CHEAT SHEET FOR PARTNERS –Breast feeding support

CHEAT SHEET FOR PARTNERS

    Breastfeeding Support

This is a brief list of ways to make a big difference for the woman who is breast feeding. Do one, some, or all, everything matters.

1. When the breast comes out, you run to get a big glass of something for her to drink. (Trust me, the minute the baby latches on, her throat will go dry).
2. Find (or buy) a low foot stool for her. (Rubbermaid makes a good one and Ikea has a cheap, functional one). Putting her feet on a stool brings baby up to the breast so she doesn’t have to hunch forward.
3. Watch her shoulders, if they are hunched forward, she’s not relaxed. Find some soft pillows to bring baby up higher or support her arms. She’ll forget about this so you keep on top of it.
4. Tell her what you authentically appreciate about her feeding the baby. E.g. Thank you for all you do to make our baby healthy. You look so beautiful when you’re feeding the baby., etc etc.
5. Put a snack beside her, she needs extra calories to produce milk. A plate of sliced apples, toast with almond butter, cheese and crackers, etc.
6. While she’s feeding, scan the environment she’s looking at. When she’s sitting, you’re moving. Empty the trash, clear the clutter, mop the dust bunnies, water the plants.
7. Give her a shoulder massage.
The partner being an active participant in the breast feeding support can strengthen the family. Please add your ideas in the comments section.

A partner who actively works to make the breast feeding go smoothly is a treasure.

A partner who actively works to make the breast feeding go smoothly is a treasure.


Gloria Lemay, Vancouver BC Canada

12 thoughts on “CHEAT SHEET FOR PARTNERS –Breast feeding support

  1. When naysayers comment on how often the baby nurses, whether mother has enough milk, or anything that may annoy, worry, or otherwise bother the mother, the partner says:”This is working for us.” or “The pediatrician is delighted with baby’s growth.”

    When mom’s nursing, partner catch her eye and simply smile. Kiss her. Stroke her hair.

    Let the mother hear you bragging about her……the power, love, determination, gentleness that this new mother has!

  2. Ila N Shawn
    I ESPECIALLY like point #6! Yes, I LOVE breastfeeding my babies, however I am not just sitting there doing nothing (such as napping or taking a break). I am doing what needs to be done to nourish (and often times comfort) our children. While I am doing this important job, it’s really nice when the spouse keeps on with the other tasks waiting to be done. if he sat down every time I did to feed the babies, that just stresses me out and makes me feel unsupported, as meals still need to be made, house cleaned, yard work done, older kids tended to, etc.

  3. Love all that you do Gloria! I teach CBE classes in New Zealand – can I please have permission to print this “cheat sheet” for the Dad’s in my class on breastfeeding night? I love having handouts just for the partners, too 🙂

  4. Can I share this on our student midwives facebook page? I’m an American who has lived in England for almost 10 years and I’m going to King’s College London. I’m a first year Student Midwife and was a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter as well and love this list for the partner.

  5. I’ll add a few for parents of multiples:

    – Scan the positioning of each baby – you can see things from a different angle. Can mom move to be more comfortable and better support baby A or baby A? Do you see a position that may be more comfortable for everyone ?

    – Don’t go too far. One baby may need finish or need to be burped before the other. Mom’s anxiety will flair up if no one is there to help her with the one who has finished feeding. Be close to help reposition or to take the baby who seems to be done and needs a good burp.

    – When cluster feeding twins, she may not get a break at all and become overwhelmed. Reassure her she is enough and she has enough.

  6. This is lovely, and hopefully helps dads realise where their role can lie in breastfeeding: ‘nurturing the nurturer’. One small point that I would like to mention is about mums needing extra calories to make milk – breastfeeding does indeed burn calories,and mums may feel hungry when breastfeeding, but our bodies are really good at meeting our babies needs! A mum has to be significantly malnourished before her milk supply is affected – the body naturally diverts its energies to producing milk, and relies on the fat stores laid down in pregnancy. So mum doesn’t need extra calories to breastfeed, but may feel better in herself if she is able to have snacks to keep her energy levels up. You can read more about this here: http://kellymom.com/nutrition/mothers-diet/mom-diet/

  7. This is a great cheat sheet! I was looking for something like this to give to a friend and came upon your post! THank you! I will pass it on!

    And that dry throat thing? YES, every single time I nurse…even a year later. I have lemon water beside me always!

  8. At the beginning, when it was very painful, my husband would always give me a little kiss at the beginning of each feeding. It made a big difference!

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