Supporting a breastfeeding mother

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.

Related websites

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.


Back to top