Once your baby is born, there seems to be a whirlwind of visitors, mixed in with several nursing sessions a day, and several diaper changes to go along with those feedings. In all of the craziness, you may feel like you need a break, or Dad may offer to do a feed so you can have a nap or shower.
If you're planning on going back to work or school after 6 weeks, and are going to leave baby with a sitter and some pumped milk (which we'll talk about in a future post), starting to give a small bottle of pumped milk around 3 weeks can be very beneficial. But if not, that occasional bottle can really do some damage.
Dads can be incredibly helpful in those first few weeks, even without doing any of the feeding. Bringing you snacks and water, helping out with the household chores while you're nursing, rocking the baby after s/he's finished feeding, changing diapers, holding a full or sleeping baby while you shower, and just giving you the support you need to continue breastfeeding if/when you face any hurdles.
Fathers have such important roles, and they don't need to involve bottles or milk. In those first weeks, if the mom can take care of the baby, and the dad take care of the mom, a household can run very smoothly.
Check out La Leche League to see if there are any father-friendly groups in your area!
Dads, along with the support and encouragement, one of the best things you can do for your nursing partner is to shower her with compliments. Sometimes, breastfeeding may make a mother feel "blah;" if you're there to tell her what an amazing mother she is, how breastfeeding makes her so beautiful, and that she's a goddess, you will raise her up so high. :)