Breastfeeding can be awesome — but it can also be difficult, physically exhausting, and isolating.
Parents may choose to breastfeed for a variety of reasons and have a range of experiences with it, but one thing is universal: It helps to have help.
People often tout the natural beauty of breastfeeding, and that can certainly be true. But it's equally true that nursing can be physically demanding, time-consuming, and — thanks to society's squeamishness — socially isolating. Even those who love breastfeeding need moral and logistical support, especially from their partners.
Here are some celebrity dads who show us what supportive breastfeeding partners look like:
Keeping breastfeeding partners well-fed and hydrated, like The Rock did, is a good place to start.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson melted hearts with a photo on Instagram of him lovingly feeding his girlfriend while she fed their baby.
"Mama @laurenhashianofficial has her hands full nursing/feeding Baby Tia," he wrote, "so I'm feedin' mama her dinner. My pleasure. So much respect to her and all mamas out there holding it down and running things."
I’ll handle this business 😉💪🏾 Mama @laurenhashianofficial has her hands full nursing/feeding Baby Tia, so I’m feedin’ mama her dinner. My pleasure. So much respect to her and all mamas out there holding it down and running things. Just landed and good to get all my girl’s settled in. Now, I gotta go satisfy my own appetite.. Iron Paradise, here I come. #EveryoneGetsFed #DaddysGottaGoToWork #ChivalryIsToughOnTheKnees
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Not only does breastfeeding require hands, it also burns 300-500 calories a day, which can make for ravenous hunger. Nursing requires extra water too, so partners can help by bringing a breastfeeding person food and liquids.
Expressing appreciation for breastfeeding like Justin Baldoni did is another way to show support.
"Jane the Virgin" actor Justin Baldoni didn't hold back in sharing his awe in watching his wife breastfeed their baby, Maxwell.
"I love watching Emily feed our son," he wrote on Instagram:
"They share such a deep bond and I can see how much joy it brings her when everything stops and it just the two of them connecting ... It still blows my mind at how incredible the female body is and that the only thing my son has eaten since he was born has been produced by my wife."
Just took a little pit stop on the drive home. I love watching Emily feed our son. They share such a deep bond and I can see how much joy it brings her when everything stops and it just the two of them connecting. Now I’m not saying it’s always joyful but a lot of the time it really is for her. It still blows my mind at how incredible the female body is and that the only thing my son has eaten since he was born has been produced by my wife. God is incredible. #naturesmiracle #breastfeeding @weareamma #dearmaxwell #normalizebreastfeeding
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He also shared a photo he took of her breastfeeding, with words of praise for her as a mother and wife. Beautiful.
Even when she’s exhausted. When she thinks she’s failing at motherhood. When she doesn’t think she’s beautiful or sexy. When she doesn’t have anything left for herself at the end of the day let alone her family. No matter what she thinks about herself in that moment. I think she is everything. I love you @emilybaldoni. That’s all.
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Andy Grammer modeled how to support breastfeeding in public without shame.
The singer/songwriter shared a photo of his wife Aijia getting sassy with public breastfeeding shamers on Twitter and sent a shoutout "to all the moms feeding their babies without a care and in style."
God help anyone that tries to shame @aijiaofficial breastfeeding in public 👊 Visiting me on tour and it’s good to h… https://t.co/bsIhODHjFk— Andy Grammer (@Andy Grammer) 1522787410
And check out this adorable video of Grammer beatboxing in time to his daughter Louisiana's hiccups. (Another way to help is burping the baby after feeding time, BTW.)
Partners can also step up in unexpected ways when breastfeeding goes wrong, like Dax Shepard did.
Actress Kristen Bell shared a story on her online show "Momsplaining" about one of the times she had mastitis and wasn't able to get to the doctor. Mastitis is a painful and potentially dangerous breast infection. Their baby had recently quit breastfeeding, and she needed to express her milk to relieve the pain and pressure.
Bell said she told her husband, "We can talk about it, we can be weird about it, or you can just go ahead and nurse." So Shepard extracted the milk — yep, like that — and spit it into a cup.
"I've never been more in love," said Bell.
Even just cleaning a breast pump and washing bottles can make a huge difference.
When rapper George Moss shared a photo of him cleaning a breast pump after a concert, people went wild and shared the post widely.
But as Moss wrote in a follow-up post, it's a little strange that he gets all the kudos for doing something as simple as cleaning a breast pump:
"If anyone should get the credit it should be people like my wife! This woman AMAZES me! Through all the pain & soreness, frustrations, stress, etc. of trying to breast feed and pump, she gets up in the middle of the night to nurse a hungry baby."
Here's to those who enthusiastically support their breastfeeding partners.
Your words and actions make a difference.