the feed

Partners in Breastfeeding: How to Show Your Love and Support

Two is always better than one.

Partners, you can be a part of the breastfeeding journey. It's not solely the role of the mama! Breastfeeding is a challenging experience, and your love and support can help to minimize the stress. Learn how to support breastfeeding mothers in our latest blog. They deserve it. after all!

How to Support a Breastfeeding Mother's Needs

Need some ways to help out your hardworking mama? Below are our favorite gestures to support a mother while she breastfeeds.

1. Take on Chores

Between breastfeeding every 2-3 hours, mamas need enough time to rest and recuperate. Take a few things off her plate by cleaning the house, washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, or doing other household tasks. Show up as much as possible when she needs it most.

2. Create a Relaxing Space

Help her create a cozy space for her breastfeeding or pumping sessions. Mamas burn up to 500 extra calories each day while breastfeeding. Make sure that she's staying hydrated and well-fed throughout the day. Whether it's bringing her a glass of water during feeding sessions, or cooking a homemade meal, sometimes it's the smallest gestures that mean the most.

3. Help Manage Visitors

When there's a new baby in town, it's may be difficult for friends and relatives to keep a respectful distance. There's nothing better than an adorable baby to cuddle with, after all!

In the first few weeks, it's okay to say no to visitors. Visitors can be overwhelming to a tired mama (and baby), and it's important to minimize your newborn's exposure to germs and all of the other viruses floating around.

To avoid any unnecessary stress for new moms, take on managing expectations with relatives and friends. As the partner, you can act as the point person for updating friends and family on what your family is comfortable with, and when they can meet your little one.

4. Be a Shoulder to Lean On

Breastfeeding is tiring, and difficult. What a mama may need most is someone to hug at the end of a long day. Be whatever she needs you to be in the moment. Sometimes, it may just be a shoulder to lean on.

5. Spend Time Bonding With Baby

As the partner, bonding with your new baby may take some time, and that's OK! To give mama a break from baby care, offer to spend some solo bonding time with your baby while she rests. Some ways you can bond with your baby are:

  • Chat with your baby and read them stories.

  • Have playtime with toys, or a classic game of peek-a-boo.

  • Take your baby on a stroll in a baby carrier, or hold your baby in a sling as you do chores.

  • Skin-to-skin cuddle time to increase the love hormone (oxytocin).

  • Increased eye contact while talking and singing.

6. Learn More About Breastfeeding

One of the best ways to get involved in your partner's breastfeeding journey is to simply educate yourself. Join her for a breastfeeding class before your baby is born, and go with her to meet with her lactation consultant. Breastfeeding is a learning process for both a mama and her partner. Go into it as a team rather than separate!

What to Say to a Mom Struggling With Breastfeeding

It's common for mamas to experience a few bumps in the road while breastfeeding. If she's stressed or down, be her cheerleader. As you work together to raise your little one, you'll know when she needs some words of affirmation, or simply needs your presence to keep her going.

"You're doing such an amazing job, mama."

Mamas are superheroes, and all of the hard work she puts into breastfeeding will be worth it. Remind her of that whenever possible.

"Breastfeeding is so hard, you're not alone."

Stress and anxiety can lead to loneliness. Remind her that you're there for her through it all, and help her find extra support if she needs it.

"Your love for your baby is inspiring."

Admire and honor her strength by reminding her how inspiring she is. A mama's hard work and love deserves to be recognized, and you can help make that happen.

"How can I help?"

Above all, show up for her wherever she needs it. Sometimes your company and love is all she will need.

Breastfeeding isn't meant to be a solo process. To all our strong mothers out there, what words and actions from loved ones have kept you going during your breastfeeding journey? Share your story and tag us on Instagram.

Want to learn more about all-things breastfeeding? Visit the Willow blog to read up on milk supply, pumping schedules, and more.

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