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BREASTFEEDING

SUPPORTING YOUR PARTNER

Congratulations on having a baby! This is an exciting time for your family.

As a partner,  your support makes a big difference in the breastfeeding of your baby! There are concrete steps you can take in support of your baby's feeding before, during, and after their birth!

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Before your baby arrives:

Partners can support the breastfeeding experience before baby arrives.

Tips for partners:

  • Learn more about the basics of breastfeeding such as the benefits of breastfeeding, feeding times, and supportive gears.
     

  • Talk to your partner about breastfeeding goals and create a birth plan. Setting goals together will help you be on the same page with your partner about breastfeeding expectations.

  • Attend a WIC or other breastfeeding class with your partner. If you can't attend the class, ask your partner to share some learnings! This can help  you find answers to your questions about breastfeeding and make your partner feel even more supported!

  • Tour the hospital or birthing center you and your partner plan to have your baby at. Ask about their breastfeeding policies. You should ask questions such as: How soon can you have skin to skin? What lactation support will you receive if my partner has a c-section? Will the hospital ask us before giving our baby formula? 

  • Talk to friends/family close to you who had breastfed their babies. 

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How to support your partner during breastfeeding: 

Just like anything else in co-parenting a child, breastfeeding is a shared responsibility between partners. Taking care of Mom helps her take care of herself and your infant.

 

More tips for partners:

  •  Communicate that you're proud of them.

  • Make sure she is eating and drinking. Help by preparing snacks and meals that are nutritious and good for milk production. When she sits down to breastfeed, make sure she has everything she needs, so she doesn't need to interrupt feeding. You can help by refilling her water bottle, grabbing pillows, snacks, phone, etc..

  • Do the dishes, laundry, picking up around the house and care for other children and/or consider arranging for a helper to come while you are not available.

  • Hold the baby skin to skin while she rests or takes care of herself.

  • Try to be patient – getting used to life with your baby is wonderful, at the same time, requires time to adjust! Enjoy this exploratory period with your partner, and reassure each other that you will find what works for you.

  • Sometimes a baby will prefer your breastfeeding partner, and not want to be held as often by others. Don't be worried, this is temporary! Keep offering those cuddles gently, and your baby will come around.

  • ​Help care for older children. This is a great time to connect with other children in the family. 

  • Know that it is normal that moms can experience challenges and doubts. Help her find answers to her questions - be it expert advise, professional support or a reassuring conversation.

  • If she is struggling, encourage her to get help from a lactation specialist or offer to set up an appointment and take her there.

  •  Know the signs of postpartum depression. If you are concerned that your partner has symptoms of postpartum depression, gently encourage them to speak to their healthcare provider. 

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