Hi mamas! I’m Lacey, a certified lactation educator and mother of 3. I am here today to talk about how partners can support a mother in her breastfeeding experience. First I want to share a little of my own experience.
My support system starts with my partner and I am grateful he gives me the support I need to breastfeed. I was lucky that my mother-in-law breastfed all her babies and being the 2nd oldest of 6 kids, my husband was no stranger to breastfeeding. We knew that breastfeeding was what we wanted to do, even though we weren’t prepared. (Our hospital breastfeeding class was cancelled a couple weeks before my due date, they gave us movie tickets instead — yikes). The first few days were a struggle and he stood by me and encouraged me. He made sure food was made and took care of the household. He brought me books and snacks while I was helping our baby boy through those newborn marathon feeding sessions. He encouraged me to get more breastfeeding support when I had questions and concerns. I am grateful for his support, because in my vulnerable postpartum position, I needed reassurance more than anything.
5 ways partners can support breastfeeding
- Attend a breastfeeding class with her. The more you know, the more you can help! You can watch our video classes anytime. Partners love our classes because they are so convenient and can be watched in the comfort of your own home.
- Take on extra responsibilities. Mom and baby will be spending lots of time breastfeeding. Now plan for it. What gives her the most stress? Dishes? Cooking? Laundry? Plan to do more to help out and get creative with additional sources of help. Consider a bi-monthly housekeeper for a few months. Consider a meal delivery service. Think about a diaper delivery service.
- Be a cheerleader. When she is second-guessing herself and her abilities, encourage her. Help her find more resources if needed. We can help with online and in-person consultations.
- Baby care. Diapers/burping/babywearing/swaddling are all great things for partners to do! When baby is done feeding, you can help baby burp by holding him/her chest to chest and applying some firm upward pressure with your fingers. You can also be a diaper changing superhero! Babies thrive when being held. When baby doesn’t want to be put down and mom needs a shower, you can wear the baby in a carrier. When my baby was ready for sleep, my husband became the champion swaddler.
- Be there, whenever you can. Many Moms find it supportive when their partner will bring the baby from the bassinet to the mom each time baby wakes to feed during the night. Others really enjoy when their partner can give them a break as needed by babywearing or rocking baby.
We couldn’t do what we do as moms if it weren’t for great support from our partners! I like to remind partners that the more they are a part of preparation and plans prior to birth, the easier it will be to help after! How did your partner support you? If you are a single mom, how did you find the help and support you needed? Share in the comments.
I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.
Thanks for stopping by,
Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC