Posted by: Jennifer | November 2, 2008

How to Make Breastfeeding Easier

Yesterday I added a great article titled “how to make breastfeeding difficult”.  Today, I noticed that phdinparenting had blogged about it and added her own input on how to make breastfeeding easier.  I think it’s great and am linking to it and posting it here!

What to do

Now that you understand what not to do, here are some suggestions on what you can do to support a breastfeeding mother.

Tell her how proud you are of her: Breastfeeding isn’t always easy (but don’t remind her of that). Instead, tell her how proud you are that she is breastfeeding her baby. Tell her this when the baby is 1 day old, 4 weeks old, 3 months old, 6 months old, 1 year old, 2 years old, and so on. Breastfeeding doesn’t stop being the best thing for baby at a specific age and many moms find that the support they have from others decreases exponentially as the baby grows. The World Health Organisation, Health Canada, and other key health organizations recommend at least 2 years of breastfeeding.

Help her get knowledgeable support: If she is struggling with breastfeeding, unless you have training in lactation, help guide her to someone that does have that training. Often people that have breastfed think they can give great advice to others. However, each mom’s experience is different and things that may have worked for you may not work for others. For example, some moms can go for more than 3 hours without breastfeeding and not have their supply compromised and not get plugged ducts, but many many others cannot. Some moms can eat anything they want while breastfeeding and others find that their baby is sensitive to certain foods that they eat. Help the mom to get access to an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), get her to attend a La Leche League meeting, or if she likes using the Internet for support get her to go somewhere with knowledgeable breastfeeding counselors assisting other moms like the message boards.

Buy her a book or take one out from the library: Get her a quality breastfeeding book, like Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding, La Leche League’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, or Martha and William Sears The Breastfeeding Book. Or get her to spend time online on the research-based Web site that provides lots of information and advice on breastfeeding.

Offer to help with everything BUT feeding: Everyone always wants to feed the baby. Sorry, but that is mom’s job. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t help. You can change diapers, burp the baby, do laundry, cook meals, run errands.


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