How your partner can help with breastfeeding

Your partner might not be able to nurse your baby, but that doesn’t mean he can’t pitch in.

It can be hard for a co-parent to know how to help when mom’s exclusively breastfeeding, but there are plenty of ways to get involved. Amy O’Malley, RN, MSN, director of education and clinical services at Medela, Inc., and David O’Malley, director of logistics at J & A Cartage, share their advice for the nonnursing half of a baby-raising duo.

Get schooled
Learn about breastfeeding techniques and common challenges, such as finding the right position. Understanding what mom is struggling with means you can figure it out together.

Get pumped
Mom may choose to pump breast milk for when she goes back to work or to give you the chance to bottle-feed. Designate pumping sessions as your special one-on-one time with the baby; it’ll become a ritual you both look forward to.

Get clean
Watch for breast pump parts, nursing accessories and bottles to pile up in the sink (it will happen quickly and often!), then pitch in with cleanup, so it’s all ready to go when needed.

Get up
Support mom during those late-night feedings by bringing baby to her (and changing that diaper after) or offering to take on a bottle session, so she can pump instead.

Get out of her hair
Give mom five minutes to catch her breath (or, better yet, take the kids for a walk around the block and give her 30 minutes—and the house —to herself) to instantly help her feel less overwhelmed.



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