ARTICLE by Natalie Brown

7 ways to support someone breastfeeding

 |  Reading time: 4 minutes
B_for_Blog | Natural Baby Shower

Breastfeeding is no easy feat which is why our nation of nursers need all the support they can get!

While breastfeeding isn’t something that you maybe able to directly help with, there’s lots of ways to support and help to make the experience better for both baby and parent. We’ve rounded up 7 recommended tips on how to express your appreciation for that special person in your life! 

how to help with breastfeeding

Whether you’re a partner, parent or pal, your assistance will be the key to creating a blissful breastfeeding session. In fact, you’ll likely find that in helping, you will also reap the benefits! From managing stressful environments, to taking on bottle feeding, discover some of the ways you can help…

1. Listen and encourage

When you’re a new parent, there’s so much information and advice. Not only from your health practitioner, but other parents, family, friends etc. and it can get a little overwhelming. Like a lot of things, breastfeeding is a choice that works for some and not for others, so try to wait until you’re prompted to give your opinion on something. It’s better to be someone that they can turn to as a listening ear, and then provide advice and support thereafter. This doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t give words of encouragement when they’re breastfeeding. In fact, having someone there to reassure them they’re doing a good job will make all the difference!

2. Help set up a comfortable space

Our bodies come in all different shapes and sizes so naturally, some may find a position tricky for baby to latch on or need a little help getting comfortable. This is something you can definitely help with; making sure their space is comfortable and clean will ensure a happy feed. You can do this by grabbing a nearby nursing pillow or if one isn’t available, even plumping up a cushion or bolster will make do in supporting a little one’s weight. If someone who breastfeeds will be coming over to your house, consider where they could do this, as offering a private space to feed will mean a lot if they’re not comfortable nursing in front of people.

3. Be patient

While hormones associated with breastfeeding are thought to help keep mama feeling emotionally content and facilitate bonding with their little one, sleep depravity and abnormal drops in dopamine after feeding can lead to a less than happy person to be around. If this is the case, and your SO or family member seems a little short, stressed, or tired, remember to be patient and calm to avoid conflict.

4. Take on bottle feeding

Despite not being able to offer a helping hand (or boob!) when it comes to breastfeeding, you can take some of the pressure off by using bottled breast milk which they have already expressed. In fact, this will be super helpful if you’re a partner, not only by sharing the responsibility to feed your little one but in building a bond between you and baby too.

5. Offer drinks and snacks

You may already know that breast milk is full of nutrients and vitamins however, did you know that 90% of breast milk is actually water? That means mama needs to replenish all that lost fluid by keeping hydrated. Offering a drink or snack, both within arm’s reach will not only show them you care but prevent dehydration which can happen when breastfeeding.

6. Help with household chores

Yes, this one will be very well received! On average, breastfeeders will nurse around 8-12 times a day and that includes during the night time. Not only does that take up a lot time - even if they express in advance – but it will take up a lot of their energy too. So, helping with those mundane household chores will mean the world to someone who quite literally, has their hands full!

7. Physical affection

Being touched and cuddled might not be everyone’s cup of tea however, if physical touch is your breastfeeder’s love language, a little foot rub or two wouldn’t go amiss! After all, they’re potentially facing sore and cracked nipples, swollen and tender breasts and blocked milk ducts. Their body is really going through it to make sure little one is happy and healthy so, giving them some well-deserved TLC will be much appreciated. 

Save on breastfeeding 

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