A Partner’s Role in Supporting Breastfeeding
A breastfeeding mom has a new set of needs when it comes to breastfeeding a baby—and as her partner and support, you can help fulfill some of those new needs and ease the transition.
- Be a learner. Learn all you can about breastfeeding before your baby is born. Help mom remember these things you learned. Remind her that she makes more milk by feeding more often. Check to see if she and the baby are positioned correctly. Help to make her comfortable. Bring her a glass of water or juice when she is breastfeeding.
- Be a coach. Mom needs encouragement at first, so if things don’t get off to a good start, be positive. Get help for mom if breastfeeding is not going well.
- Be patient. It takes time to learn a new process. Don’t expect mom and baby to be able to master breastfeeding at first. Don’t be quick to offer a bottle with formula because mom is tired, you want to help or you are worried about how much the baby is really getting. Your intentions are good, but this can cause mom’s milk supply to decrease. Instead, help mom and baby in other ways.
- Be a protector. Protect mom and baby from being overwhelmed by visitors and well-meaning relatives.
- Be a helper. Giving birth is a major life event. Mom may need help getting back into the swing of things. Help with housework and cooking or find someone who can help. Entertain and care for older children so mom can focus on the new baby.
- Be a supporter. Hold and love your new baby. Change his diaper, bathe him, play with him, take him for a walk, sing and talk to him.
- Be a part of the breastfeeding process. Bring your baby to mom when he is hungry. Sit and relax with mom and baby while she breastfeeds.
It’s important for both of you to feel good about breastfeeding, so share your questions and concerns with each other, and ask for help if you need it.
Memorial’s certified lactation consultants can help you, as a new mother, learn to breastfeed. They are available for consultation and follow-up after you have been discharged from the hospital. Lactation consultant services are available to any nursing mother. Patients may be referred by a physician or may call and ask for lactation services.
Contact a lactation consultant at a hospital closest to you:
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital 217-605-5233
Decatur Memorial Hospital 217-876-3400
Memorial Medical Center 217–788–3378
Passavant Area Hospital 217–479–5541