If your partner has recently given birth and is starting her breastfeeding journey, it can often feel like there’s little you can do to help, especially if feeding issues arise. However, there are many things you can do to support mother and child, or at least make them more comfortable. Read on for some of our tips.
Know your stuff
Just because you can’t breastfeed the baby yourself, it doesn’t mean you can’t get to grips with the terminology, such as cluster feeding, mastitis and engorgement. If your partner is struggling with any of these issues, it can be helpful to do your research and suggest ways to tackle them together.
It’s a good idea to keep important contact details to hand should you need professional advice or a second opinion. Having phone numbers for the GP, midwife, health visitor and breastfeeding consultant at the ready may come in useful and saves you from having to google them later.
Comfort is key
You might not be supplying the milk, but you can provide the comfort. Make sure your partner’s breastfeeding pillow is within easy reach, as well as any other products that help to relieve discomfort, such as nipple balm. It’s important to keep hydrated when breastfeeding so keep her water bottle topped up and the snack drawer well stocked.
When the little one has finished feeding, offer to burp them and put them down while your partner relaxes, naps, eats or finally gets to shower!
Night feeds can be tough for mums but there are things you can do to make them a little less gruelling. Keep a basket next to the bed, or wherever the night feeds tend to take place and make sure it’s stocked with essentials such as snacks, drinks, perhaps a flask of hot water and some herbal teabags, phone charger and earphones. Keep a kindle or iPad fully charged and loaded up with her favourite books or shows – basically, think of things that she can really look forward to even at 3am!
It’s good to talk
The most important thing is to communicate with each other, especially in those first few months when you’re all trying to find your feet. You might be doing things with the best intentions that inadvertently annoy your partner, so make time to talk honestly about the best ways in which you can help.