You have attended breastfeeding classes, interviewed pediatricians and read a few books about breastfeeding. Now the baby is here! What can you do to support your partner?
Continue to let her know that she is doing a great job.
Make sure she gets enough rest! A really good guideline is “sleep when the baby sleeps.”
Make sure YOU get enough rest! (See guideline above.)
If she’s having a hard day, listen! Remind her that there will be bumps along the way. Remind her of the reasons that she chose breastfeeding. Ask her what she needs from you. She probably doesn’t want you to tell her to quit breastfeeding.
Limit visitors to 15 minutes or so. 1 visit per day.
Encourage her to stay in her jammies. Visitors won’t linger if mom isn’t dressed for entertaining.
Give her shoulder or foot rubs.
Ask her if there is anything that is driving her crazy or making her feel stressed—then fix it.
Make sure she is physically supported when breastfeeding with pillows, etc. Help her relax into a comfortable position without hunching over the baby.
Bring her a nutritious snack or meal every few hours. You know what she likes. No need to ask a lot of questions.
If you haven’t already done so, arrange for meals from friends every other day or so for a few weeks.
Tell her she is beautiful and amazing.
Remember how important you are as the protector of this mother/baby unit!
Written by Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC. Renee is a lactation consultant in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is available for home/hospital visits and phone consultations. Renee can be reached at www.second9months.com