How Partners Can Help With Breastfeeding

Article By
Published On
13 Jul, 2021
Read Time
2 minutes

As the saying goes, bringing up a baby takes a village, and there are lots of ways others can chip in and help.

Dads, partners, friends, siblings, and other family members can all form a breastfeeding team. When parents feel supported and happy, they're likely to breastfeed for longer.

What can partners do to help with breastfeeding?

Dads and partners are key members of any breastfeeding team. They're the ones who are there in the middle of the night, when times get tough, and reassurance is needed most. With the right support, parents have the time, energy, and peace of mind to get breastfeeding off to the best possible start.

Do your research

Begin to research breastfeeding before the baby arrives, and make sure you talk to them about their feeding plans. Let them know that you understand the difficulties that may crop up, and that you're there whatever happens.

La Leche League International, the Australian Breastfeeding Association and the Australian Government Department of Health have loads of great information about breastfeeding and also run support groups to help parents find their feet.  

Offer encouragement

Be a breastfeeding cheerleader and offer verbal encouragement and support throughout. This will let them know that you see and appreciate what a great job they're doing, and will spur them on to persevere if times get tough.

Be sensitive to your partner's needs

It's important to understand the bond between your partner and baby, and to be aware of the rollercoaster of emotions that post-pregnancy hormones can bring. Talk to each other honestly about how you're both feeling, and encourage openness at every new stage that raising a baby brings.

Help around the house

To reduce stress and ease the load, make it your job to keep on top of the housework. Encourage them to put their feet up and enjoy bonding with the little one while you pop to the shops, do the laundry, or rustle up something tasty in the kitchen.

Burp the baby

Once the baby has finished feeding, you can take on the task of winding them. Support their head and neck while making sure their tummy and back are straight, and pat their back gently to bring up any trapped air. Remember to have a muslin cloth close by - just in case!

Create a calm environment

Dealing with a newborn can be chaotic, so try and keep your home as calm as possible. If you have older children, perhaps you take them out for the afternoon to the park or cinema?

Make sure your house isn't always filled with visitors, and ask people to call or text to arrange a convenient visiting time. When people do come to visit, look for signs that your partner - or baby - is ready for them to leave.

Keep them company

Breastfeeding can be a lonely time for some, so try asking if they'd like some time alone with the baby, or if they want you to stick around and chat.

Care for the baby in other ways

Caring for your baby during the breastfeeding process teaches them that love comes from interacting with people, as well as from food. You can pitch in with walks, nappy changes and bath or bedtimes - all of which are great opportunities to build a lasting bond, and give them some time off to enjoy a soak in the bath or a well-deserved snooze!

Stand up for their right to breastfeed, whenever, wherever

Now's the time for you to become a breastfeeding advocate. Support every parent's right to peacefully breastfeeding in public without criticism, and encourage others to do the same by sharing resources and using #normalisebreastfeeding.