For millions of years breastfed babies have bonded with other family members other than the breastfeeding parent – partners, grandmas aunties etc. Some women in my clinic have recently asked me about introducing a bottle so that their partner can bond with baby. Feeding a baby is certainly not the only way a parent can bond with their child and it’s important to also think about the potential risks of introducing a bottle, particularly in the early days, such as a reduction in milk supply, the risks of formula milk or the effort that goes into pumping and preparing bottles. Of course if introducing a bottle gives you a break and makes life more convenient, go for it! Just don’t feel that it’s the only way your partner can have a close loving relationship with your baby.
Ways that partners can bond with a breastfed baby:
•Take baby for a walk in the sling •Have a bath together
•Skin to skin with baby
•Have a nap together
•Take over burping after feeds
•Change and dress baby
•Play, talk and sing and cuddle baby
And remember, before you know it baby will be eating solids at around 6 months and your partner will be able to contribute more to the feeding aspect of parenting!