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5 Ways to Support the Breastfeeding Mom and Baby

Updated: May 8

5 Ways to Support the Breastfeeding Mom and Baby Jax FL

5 Ways to Support the Breastfeeding Mom and Baby Over the years The Jacksonville Baby Company has compiled many lists for all sorts of things related to pregnancy, baby, and parenting. Today we share with you a list of 5 Ways to Support the Breastfeeding Mom and Baby. Studies have shown that there are higher breastfeeding success rates among mothers who have support while they're breastfeeding their babies. So, not only is it helpful to have support, it's critical to have it!

While breastfeeding may be the "biological" normal way to feed a baby it's doesn't always come naturally.

In fact, in most cases, breastfeeding is a learned art. Breastfeeding takes time, dedication, and lots of support to overcome struggles during the first 2-6 weeks of breastfeeding. Lack of sleep, sore nipples, supply, and weight checks are just a few common struggles many are faced with during this time period.

These challenges can sometimes feel like too much to handle. That's okay! We say it all the time at The Jacksonville Baby company, there is no right or wrong way to birth or parenting only different ways.  We mean that! However, the weight of breastfeeding a baby falls not only on the shoulders of the new mother, but also onto her partner, her closest family and friends, postpartum support professionals, her providers, her co-workers, neighbors, and strangers in the streets. By assisting, encouraging, and loving new moms on their breastfeeding journey we are contributing to something so much bigger than just feeding babies! We are contributing to the well-being of society as a whole. We hope you find these 5 ways to support the breastfeeding mom and baby helpful!

5 Ways to Support the Breastfeeding Mom and Baby

1. Learn all you can about breastfeeding! If you've never been around women who are breastfeeding or seen a baby feed from the breast it's time. Seeing others breastfeed is how most cultures learn to do it. Get your hands on books such as Breastfeeding Made Simple and The Breastfeeding Answer Book. Talk with others about breastfeeding, it may feel uncomfortable at first. That's normal and ok! Do it!

Get to know your local breastfeeding professionals. At The Jacksonville Baby Company we're perinatal support professionals who are knowledgeable about all feeding methods, can help teach you more about breast and bottle feeding, and can provide hands-on assistance. In the event that you need something outside of our expertise, we can connect you with a local International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) whose the expert on all things breastfeeding!

2. Show your appreciation! Breastfeeding is hard work! Remind her she is doing an amazing job! Moms judge themselves harshly enough already! We constantly wonder if we’re doing things right or the best way we can for our kids. Like all moms, breastfeeding moms need encouragement! “You’re so selfless, thank you for doing this for our baby” and “You amaze me” are encouraging things you can say to show your appreciation!

3. Bring her food, drinks, and supplies! Anticipate her needs ahead of time. Bringing her clean pumps parts already put together and ready to go. Bring in a clean burp cloth, nursing pads, a charger for her phone or tablet, and anything else she may need. It never fails as soon as a breastfeeding mom sits down there will always be one thing she forgot to grab. This frees her up to relax and lets her focus on the task at hand. Likewise, it’s okay to ask her what she needs if you’re not sure. Breastfeeding moms need extra calories and are thirsty all the time! One-handed, easy to eat foods such as fresh fruits, veggies, granolas, Gogurts, nuts, peanut or almond butter, and hummus are great! Bringing her these things when you are with her will not only remind her to take care of herself but will also reinforce #2; your appreciation for her! These things can be prepared ahead of time for easy access to them when needed.

4. Keep her company and give her space! Not at the same time obviously! Breastfeeding can be relaxing and sweet, but sometimes breastfeeding is lonely. Obviously, you can't be with her all the time, but when you can do it! Offer to rub her feet and shoulders, break bread with her, and entertain her by playing her a song on your guitar! Watch an episode of her favorite Netflix series together. Read to her. The point is, hang with her so she isn’t isolated all the time! Utilize Facetime when needed. On the flip side give her space. Moms get touched out quickly, especially moms with multiple kids. Busy the older children. Play with them, read to them, take them outside to play. Breastfeeding alone is a full-time job give a mama a break as often as you can!

5. Be ready to take over! During the early breastfeeding period, the first six to eight weeks, there’s a slim window of opportunity for self-care. Be ready to take over. That may mean you are taking the baby and handing her pump parts, or taking the pump parts and bringing her the baby. Free her up and give her permission, verbally or just in action (not that she needs permission, but it can help her feel better about it) so she can shower, pee, sleep, call a friend, etc. You can burp, change, and swaddle the baby. Allow her to step away without asking her fifty questions. She will appreciate it so much, you'll gain more confidence in your abilities, and as a bonus, you'll bond with the baby!

These 5 ways to support the breastfeeding mom and baby are just some helpful ideas. There are so many other ways to show your support! Being there for her, encouraging her, protecting her space, and taking other things off her plate will all be much appreciated!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

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