-month-old daughter was at home.
“Takes a real man to carry your breast pump in a ‘to go’ box all night,” Reed said in an snap on Instagram Stories that showed her husband displaying the true contents of the carry-out box.
Honestly? As hunky as we’ve always known the Vampire Diaries actor to be, he’s never been sexier than in this picture.
That’s because all too often the success of breastfeeding seems to fall squarely on the shoulders of mothers, even though multiple studies show that supportive partners are hugely influential in the establishment and duration of breastfeeding.
Sometimes that support looks like bringing a glass of water during a marathon nursing session. Sometimes it looks like encouraging mom to keep at it during the challenging early days of breastfeeding. And sometimes it looks like carrying the breast pump around one of the biggest award ceremonies in the entertainment industry.
That last one doesn’t apply to you? We love these seven practical ways for partners to support breastfeeding mamas:
- Pick a job and do it, e.g. be responsible for cleaning the pump
- Learn the breastfeeding lingo
- If she wants, help your partner go to support meetings
- Understand her breastfeeding goals
- Tell her your notice and appreciate it
- Take pictures or write down your feelings
- Plan a post-weaning surprise
Not that we’re surprised. Somerhalder is such a natural in the “supportive partner” department. He previously wrote the sweetest public letter to Reed in the caption for an Instagram picture of her Fit Pregnancy cover:
“Seeing these images reminds me of those amazing nine months that you sacrificed your whole being to grow our little one. The kindness, the beauty and organic nature of these photos makes me so very proud. You brought such fun and such power into our lives being pregnant but you literally brought the word sexy into pregnancy, we all see it. Thank you for being my partner in this life and thank you for inspiring not just me but all others who read, hear or see what your soul gives us.”
It’s also amazing to see that for as pulled together as the stars looked on the red carpet Sunday night, many of them are still just parents trying to enjoy some time out—while working around the logistics of nursing schedules.