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Breast-feeding support: How a partner can help
What can I do to support my breast-feeding partner?
To help your partner breast-feed:
- Provide encouragement. Your attitude toward breast-feeding might influence your partner's decision to continue breast-feeding. Tell your partner that you support her decision to breast-feed. Remind her that you appreciate the effort involved.
- Make her comfortable. When your partner is breast-feeding, offer her a pillow, a blanket, a drink of water or anything else she might like to have nearby.
- Get involved in feedings. Carry the baby to your partner. Afterward, change the baby's diaper or help the baby go back to sleep.
- Care for the baby. Offer to care for the baby, or other children at home, so your partner can nap between feedings.
- Take on additional household responsibilities. Consider redividing your household tasks so that your partner has more time to rest.
- Stick around. Breast-feeding is a warm and loving activity. Sit nearby your partner and enjoy the moment together.
- Listen. Does your partner have breast-feeding concerns? If so, be a good listener. If necessary, encourage her to seek help from her health care provider or a lactation consultant.
What else can I do?
Your partner and your baby will develop a special bond during breast-feeding. At times you might feel jealous of their connection. Remember that the bond between you and your baby is important, too.
Give your baby plenty of cuddles, hugs and skin-to-skin contact. Sing songs, take walks or play games that are special to just you and your baby.
By spending time with your baby, you'll develop your own unique relationship.Previous page
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- Riordan J, et al. Breastfeeding and Human Lactation. 4th ed. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones & Bartlett Publishers; 2010:720.
- Younger Meek J, et al. New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books; 2011:201.
- Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Academy of Pediatrics Policy. http://aappolicy.aappublications.org. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Your guide to breastfeeding. The National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/breastfeeding-guide/BreastfeedingGuide-General-English.pdf. Accessed Oct. 4, 2012.