We all love to support new moms in any way we can–flowers, food, gifts. Mothers who receive support from friends, family, and the workplace are more likely to continue breastfeeding, even through the bumps and challenges! When visiting breastfeeding moms at home, sometimes it’s hard to know how to offer support. Instead of feeling uncomfortable and unsure of what to do, read these tips and be ready to offer breastfeeding moms (and babies) all the support you can!
- Make sure mom eats and drinks when baby does. When you’re nursing a newborn, you need to take in extra calories and water to keep your milk supply up. With the exhaustion that accompanies having and taking care of a newborn, sometimes it’s hard to remember to eat and drink!
- Offer to hold the baby. Let mom get some rest when the baby isn’t eating.
- Be patient. Getting a baby to latch right and eat can be time consuming and sometimes difficult. Don’t rush to suggest giving the baby a bottle or make mom feel uncomfortable by asking how long baby nurses for. Instead, do the next suggestion!
- Help with housework. Breastfeeding a newborn can often take about 30 minutes, even 2 (or less) hours. While you’re visiting and the baby is nursing, do the dishes, fold laundry or do anything else to help out around the house. Maybe even cook dinner! Helping with housework might be the best gift you can offer a new mom!
- Be there. Listen when mom needs to vent about being tired or sore from breastfeeding. Offer an open ear and suggest consulting a Lactation Consultant if needed.
- Breastfeeding gifts. Everyone loves to get gifts for the baby, but don’t forget about mom! I like to get new moms breastfeeding pajamas with matching ones for the baby. You could also get gifts such as breast pads, nipple cream or a nursing mom’s bracelet.
For more breastfeeding resources, read these articles: