Having the support of a partner has been identified as one of the key strategies in a successful breastfeeding journey. There are several ways your partner can be of assistance because teamwork makes the dream work.
This Breastfeeding Week, Liz Wilkes, Midwife and Philips Avent Ambassador has provided her top breastfeeding tips for partners.
Education and Breastfeeding Classes
Both partners need to be educated, and a specific breastfeeding education session is the best way to have all the information on hand at the start of the breastfeeding journey. Most hospitals, obstetricians and midwives will have a specific program in place, designed to inform the couple about breastfeeding prior to the birth of their child. Most of these breastfeeding classes are complimentary and design to assist and support the parents.
Skin to skin time
Breastfeeding starts directly after birth, making skin to skin time between mum and bub a priority is fundamental to the relationship. This is sacred bonding time between baby and mum, partners can be involved by protecting this space, discouraging any unnecessary interruptions until after baby has had the first feed.
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Space and time
Actively supporting the space and time for feeding, especially during the early days, is key. Helping to set up a quiet space, where your partner can feed in privacy if they need to is critical. Provide them with food, water and support during feeding times. Also, be sure to invest in a comfortable chair and nursing pillow to help support mums back and arms when feeding. Feeding times can also be a quiet time for mum, and a great idea to make it as relaxing as possible.
Stock up on milk
The task of being solely responsible for feeding bub can often feel overwhelming for mum and it’s important to share the load. Using a high-quality pump like a Philips Avent Single Electric Breast Pump to express milk so mum can share some of that responsibility, plus members of the family will also get a chance to connect and bond with baby.
Encourage mum to take time out for her, judgment-free. I often recommend a daily 20-30 minutes for mum to treat herself with something simple – whether that’s a warm shower, a bit of exercise or even watching Netflix.
Breastfeeding especially in the first few months can be overwhelming. It is important for partners, friends and family to support mum and bub where possible. There’s also many support programs for when parents are back home too, for example the Philips Avent Baby+ app provides breastfeeding guides, monitor baby’s growth and development and provides reassurance for new parents when needed the most.
Did/does your partner get involved in breastfeeding? Tell us in the comments below.