Fathers play an important role in breastfeeding. Many of the responsibilities of fathers are mentioned in the translation of Surah Al-Baqarah verse 233 which states “Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period]. Upon the father is the mothers’ provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable. No person is charged with more than his capacity. No mother should be harmed through her child, and no father through his child. And upon the [father’s] heir is [a duty] like that [of the father]. And if they both desire weaning through mutual consent from both of them and consultation, there is no blame upon either of them. And if you wish to have your children nursed by a substitute, there is no blame upon you as long as you give payment according to what is acceptable. And fear Allah and know that Allah is Seeing of what you do.”
- Moral support and encouragement
- Cannot force or deny mother from breastfeeding
- Maintenance of family and household on a reasonable basis
- Finding milk source if mother does not breastfeed
- Heir adopts responsibilities if he is not available
- Discussing and deciding weaning with mother
- Compensating a hired wet nurse
The financial support of father’s is an excellent duty which should not be disregarded. As translated narration of Thauban bin Bujdud (ra) states, The Prophet (saws) said:
“The most excellent dinar is one a person spends on his family” (Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen, Chapter 36 Sustentation of the Members of the Family).
If a father intends to take care of his family for the sake of Allah (swt), his expenses will insh’Allah be returned to him.
The translation of Surat Saba verse 39 states “Say, “Indeed, my Lord extends provision for whom He wills of His servants and restricts [it] for him. But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.”
In addition, a father can make breastfeeding a rewarding experience by setting a positive family tone, providing practical help and building a relationship with the baby. Insh’Allah, more Muslim couples intend to breastfeed their children and benefit from the Barakah of Breastfeeding.