Struggling to Breastfeed? Breastfeeding is a team activity so bring your
partner on board!
Today we will look at how your partner and family can support you with
Even though a growing number of mothers start their babies on breast
milk...only 1 out of 4 keep breastfeeding their baby for the first six
Why not stick it out longer? The biggest reason is not having enough
breastfeeding support. This includes support from a lactation specialist or
provider, support at the workplace or support at home.
Your partner and family can be the support at home that you need at home.
This is not the time to hold back- ask for what you need and involve them
in this journey.
TRUE! A breastfeeding mother needs support and
encouragement even before the baby is born. So, it's important to involve
your friends, family, and particularly your partner in the whole journey
right from the beginning!
Here are some things you can do:
Become familiar with the breastfeeding basics. Ensure
your family/partner knows what's in store during your child's first days.
Read together so you BOTH are prepared!
Set objectives. Sit down together to come up with your
childbirth plan and breastfeeding goals. This will assist you with getting
on the same page about what breastfeeding success looks like.
Attend a breastfeeding class together. The more your
partner and family learn about breastfeeding, the more they can support you
Even if your partner or family was not involved in breastfeeding classes
before the delivery...it’s not too late to get them involved after.
Supportive behaviors from partners like knowledge, help, encouragement and
responsiveness can play an important role in your breastfeeding journey.
Ask your partner to be present and involved with breastfeeding.
Knowledge: If your partner or you
did not attend breastfeeding classes before delivery that’s okay.
Review some basic tips with your partner.
Attend a postpartum class together.
Consult with a lactation counselor so that both of you can
understand the basics of latching.
Help: Here is some practical
support from partners and family. Of course, they can always ask you what
you need or just offer up assistance.
They can bring some tea or snacks while your nurse.
They can help you position yourself with pillows, so your back is
Partner can be the 'soother-in-chief' —
answerable for burping, diaper changes, wrapping up, and cleaning
the infant so you can get extra rest in between.
Help out with the needs of other kids, if this is not your
Encouragement: Emotional support is
equally as important!
Your partner or family member can:
Sit with you (if you are okay with that) while you nurse. Sometimes
nursing can feel isolating.
Be a listening ear so you may verbalize how challenging
breastfeeding is and get emotional reassurance
Make time in the day so that you can focus on mental wellness. This
may be in the form of a shower, taking a walk, having some quiet
time or nap (whatever you may need)
relationship partners convey understanding, validation, and caring.
Your partner should:
Be sensitive to your needs.
Listen and try to understand how you are feeling.
Speak with compassion and warmth
Yes, they can!
But it's a good idea to wait 4-6 weeks until breastfeeding is really
established before starting a bottle now and then.
What's more, when your baby proceeds onward to solid food, there are so
many ways the daddy can engage with that…chopping, mashing, tidying up all
the food that winds up on the floor!
At the end of the day…
Do not underestimate the enormous difference a partner's help can make in a
mother's breastfeeding journey. Partners who are present and involved
during breastfeeding while also being responsive and sensitive to the needs
of mothers, have been shown to help improve breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is a team sport...and with everyone on board, you can face
any challenge that breastfeeding throws your way!
MaternalWell text support is here for you for any general questions or
reach out to our licensed lactation counselor for a private consultation!