How to Include Your Partner While Breastfeeding
A new baby takes all of your attention in the sweetest way possible. This new, demanding member of your family can bring you all together in new and wonderful ways. Sometimes, as women, it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset of taking care of everything ourselves, including your new baby. However, by including your partner in the care of your newborn, you can make this time a little bit easier for you, and facilitate some sweet bonding time for your partner and baby.
Your new baby likes nothing better than to be snuggled in close. Encourage your partner to use a carrier. Once baby has been nursed and has a fresh diaper, sometimes being carried around right next to your partner’s beating heart is just want it takes to send baby off to dreamland. Remember to always use safe baby carrying techniques, and age-appropriate carriers.
Diaper Changes and Bathtime
Some new mama’s and daddy’s have lots of experience with newborns, even if they are having the first of their own. However, some do not at all. Taking a class to help you learn is great, but jumping in there and directly caring for your new baby is the best confidence booster. Caring for the physical needs of your newborn is a gentle and sweet experience. New babies open our hearts. Giving your partner this experience can help to bring you all closer.
Communicate Your Gratitude
I remember being awake in the middle of the night with my newborn, struggling through a tough nursing session - I was exhausted, the baby was extra fussy, everytime we got a good latch going, I would have to change a diaper. I just wanted to SLEEP. I remember looking at my husband lying there in bed, deeply asleep. For a few moments, I was just so mad! How dare he lay there, comfortably asleep, while I struggled with our baby! Then I took a deep breath, and thought about all the things that he was doing for us. I hadn’t done a load of laundry since the baby was born or cooked any food for myself. I was being taken care of, and my partner was doing the majority of that caretaking. The next day I tried really hard to remember to thank him when he did things for us and to let him know how much I appreciated him. Sometimes it’s not easy to see the connections between doing the laundry and a happy baby. You may have to directly point those connections out. It is worth it to make your partner aware of the many ways they can help you to successfully feed and nourish your baby.
Introducing A Bottle
If you need to start pumping your breastmilk, include your partner in this process. Let them be the first one to try to give your baby a bottle. You may have to leave the house (I really think babies have a sixth sense that tells them when mama is around!) and go for a walk, or take a quick trip to the store. Including your partner is a confidence booster for everyone. A big mothering lesson for me was figuring out that part of my job was helping my child to learn how to be okay without me always around. Your partner can help with this transition in many ways.
Making an effort to include your partner when you are breastfeeding your baby can bring so much to your whole family. A lot of times, your partner wants to help, but may not know what to do. Being clear about your needs and expressing your gratitude for the help they give you will go far to bring you all together.