April 25th, 2012
While you are enjoying the oxytocin high and intimacy that comes from bonding with your baby during breastfeeding, your partner may feel a little left out. Luckily, there are lots of things that your partner can do to foster a connection with your baby, and to provide support to you.
Here are a few easy things that your partner can do:
• If mom decides to pump breastmilk, the partner can take over one of the feedings. A late evening feeding or a nighttime feed might work well so that you can get some uninterrupted sleep or rest.
• There are lots of ways that partners can bond with baby beyond breastfeeding: allow your partner to take ownership of another part of baby’s routine, such as bathtime, bedtime book reading or pre-bed diaper changing. Partners can also spend skin-to-skin cuddling time with baby, which will also produce oxytocin in partner and baby.
• Partners can help mom and baby by advocating for your decisions around breastfeeding. If family or friends are unsupportive of decisions, your partner can help run interference and advocate for you both.
• A partner can help manage other household duties—such as cooking or cleaning—so that you can devote yourself to feeding baby, especially in those early days. When your partner helps create a calm and relaxing environment at home, you can concentrate on baby.
• Breastfeeding comes with many unique challenges, and it can be really tough for moms to navigate the tough times. Partners are a key source of support and encouragement when coming up against breastfeeding hurdles. Your partner can learn about the issues around milk supply, nipple discomfort and various breastfeeding challenges, and provide guidance and support when needed.
• Your partner can help you stay connected to life beyond baby. This means striking up conversations that don’t centre around baby, lavishing love and attention on both mom and baby and helping you get out of the house (sans baby) when everyone is ready.
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