Quite often new partners can feel helpless when it comes to feeding their new baby, and moms can get overwhelmed with a newborn's needs and feeling like they are the sole provider for baby’s nutrition and wellbeing. To help alleviate the stress on both parents, they need to work together to find way for partners to play a supporting role in the breastfeeding process. Here are a few ways they can help make this little human's (and mom's) transition easier:
Prep a breastfeeding space:
Initially, mom will want a space that is most comfortable for her and baby to feed. This is something the partner can do to help, prep by stocking new mom essentials in between breastfeeding sessions. Making sure water bottles are filled, snacks are available, and Nursing pads are washed and stocked helps mom relax and allows her to focus all of her energy towards feeding baby.
Being physically supportive
Spending time massaging mom’s sore back, neck, and shoulders will go a LONG way, especially in the first few weeks. Using heating and cooling therapy pillows adds extra comfort and helps to soothe sore muscles. Even when they can’t do the massage themselves, sticking these in the freezer or popping them in the microwave makes it easy for mom to receive the benefits of the pillows.
Emotional support is key:
Be the cheerleader mom didn’t know she needed. There are going to be challenges as baby and mom get into a rhythm and staying positive is so important. We can’t stress enough how important it is for you to tell mom how great she is doing and encourage her to not get frustrated. Public shows of support give mom a little boost of confidence when breastfeeding out and about. Ask mom how best to show your support – rubbing her back, giving her space, holding the diaper bag. Just appreciating how she feels, can be a way to show your support and make mom feel heard.
Don’t Be Afraid To Let Dad Have a Turn:
Every mom’s breastfeeding journey is different. And while it is one of the most rewarding feelings to be able to provide food for baby, it can also be very taxing, both physically and emotionally. So don’t be afraid to pump and let your partner take over with a bottle every once in a while. It is a great way for your parenter and baby to bond and a great opportunity for mom to take a bath, nap, or even treat herself to a relaxing massage.