Breastfeeding is way longer and more involved than birth itself. Like way more involved. Check out these pie charts documenting the newborn sleep-eat-wake cycle. Notice how often a baby feeds. A breastfeeding relationship between mama and baby takes a great deal of energy, and here are 4 tips for setting yourself up for success.
- Say, “I support you breastfeeding.” Tell her again. And again. And again. Saying these 4 words affirms her decision to breastfeed and sets your intention for doing things to help out.
- Observe the latch. You have the unique ability to see from the outside and to ensure that the proper technique is being used. Contrary to what I thought about breastfeeding, there is actually proper technique to getting the baby to suck on a nipple. It’s called the latch and here’s a video of a baby getting it right. Experiencing difficulty? Lactation consultants and La Leche League can help. Spend some time on this list of videos demonstrating the details and techniques of breastfeeding. Learn about how the different positions such as side-lying, cradle hold, and the football hold. Learn how the different positions are more suitable for certain types of babies and situations. Learn about the amazing and magical lactation yoga.
- Food & Liquids for Mama. Food and drink goes in mama. She turns it into food and drink for baby. Ensuring mama gets fed and watered is one of the best ways to support her and baby. Make her a Pear, Cranberry, Gingersnap Crumble.
- Night Time Routine: Oh, the fog. This is the misty time where pure evil and sanity border each other like East and West Germany. It’s rough. You saw in the pie charts linked above that babies eat consistently throughout the entire 24 hour-long day, so now you know that supporting a breastfeeding mama is a 24 hour-long process. If the mama is deciding to pump milk out of her breasts to be used for night-time bottle feedings, then you can help by bottle feeding baby. Even if bottle feeding isn’t a route she is going to take, you can show your support by arranging the pillows just right, grabbing her some hot tea, and massaging sore, breastfeeding shoulders.