Baby's First Year · Breastfeeding · Parenting

Family and friends can support breastfeeding

Couple holding baby surrounded by older sibling and grandparentsThe early weeks after the birth of your baby are joyful and full of new experiences. At the same time they can also be tiring, overwhelming and stressful. As a new parent you can feel both emotionally and physically tired. Your body needs time to recover.

You also need time to learn how to breastfeed, look after yourself and spend time with your baby. Housework and being a hostess should be the last things to do.

Some tips to feeling better:

  • Make sleep/rest a priority
  • Limit visitors, telephone calls and other interruptions during the early weeks
  • Ask for help when needed
  • Accept help when offered

Staying in your pajamas and robe is a good way of reminding both yourself and others that you are recovering. Resting in bed and taking a nap when baby does are important for recovery.

Family and friends care for you and want the best for you and your baby. Often they do not know what they can do to help. Ask and accept their help and support.

Family and friends can help by:

  • Helping with everyday tasks such as making meals, doing dishes and laundry, keeping your house tidy and caring for your other children.
  • Caring for the baby. Family and friends can provide help with bathing and changing diapers. These are great ways to bond with baby. Also babies cry for many reasons, not just for hunger. Family and friends can comfort your baby by cuddling, walking, singing, playing or dancing.
  • Giving you an opportunity to rest or nap by looking after your baby between feeding.
  • Limiting the number of visitors and visiting time.
  • Offering encouragement.

Successful breastfeeding depends on more than just mom and baby. Mothers are more likely to breastfeed for a longer period if they feel supported by family and friends. There’s a saying that it takes a village to raise a child.

What other people say or believe may affect the success of your breastfeeding. Tell your family and friends you are breastfeeding and ask them to support you. Let their encouragement and assistance help you make breastfeeding a success.

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