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Partners who do this one (simple) thing can improve moms' breastfeeding rates

When the co-parent does chores and cooking, mama has time to focus on feeding the baby and get the rest she needs to keep her milk supply up.

Partners who do this one (simple) thing can improve moms' breastfeeding rates

When a mother is having trouble breastfeeding, it can be hard for their partner to know how to help. But according to new research out of New Zealand's University of Waikato, partners can boost moms' milk supplies by doing one simple thing: Make dinner. (And do the dishes afterward.)

According to masters student Angga Rahadian, whose research focuses on improving exclusive breastfeeding rates, psychological and physical supports from partners are vital to breastfeeding success. (Her research only looked at heterosexual couples, but it's no stretch to assume the same findings apply in all relationships.)

"Physical support is like massaging the wife when they feel tired and cooking or doing household chores," Rahadian told the Waikato Times, adding that psychological support can be as simple as encouraging a mom or just asking her what she wants for dinner.

She found that when the co-parent does chores and cooking, the breastfeeding mom has time to focus on feeding the baby and get the rest she needs to keep her milk supply up.

Empowered partners make for happier parents

For Rahadian, a mother herself, this research is personal. Her husband participated in a father-founded breastfeeding group just for dads, and she felt the impact of his participation in her own breastfeeding journey

"I have two young daughters, and was successful in exclusive breastfeeding thanks to the support of my husband," Rahadian explains. "But some of my friends weren't as lucky."

The goal of Rahadian's research is to improve exclusive breastfeeding rates in Indonesia, where she interviewed couples about the dads role in supporting breastfeeding. According to Rahadian, there's a lot of room for improvement in Indonesia's breastfeeding rates, and according to her supervisor, her research is applicable to other locations where breastfeeding rates are not meeting targets—such as the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

Moms need partners in breastfeeding, too

Dr. Polly Atatoa Carr, Rahadian's supervisor, hopes to see more breastfeeding campaigns targeting dads. That's because while the bulk of public health messaging around breastfeeding is aimed at moms, the research (and our experiences) shows partners can play huge roles, too. Rahadian is not the first researcher to make the link between the behavior of dads and breastfeeding success.

There is a growing body of evidence showing that partners are huge factors in mothers' breastfeeding choices and success rates. Researchers note, "paternal emotional, practical and physical supports [have been] identified as important factors to promote successful breastfeeding and to enrich the experience for the mother and subsequently the father."

Rahadian suggests standardized paternity leave policies are another piece of the puzzle here, because when dads get time off, they can devote more time to housework. But even without parental leave, partners can still do as Rahadian suggests and ask mama what she wants for dinner—so she can focus on making dinner for the baby.

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12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$189

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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