A Father's Role: Why I Champion Long-Term Breastfeeding


Becoming a father for the first time is an exhilarating journey, filled with a mix of joy, anticipation, and a healthy dose of anxiety. Among the many decisions we make for our children, the choice of how to feed them is one of the most critical. When we got our first child together, I didn't know better - so my wife and I, after much research and discussion, have chosen long-term breastfeeding. And as a father, I wholeheartedly support this choice.

The reason is simple: the health benefits of breastfeeding, especially long-term breastfeeding, are irrefutable. Multiple studies have consistently shown that breastfeeding provides a host of health advantages that can last a lifetime.

Firstly, breast milk is nature's perfect baby food. It contains all the nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life, in exactly the right proportions. It's packed with disease-fighting substances that protect your baby from illness. That's one of the reasons why the World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods for two years or beyond.

Secondly, the benefits of breastfeeding go beyond basic nutrition. It can also help protect against a variety of diseases and conditions. For example, breastfed infants have lower risks of asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). They also have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea.

But the benefits of breastfeeding don't just stop at the child's health. It also fosters a unique bond between mother and child - a bond that I, as a father, have come to respect and cherish. The skin-to-skin contact nurtures an emotional connection that is deeply soothing and comforting for the child.

So, how does a father fit into this picture? I've realized that my role is to provide unwavering support. To help my wife navigate through any breastfeeding challenges, to take over other household duties so she can focus on feeding our child, and to educate myself about the process, so I can be a reliable source of information. I've also learned to appreciate the quiet moments of bonding I can share with my child during non-feeding times.

Society often places the burden of breastfeeding solely on mothers, but I believe fathers have a crucial role to play. By advocating for and supporting long-term breastfeeding, we contribute to the well-being of our children in a significant way.

As a father, I want the best for my child, and supporting long-term breastfeeding is one of the ways I can contribute to their health and well-being. I encourage other fathers to consider doing the same. The rewards are well worth it - for your child, for the mother, and for you as a father.



Jesper Conrad

Empowering Fathers, Enriching Families