In my previous post, I shared how much Cairo and I struggled to get breastfeeding right. We worked on it for over three months before she finally latched. My son Cruz Axl latched right away but there were times in our breastfeeding routine when I was concerned that he might also be suffering from nipple confusion. Having gone through what I did with Cairo, those moments induced panic and fear that I would be back there again. My changing body also struggled with aches and pains including mastitis from overproduction and joint pain from bad posture while feeding. Add in a pandemic, lack of sleep, and a screaming toddler to the mix and breastfeeding the second time around has been a real challenge.
With both of my kids, support on this journey has made all the difference and kept me from quitting. I wrote this blog specifically for partners who may need some help in figuring out how to support the breastfeeding mom.
1. Be kind.
Post-pregnancy hormones are real and many of us are already struggling emotionally with feelings of worthiness. Please reaffirm by reminding us that we are doing a good job and that we are loved.
2. Be there physically.
Find out if we need you to burp the baby in between feeds or to rock or hold the baby if the baby is gassy. Be there to assist us with transitioning breast feeding positions. Whether or not your partner has had a c-section, our bodies have gone through a beautiful but traumatic experience that can take its toll physically. Assist your partner with getting up and sitting down.
3. Make sure your partner is comfortable.
Make sure the feeding position that your partner is sitting or lying in is comfortable. Does she need extra pillows? Water nearby? Soft music? Candles? Set the environment that will bring calm to a sometimes stressful situation.
4. Read and research
This blog is one of many offering support to mothers and parents. Moms can be so busy dealing with motherhood that they may not have the free time they want or need to pick up helpful information. That’s where you come in! Read and research things that might make the parenting journey easier for your partner. Tactfully offer the wisdom you’ve gained if we raise questions or concerns.
5. Offer to help
Do not be the partner that says “Honey if I could do it for you I would” and then proceed to not do anything! Help by doing simple things like washing and putting away breast pumps and storing milk in the freezer.