Los Angeles-based dad Muhammed Nitoto is telling it like it is when it comes to having a new baby, and he has a lot to say about what fathers could be doing to help, especially if Mom is breastfeeding.
In one of many Instagram posts about life as a dad, Nitoto talks about what it’s like the first few weeks and months after a child is born. Particularly if the mothers are nursing, “at times you’ll wonder ‘what is there for me to do?’” he says. Well, plenty, he points out, and offers up these five tips for dads:
• When Mom wakes up for night feedings, get up and ask if she needs help or something to drink. “The truth is most of the time she will say no,” he admits, “but just the fact that you offered will go far.”
• Ask her if she can pump, and then offer to feed the baby yourself—and choose at least one feeding that you can always do. Nitoto says this is a great way to help her get some real rest without worrying about the baby.
• Don’t put a time limit on how long breastfeeding should last! He compassionately acknowledges that it’s different for everyone.
• Be patient. He promises that more “daddy time” is coming, and there will be plenty of it.
• Take paternity leave if you can. “The early stages of a child’s life are not just for moms to enjoy,” he says, adding, “you can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn’t make you more of a man to not take the leave.”
He tops it off with the great advice to tag someone else who might need the information.
Nitoto describes himself as “dad-voate” and “the greatest daddy storyteller, enlightening moms and inspiring dads one story at a time.” A father of two, he also recently wrote a searingly honest post about male postpartum depression, saying he hadn’t been aware of it and didn’t think it was something men had to deal with. He shared his guilt about not being where he expected to be in life and not being “enough” for his daughter, and talks about how he kept it to himself because he thought that’s what men were supposed to do—and he was wrong. He added tips to that post too, telling dads to ease up on the pressure they put on themselves, talk to their partners and find other fathers to talk to.
His messages are clearly resonating—this super-enlightened dad has over 33,000 followers, with each post getting thousands of likes and hundreds of comments. One in particular summed it up: “You are the epitome of what a supportive dad and partner is.”
Want even more tips on how you can support breastfeeding moms? Check out our top tips here.