As new mothers rest and nurture their babies, it takes the support of a whole family to provide both mom and baby with the comfort and care that they deserve. If you are the partner or family member of a new mother, you might be wondering how to best support your loved one during this magical but often exhausting and vulnerable time. Here are some suggestions on how to give the nursing mother you love the best possible support and make breastfeeding as a team work!
Breastfeeding can be a bumpy ride for some families and there can be many ups and downs along the road. Giving her support is extremely important to overcome difficult moments. Listen to her and discuss all the concerns and insecurities she might have. Your encouraging words can make a huge difference and boost her confidence and keep the morale high.
Get to know the basics
Breastfeeding is a complex process and knowing its basics can give to the people assisting a nursing mother a better chance to help. For instance, it’s beneficial to be present when a lactation consultant is with the new mother. You can learn a lot of useful information which you can use to give better support.
Take Care Of Chores
New mothers often have other household duties and chores that they may feel responsible for even when they should be resting. To make sure that the nursing mother you love gets the rest that is so crucial for her postpartum health, stay one step ahead of her when it comes to chores. Keep her home and space clean, take phone calls for her if you can, and ask her what else you can do to make her daily routine as easily as possible.
Provide Nourishment And Comfort
New mothers need lots of nutritious food to keep them strong, healthy, and producing nourishing milk for their little ones. If you’re living with a new mother, make sure to cook for her and provide with lots of easy-to-eat tasty snacks. New mothers still experience many of the same intense hormones and might also experience cravings for specific foods during these times. Any new mother will appreciate someone thinking ahead to keep her well stocked with her favorite sweets and treats during this time.
If you want to get a gift for a new mother or support a nursing friend who you don’t live with, you can’t go wrong with tasty pre-made snacks, easy to re-heat home-cooked meals, or take-out gift cards from her favorite restaurant.
Give Them Space
New mothers often find themselves flooded with visitors. While it’s understandable that family members get excited about meeting a sweet new baby, all this excitement can be stressful for both mothers and their infants. In the days immediately following birth, make sure to give new mothers plenty of time to spend one-on-one with their baby. This might mean filtering out over-eager visitors until mum is feeling more social. Friends and relatives will have plenty of time to get to know your new baby. It’s healthier for everyone to take your time and let the nursing mother have plenty of space and alone time during the first crucial few weeks of mum and baby bonding.
Be Mum’s Arms
New breastfeeding mothers will need to spend lots of time holding and snuggling their babies in their arms. This contact is crucial for bonding between mother and child to create long-lasting emotional and psychological health. However, this can make things inconvenient for new mothers who may have more trouble reaching for household items like glasses of water, remote controls and phones. One of the best ways to help a nursing mother is to try and keep these items within one-handed reaching distance of wherever she prefers to relax with her baby and always be ready to grab things for her that she might need.
Create Opportunities For Breaks
If you’re living with a new mother, make sure that you share some of the responsibility of looking after the baby so that mum has some time to herself. New mothers can find it hard to make time to do tasks as simple as showering, so make sure there are designated times when you can give her a break from holding the baby. Volunteer to change the baby, burp the baby after feeding, or take the baby on walks to give a new mother some time to herself to recharge. It is also important to know your baby as good as mum does. This means that you have to learn the cues the baby gives so to be able to assist with any need which is not breastfeeding. It can be easy to just give a fussy baby to the mother implying that the fuss is because of hunger, but it could be a full diaper or something else which you can help with. Another nice gesture could be also to hang around with her during night sessions of breastfeeding so you can deal with changing or burping the baby.
Have A Reliable Baby Bottle
Another crucial aspect to creating support for breastfeeding mothers is to have a high-quality baby bottle. While exclusive breastfeeding is crucial in the first few months to establish connection and get the baby accustomed to the breast, after a period of time, a bottle of pumped breast milk can be introduced to a baby as well. Feeding a new mother’s baby with a bottle can be a great way to give her a break and some time to herself, while helping you bond with the baby as well.
However, keep in mind that many breastfed babies experience nipple confusion when transitioning to a bottle. Since they are used to the wide shape and soft texture of a mother’s natural breast, breastfed babies might not register the nipple of a synthetic bottle as a source of food, potentially leading to baby bottle refusal.
To prevent this situation, make sure you find a bottle with a wide, soft nipple that resembles a mother’s breast. To give the baby the most realistic nursing experience possible, consider The Teatle, a new product designed with signature REALATCH™ technology to conform to a baby’s mouth while nursing, perfectly mimicking the sensation of a mother’s natural breast. With The Teatle, you can reduce the chances of nipple confusion to help nursing mothers reduce their stress.