A Partner's Role in Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is a very personal and emotional journey for every mother. Even if breastfeeding is going well it is still a challenge to be the only source of nutrition for your child. A partner can help mom along on this journey with these little tidbits 🙌🏼
- Ask before you touch mom during a feeding or pump session. Some women are sensitive to touch while their breasts are being “tugged at” by baby or a pump machine and additional touch might be too much 👥
- Rephrase how you talk about feeding/pumping 🍼 “How did pumping go?” vs “How much did you pump today?” How much a woman pumps can fluctuate day to day however even knowing that, some women might feel anxiety or failure if they didn’t pump as much as they did the previous day. Asking specifically how much they pumped may bolster those negative feelings.
- “Did you eat healthy today?” vs “Are there any foods I can get you at the market?” 🥗 Food plays a big part in healthy breastmilk but sometimes it’s hard for a mom to make herself something more than just opening a bag of chips or grabbing a cookie from the jar. 🍪 Try not to judge her – a new mom is hardwired to think about baby all the time and she might forget to eat or might be too overwhelmed to cook for herself. If you notice she’s eating poorly or barely eating, ask if there are foods you can get for her or offer to cook her a meal. You could even turn it into a home date night! 💃🏻
- It’s hard to get in on the physical action of breastfeeding or pumping. Just asking if you can bring her something to snack on or if she needs more water is a big help! 💦 Possibly you just keep her company while she’s feeding or take the opportunity to have some one on one time with baby while mom is pumping. Once she gets the hang of different positions, suggest you have a family feeding session where she feeds in the side lay position on the bed with baby between you both! 💋
Most importantly, be open to her feelings. She might get frustrated, be sad or upset, or she might come running into the room proudly holding a full bottle of freshly pumped milk! Whatever the feeling, allow her to talk about it, honor her feelings, and a hug is usually always appreciated 💫