Breastfeeding mothers need a great village of support to initiate and continue breastfeeding, not just at home but in the wider community to achieve breastfeeding success and increase breastfeeding duration.
So how can partners, friends and even total strangers go about helping a breastfeeding mum?
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Get them a glass of water. Don’t ask, just provide. It’s thirsty work!
- Partners can encourage mums to just do her best and remember to tell her you think she is doing a great job and how proud of her you are.
- Join the night shift. There’s nappy changes, burping, rocking and more. Don’t assume since your breastfeeding partner needs to be up that she should do it all.
- If you’re in a cafe and there’s only stools, find her a chair with a back for support. If you see a breastfeeding mum and don’t know her, offer her your chair, she will be grateful.
- Bring her snacks that are tasty, healthy and one-handed. Women who are breastfeeding need more calories than they do during pregnancy.
- If you see someone breastfeeding, give her a smile. You never know what struggles she might be going through or how such a small gesture could change her day.
- Look after older children. If there’s toddlers involved, provide fun activities and try and stop them climbing all over mum.
- Do as much as you can at home. This can help your breastfeeding partner rest and have more energy to learn to breastfeed and care for your baby.
- Breastfeeding can often feel isolating but it doesn’t have to be this way. Give a mother her space but don’t exclude her. Mums can still join in on conversation and be part of the action.
- Pay it forward. If you’ve been to a breastfeeding support group or know of an awesome lactation consultant, tell your breastfeeding friend. Share any support you benefited from during your own breastfeeding days.
Our support services
Find out more about how our caregivers can help support your breastfeeding journey.