James Van Der Beek's support of breastfeeding makes him #partnergoals

Even die-hard Pacey fans may be falling in love with the dad formerly known as Dawson as actor James Van Der Beek is serving some serious sweetness on Instagram lately.

The father of five recently posted a selfie snapped while his wife, Kimberly Van Der Beek was breastfeeding the couple's youngest daughter, Gwendolyn, and his caption was perfect.

"#Breastfeeding moms everywhere … we salute you," the proud dad wrote under the photo. In the comments section he added: "Non-breastfeeding moms … we salute you, too," explaining that the post wasn't about excluding parents who make different feeding choices, but was 'just trying to do our part to normalize a natural, beautiful human behavior that has been, at times, absurdly stigmatized."

We love to see partners supporting mothers in whatever what they choose to feed their baby, and research shows that the support is especially important when it comes to breastfeeding. Having a partner who supports breastfeeding can make a difference in whether a mom chooses to try it and when she stops. And when dads become breastfeeding cheerleaders, the whole family benefits.

Researchers have identified paternal emotional, practical and physical support as important factors to breastfeeding success and in enriching the parenting experience for both mom and dad. Dads feel more involved when they're able to find ways to help with infant feeding, even if they can't physically breastfeed themselves.

According to researchers, "the role transition from couple to family poses challenges to both parents. Sharing the experience of childbirth and supporting each other in the subsequent infant feeding practices is one of those challenges."

Van Der Beek had definitely been involved not only in breastfeeding, but also in the childbirth experience. Shortly after Gwendolyn's birth, he shared an Instagram picture of "Home-Birth Realness" that captured him doing shirtless skin-to-skin contact with his newborn daughter while her placenta was still attached, (and while 6-year-old big brother Joshua wandered by in a Spiderman outfit). It doesn't get more real than that.

Of course, this isn't Van Der Beek's first baby rodeo.

Baby Gwendolyn and Joshua are joined by 7-year-old Olivia, 2-year-old Emilia and 4-year-old Annabel Leah. Their father recently posted a picture of himself wearing the baby while holding two of the kids' little hands, and his caption perfectly sums up why he is #dadgoals.

"Just need to figure how to carry two more at the same time & I'm set," he wrote.

We're melting. 😍

You might also like:

Daytime naps might last just a few short hours, but they can affect all 24 hours of a child's day. Naps can improve a child's mood and reduce fussiness, crying, whining and tantrums. Studies show that children who nap daily also get sick less often, grow taller and are less likely to be obese when they grow up. Naps enhance attention span and brain development.

Naps can also help make up for any shortage in nighttime sleep. Even a one hour shortage in overall sleep hours can have a negative effect on a child—compromising alertness and brain function and increasing fussiness and fatigue.

There are many ideas for helping a child to take a nap, but the best idea in the world may not work for you if the solution doesn't address the reason that your child won't nap. There is not just one reason that babies and young children refuse to nap—there are hundreds of different reasons.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play