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A Partner's Role, Helping with Breastfeeding

Easy ways your partner can help with the duties of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is a family practice, everyone may need to pitch in. Even big brother can help bring mommy her water bottle!

When it comes to breastfeeding, much of the focus is understandably on the mother and baby. However, fathers and partners play a crucial and supportive role in the breastfeeding journey that can significantly impact its success and the overall well-being of the family. Here are my top 10 ways partners can contribute to and support breastfeeding:

1. Emotional Support

Breastfeeding can be physically and emotionally demanding for a mother. Partners can provide much-needed emotional support by being patient, understanding, and encouraging. A simple "You're doing an amazing job" can go a long way in boosting confidence and morale.

2. Practical Assistance

Partners can take on practical tasks to ease the other parent's burden. This includes household chores, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of older children. By handling these responsibilities, the lactating parent can focus on breastfeeding and rest, which is essential for milk production and recovery.

3. Creating a Supportive Environment

A calm and stress-free environment is beneficial for breastfeeding. Partners can help create this by ensuring that the home is a peaceful place, free from distractions and stressors. This might involve managing visitors, maintaining a quiet atmosphere, and providing a comfortable space for breastfeeding.

4. Being Informed

Understanding the basics of breastfeeding can make this new adventure easier. Both parents should educate themselves about the breastfeeding process, potential challenges, and ways to assist. Attending prenatal classes, reading books, and seeking advice from lactation consultants can be very helpful.

5. Nighttime Support

Breastfeeding often involves nighttime feedings, which can be exhausting! Partners can help by bringing the baby to the mother for feedings, changing diapers, burping and soothing the baby back to sleep. This support can make nighttime breastfeeding more manageable and less tiring.

6. Offering Physical Comfort

Skin-to-skin contact, holding, and rocking the baby can help soothe and bond with the infant. This can also give the mother a break and allow her some time to rest and recharge.

7. Advocacy and Protection

Partners can advocate for the mother and baby’s needs in various settings, such as ensuring they have privacy and comfort when breastfeeding in public or visiting family and friends. They can also help protect the breastfeeding relationship by setting boundaries and managing expectations from others.

8. Encouraging Professional Help

If breastfeeding challenges arise, partners can encourage and support seeking help from lactation consultants or healthcare providers. A proactive approach to resolving issues can prevent frustration and ensure that breastfeeding continues successfully.

9. Building Confidence

Partners can boost a mother’s confidence by reminding her of the importance of breastfeeding and celebrating milestones and achievements, no matter how small. Positive reinforcement and appreciation for the mother’s efforts can reinforce her commitment to breastfeeding.

10. Bonding with the Baby

While it may feel like breastfeeding leaves you out of the loop, partners have their own special ways to bond. Oxytocin is not just for mom and baby! Bathing, skin to skin reading, playing, and simply holding the baby are great ways for partners to build a strong connection with their child.

The partners role in breastfeeding is multifaceted and invaluable. By offering emotional support, practical help, and creating a nurturing environment, partners can significantly contribute to the breastfeeding journey's success. This partnership not only benefits the mother and baby but also strengthens the family unit as a whole. Embrace this role with enthusiasm, knowing that their support is crucial and deeply appreciated.

Searching for one-on-one breastfeeding support? Virtual and in=person consultations are available seven days a week!


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