Breastfeeding can be challenging and it can be tiring. Support from dads/partners, whānau and friends can really help. Find out the things that you can do to support mothers to breastfeed.
Supporting a breastfeeding mother
There are many things that dads/partners, whānau and friends can do to support mothers to breastfeed.
- Offer to help with the other children – read them a story or play with them.
- Help around the house – do the dishes or the grocery shopping. Hang out the washing, do some cleaning or make the school lunches.
- If mum is finding breastfeeding hard going, encourage her to keep it up. Breastfeeding may not be easy for every mother at first, but it’s worth the effort!
- Help mum to get the rest she needs by spending time with the baby. Helping out with the care of a new baby gives dads/partners and support people a chance to bond with baby. You could bath baby, burp them after a feed, or cuddle and soothe them. And don’t forget to help with nappy changing!
- Aim to make at least the first 10 days after the birth a ‘babymoon’ for the new mother – free from cooking, cleaning and childcare, unless she chooses.
If mum is acting strange or obviously not coping, it could be normal ups and downs in adjusting to a new baby, sometimes called the ‘baby blues’, or it could be postnatal depression. Get help early – talk to her and your midwife, nurse or doctor.
Breastfeeding NZ – YouTube channel
Breastfeeding information and videos. Contains the Breastfeeding. Naturally. video (as 7 separate chapters); these are also available with captions and in New Zealand Sign Language.
La Leche League
The New Zealand website of La Leche League, an international organisation that promotes breastfeeding.