Everyone tells you that having a baby can change the dynamic in your relationship. How can it not? You have a mess, noisy and demanding new roommate. She’ll start to cry just as you’re about to get intimate for the first time in months. She’ll need to eat at 6 am, dashing your visions of a Sunday morning snuggled in bed.
So here’s the deal– you have to adapt. And if you’re breastfeeding, there are ways, believe it or not, your partner can get in on the act. You may be the one with the equipment, but you don’t have to go it alone.So here are some tips for spouses. They apply whether you’re married or in a committed relationship, and whether your partner is a man or woman.
Top Ten Breastfeeding Tips for Spouses
1. Give the baby a bottle of pumped milk on occasion. Just make sure you wait until at least a few weeks after birth, so that mom’s breastfeeding routine and milk supply is well established.
2. Make sure the breastfeeding mom has all the supplies she needs for a feeding: burp cloth, glass of water, remote control, iPhone.
3. Provide words of encouragement. Family support can go a long way towards breastfeeding success.
4. Be thoughtful. A foot rub is always welcome. Flowers, too.
5. Do the dirty work. While mom is breastfeeding, take care of the laundry and dirty dishes.
6. Cook dinner. Or order in, if that’s not your forte.
7. Change diapers. Burp and swaddle.
8. Write thank you notes for baby gifts.
9. Take a video, photo or write that family blog post update.
10. When in doubt, nothing beats: “Hey, how can I help you?”
This post is adapted from the book “Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding” (Quirk Books 2007)