While mothers are obviously the central figure when it comes to breastfeeding a baby, there’s a considerable amount of teamwork that the rest of a family unit, family friends, and the community at large can contribute to making it a safe, comfortable, and memorable experience for mother and child.
Helping out is not only a great relief for moms, but it also allows other family members to start building their own special relationships with the newest member of the family.
As August is National Breastfeeding Month, here are some great tips for family and friends to do their part in keeping mom and baby in sync, well-rested and satisfied.
Jobs for Dad
It can be natural for dads to feel a little left out when breastfeeding is going on. Moms already have the intimate connection from carrying the baby, and now they’re snuggled up tight again. But consider yourself to be the stage manager for a rock star about to start a concert. Getting everything in its place and making sure everyone is as comfortable as can be might not be the most glamorous job, but your wife will love you dearly for it. Little things you can do include being encouraging of the process, whether it’s going great or not so great. Never point fingers or assign blame to your child’s mother. Second, remember that milk production and breastfeeding can be tiring activities, even while reclining. When the baby is done feeding, Mom is going to need a break to relax and recover. Holding the baby after a feeding and doing whatever you can to get them to sleep, changed, or anything else is an enormous help. When the baby’s sleeping, you can help with chores or meals while Mom takes a nap, a shower, or a bath. Also learn and look for signs that the baby is hungry. Don’t just tell Mom about it, get the baby ready for a feeding and bring him or her to your wife to make things just a bit easier on her.
Jobs for Grandmothers
If you breastfed your own children, your experience and confidence are two of the biggest resources your daughter or daughter-in-law will want to draw on once the baby is home from the hospital. Encouragement, help with everyday chores, making sure Mom is comfortable, and giving her time to rest and relax are all priceless gifts you can share. After the first 4-to-6 weeks, you can also give Mom some relief by offering to bottle feed the baby with pumped and stored breast milk. Usually Moms are getting a little anxious to get out of the house by then.
Jobs for Other Family and Friends
Mom hasn’t stopped being your friend, your sister, or anything else, but being aware of her new responsibilities is essential. Make sure to call or text before coming over and be extremely cautious to practice good hygiene. If you have even the slightest hint of a cold or runny nose, stay away. Babies’ immune systems are nothing like adults, and they can get sick easily.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing and a time for mother and child to build an even closer bond. The experience is also a time for other members in the family to connect with the child and help the mother out. Our experienced staff is here to provide the community with the utmost quality of services to help our community. Red River ER is here to support your family 24/7, 365 with concierge-level emergency care for all ages.
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