A Partners Role in Breastfeeding
What do you think is the factor that most influences whether or not a woman breastfeeds? It’s her social network. And, you, as her loving partner, are the most important piece of that support!
Things are different now that you have a new baby. For starters, you are both sleep deprived. In addition your wife is experiencing major hormone shifts. The hormonal changes and lack of sleep may contribute to some weepiness. It’s time to be patient and extra gentle.
Your partner is not the same as she was before. She has become a mother and she is completely absorbed with your baby. You may feel left out or even jealous. That’s normal. Talking about it will let your partner know how you’re feeling. She probably has no idea!
Cuddle time with baby can help you feel more connected. You can experience “breastfeeding” by holding your baby against your bare chest. All that skin to skin contact will help you get to know each other. Mommy will love with you even more just watching you nurture your baby in that way.
As you know, breastfeeding requires some extra calories. She may be so involved with the baby that she forgets to eat. Show your love by bringing her nutritious snacks and plenty to drink. When she’s breastfeeding, make sure she is well supported with pillows under her arms and behind her back. Remind her to relax and give her a little shoulder rub to help out with that.
You may feel like you’re not needed at home. Not true! Enjoy your family leave at home getting to know your baby. Acknowledge that you are sleep deprived, too! Take naps. Enjoy lazy mornings in bed together. Enlist the help of neighbors, friends and family for all those errands. Speaking of family and friends… be the protector of your cave. Limit visitors to once a day and keep visiting hours short.
And finally, some quotes from real breastfeeding moms. Can you feel the love?
I wouldn’t enjoy motherhood as much if I didn’t have Marc. You need a break sometimes, even if for just an hour. When the baby is with Marc, I know he’s loved and thriving. It makes being a parent so much easier and more enjoyable.
My husband is super supportive. He explains the importance of breastfeeding and quotes research if anyone is willing to listen.
My hubby LOVED skin to skin time with the baby.
He is a champ when it comes to meal prep and snack packing so I’m always fueled to keep the milk supply high. I love him!!
Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC
206 356 7252