Getting help from your friends and family while you breastfeed

When you’re a new mom getting help and support from friends and family can be a huge benefit in the early days of breastfeeding.

Don’t neglect to reach out and let your circle know that they are welcome to help. This may be in the form of meals or simply helping out with light chores or children so you can focus on your new little one.

Care Calendars have become popular and I highly recommend them. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of a Care Calendar, it’s essentially a schedule passed around to friends and family which lines out who is bringing you a meal and when. Our church family has been gracious enough to do this for me for all four of my children! It’s a huge help in that first month when all you want to do is take care of your newborn.

Here are some other ways people can help

  • Bring the baby to mom for feedings

  • Watch for hunger cues

  • Burp the baby

  • Hold the baby skin to skin

  • Change diapers

  • Walk, rock, swing and cuddle the baby

  • Help with household duties

  • Bathe the baby

  • Take care of the other children

  • Offer encouragement

  • Be there!

Hand written notes can be a great way to communicate on topics that are difficult or hard to time.  Don't hesitate to help your partner understand your needs by spelling it out in a friendly note!

Notes from dad to mom

  • Treat me like I know what I a doing, teach me when I don’t

  • Look at me like you used to

  • Let me help when you are tired

  • Arrange to spend some alone time with me

  • Do something special for me

  • Do care activities together until I feel comfortable

  • Take my advice

  • Be agreeable with my family

  • Encourage me to be part of the special relationship you have with the baby

  • Call me “Dad”

  • Ask me what my concerns are and listen

  • Ask for help if you need it

Notes from mom to dad

  • Take the baby every once in a while and give me a break

  • Tell me I am doing a good job

  • Be my “breastfeeding coach”

  • Plan something special for the two of us

  • Give me a massage

  • Send me flowers

  • Limit my visitors

  • Make dinner or breakfast in bed

  • Be agreeable with my family

  • Wash the pump kit

  • Do some of the housework

  • Plan time so I can sleep

  • Just listen and offer support

  • Be our advocate for nursing

  • Bring the baby to me for nighttime feedings

  • Give my pumped breastmilk at some feedings

  • Get involved in our baby’s care

  • Ask for help if you need it

  • Talk proudly to your friends about breastfeeding

It can be hard to reach out and ask for help. Some of us are practiced givers but poor receivers. Take this as an opportunity to allow people to help you. Everyone involved will benefit, I promise.