Breastfeeding can be a challenging journey for new mothers, and partners have a crucial role in providing support and encouragement. Here are some ways you can support your partner through their breastfeeding journey:
Learn About Breastfeeding
The first step in supporting your partner is to educate yourself about breastfeeding. Attend classes or read up on the benefits of breastmilk and breastfeeding, and learn about common breastfeeding issues. This will help you be better equipped to assist your partner in overcoming any challenges that may arise.
Common Breastfeeding Issues
Breastfeeding can come with its fair share of challenges. These can include blocked milk ducts, breast refusal, nipple infections, and not enough milk supply. Encourage your partner to seek support from a midwife, child and family health nurse, or GP. The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) National Breastfeeding Helpline is also a great resource for assistance.
Bonding with Your Baby
Even if you're not the one breastfeeding, there are still plenty of ways to bond with your baby. Hold and cuddle your baby, carry them in a sling or baby carrier, and bathe or massage them. You can also help settle your baby after a feed, burp them, and change their nappy.
Caring for Yourself
Caring for a new baby is a demanding job, and it's essential to take care of yourself as well. Make sure you eat healthily, get enough sleep, and stay physically active. Accept help from others when you need it.
Caring for Your Partner
Breastfeeding can be physically and emotionally draining for new mothers. Be patient and understanding if your partner is feeling tired, anxious, or uncomfortable. Look for practical ways to help during breastfeeding sessions, such as bringing your partner water or healthy snacks. Take on extra household tasks and be present for evening feeds.
For most mothers breastfeeding is more than just providing nutrition and milk to their baby, it is feeling connected, providing comfort and love to their baby. Plus, there are so many hormones involved in making milk and breastfeeding designed to make mother and baby bond as well. Breastfeeding can be an emotional journey for many mums. If your partner is having a difficult time with breastfeeding or is choosing to breastfeeding beyond expected norms please be supportive, respectful and understanding of their emotional needs and decisions. On the same note, if your partner chooses to stop breastfeeding, this can equally be a challenging experience for them as well and needs your help in navigating this too.
In conclusion, providing support and encouragement to your breastfeeding partner can make a significant difference in their breastfeeding journey. By educating yourself, being patient, respectful and understanding, and taking on practical tasks, you can help your partner overcome challenges and create a successful breastfeeding experience for both your partner and your baby.