Breastfeeding? You need your partner’s support

24 Jun 2020

There’s no doubt about it: breastfeeding a newborn is tough. Of course it’s wonderful for bonding with your bub, but in-between baby not latching, cluster feeding and hormonal surges, nursing can take a huge toll – both physically and mentally. Now, more than ever, you’re going to need support, which is why it’s so important for your partner to be involved, right from the get-go.

The problem is, most new moms-to-be put a lot of focus on the birth itself, as they feel that breastfeeding is something that will happen ‘later’. But doing a little homework – and preparing your partner for what they’ll need to do – can make a massive difference for when the time comes.

Some studies even show that the more supportive their partners are, the longer women breastfeed –and the more confident they feel about how they’re doing it.

But why is breastfeeding so important? The answer is simple: because breast-milk is incredibly nutritious:

  • It contains fatty acids and proteins vital to baby’s cell and tissue growth.
  • Its nutritional content changes as the baby grows.
  • It transfers antibodies from the mother, which guard against infection.
  • It prevents or delays allergies.
  • It provides long-term protection against various chronic diseases.

So it’s vital to get breastfeeding off to a good start, and that’s where your partner comes in.

It’s not said enough, but a partner plays a huge role in breastfeeding (even though they’re not the ones providing the milk). A supportive partner is key to a successful breastfeeding experience, because more often than not, nursing is not an easy process: mom needs a lot of rest and encouragement, and she can’t do that on her own.

Here are some ways that a partner can help during this time:

  • They can make sure mom has a quiet space to breastfeed and that she’s comfortable.
  • They can help out with the daily chores.
  • They can check that mom is hydrated (and bring glasses of water).
  • If mom can express with a pump or manually, they can help by bottle-feeding with breast milk (but baby needs to be at least four weeks old).
  • They can offer words of encouragement during those 3AM feeds.

Breastfeeding can be a wonderful experience, but there is an adjustment period, which is why having a supportive partner is so important. Of course, some moms are single, while sometimes, even with an encouraging partner breastfeeding just won’t work. Always consult with your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns.