When welcoming a new baby into the world the partner of a breastfeeding mother can sometimes feel redundant. They may feel that because they can’t help with feeding the baby, there is nothing that they can do to help.
But, in reality, there are plenty of practical ways that a partner can make themselves useful and help encourage the mother to continue to breastfeed. Let’s touch on a few!
Learn All About How Breastfeeding Works, Together!
Studies show that women with partners who are supportive of breastfeeding and have an understanding of how it works and why it is important are more likely to decide to breastfeed, to breastfeed for longer and continue to breastfeed if the going gets tough.
Breastfeeding is natural, but, it doesn’t always come easily. Many new mothers need help establishing milk flow and many infants need help learning to latch on.
So, take a breastfeeding class together and be each others’ research partner. By developing an understanding of what problems may occur throughout the breastfeeding journey, a partner will be able to offer words of encouragement, be a shoulder to cry on and may even be able to come up with some practical ideas that can make learning to breastfeed easier.
Never underestimate how learning and understanding together can help; it goes a long way to promoting successful breastfeeding!
Be a Guest!
Breastfeeding makes you very hungry and very thirsty. You will need your partners’ help to make sure that you remain well fed and well hydrated.
Keep in mind that breastfeeding mums need to eat more after giving birth; the general recommendation is to eat 500 calories more per day than they did before becoming pregnant.
Have your partner prepare something healthy that can be eaten with one hand… and keep it within easy reach. It’s amazing how many times the baby has just latched on perfectly, but, the TV remote is just out of arms reach!
Be patient with each other; breastfeeding is hard and time-consuming and knowing that your partner has got you covered with simples things like, snacks and water, will ease the load.
Get Some Rest
When your baby is not feeding, try to use the time to rest. This will not only give your partner some important bonding time with your newborn, but, it will also help you to relax and re-boot.
Sometimes a break or even just time to have a shower makes your day that much easier. When you or your partner are holding your baby, you may like to use a baby sling or carrier so that you have your hands free to do other things.
Or, you may like to have some skin-to-skin time. Skin-to-skin is not just important for the new mother and baby; it is also a powerful way for your partner to have some special bonding time with your baby. Everyone benefits from skin-to-skin time!
Let Your Partner Do the Cleaning
You are probably feeling sleep deprived and exhausted, so, your partner can help to create a harmonious nest for baby and mum to bond in by tackling some laundry or wrangling some messes – wouldn’t that be nice!
Share the Night Time Nappy Changing
If your baby has a wet or dirty nappy, this is when your partner can step in to lend a helping hand! Helping out with nappy changes may seem like a small thing to do, but, it will help ease the load, especially during the night.
Once your partner has finished changing the nappy, have them bring bubs to you so that you don’t have to get out of bed. It’s the middle of the night and you’re probably feeling exhausted and will appreciate not having to wrestle your baby to your boob.
Share the Load
Breastfeeding is a full-time job and, if you’re also having to express, you will need to be cleaning the breast pump. Have your partner help by washing and drying the pump pieces and reassembling it so that it is ready for the next pumping session. Once you have expressed, have your partner help by labeling and storing the expressed milk.
How does your partner help you to have a successful breastfeeding journey? Let’s have a chat and support each other.