CHEAT SHEET FOR PARTNERS
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.
Gloria Lemay, Vancouver BC Canada
1. Start with giving the birthing woman antibiotics in high doses so that the baby develops candida (thrush) and colic. Then mix in a lot of stitches, either to repair the perineum or the lower belly/uterus.
2. Separate the mother and newborn. Make the mother walk a long distance (with her stitched body) to be able to see/feed her newborn.
3. Teach her that the best (and only) way to feed her baby is to sit upright in a chair
4. Discourage sleeping together as a family. Don’t let her know that lying down to nurse will enable her (and her partner) to get much more sleep.
5. Tell her that the baby is not getting enough milk and don’t give her the tools to increase her supply.
6. Scare her into thinking that her instincts about caring for her baby are not to be trusted and that she should listen to professionals for all things to do with her baby’s health.
This is a post that used to be on the Birthlove site, owned by my friend, Leilah McCracken. I forgot that Leilah had put up the old family photo (below) with a little story about my mom breastfeeding me.
“I am the daughter of a British war bride who met a handsome Canadian soldier in London during the war. My mom was the only woman in the local Canadian hospital who chose to breastfeed her babies- that is all she had ever seen in England, and she didn’t know if she could manage all the scientific preparation of formula! This was in the late 1940’s, post W.W. II.
“Left to right [in photo below]: David, Marian, Gloria and Roy (hiding in the background). We were all breastfed for 3 months and weaned abruptly the day we turned 3 months. My mother remembered that in England they said the children should be nursed for 3 months so that’s the way she did it. It must have been brutal for her and for the babies to have that sudden weaning.
“My older brother, David, was a very hungry baby so she would breastfeed him and then give him a whole bottle of condensed canned milk as well to try to satisfy him every feeding. She went in the bedroom and closed the door to breastfeed– her children were not allowed to see her breast. She said that my older sister, Marian, and I were the easiest babies because we sucked our thumbs all the time. I sucked my thumb till I was about 8 years old.” Gloria Lemay