How Can Partners Help?

We asked our online community what helped them most in the early days of mothering and breastfeeding. Here's what they said. 

If you're another family member, or a friend, this is for you too!

“Just being there either sitting or lying beside us was wonderful in those first few weeks. He didn't even need to say anything, just being there and listening and giving me a hug. He made sure I was well fed and as comfortable as possible.”

Morwenna

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Chantal

“My husband brings me snacks around the clock when I'm feeding, my little boy feeds lots at night so my husband is often bringing me piles of toast. He also thanks me for being a great mum and feeding our boy- this means a lot to to me! He brings me a pint of water, snacks and most importantly the remote controls! He also took his role in helping me pick a nursing TV box set very seriously! And he spent a long time on the ‘La Leche League’ website studying positioning and attachment so he could help me.”

Rebecca

“My husband and I chose breastfeeding together during pregnancy as he has always been very encouraging and incredibly supportive. We watched the “From Bump to Breastfeeding” dvd a few times together before baby came. He helped me with positioning and attachment in the early days. Brought me food and drinks. Burped baby once we finished feeding. He would sterilise my breast pump so I could express for him to feed. Literally involved in every step xxx”

Emily

“He saved up his holiday so he could have a month with us after birth. When our baby vomited and refused to nurse one night he held and rocked her while I panicked, then managed to calm us both enough to get her back on the boob. Slightly off topic but my dad was a massive help too - always telling me how wonderful it was that I was breastfeeding and showing lots of interest, he went out and bought an emergency breast pump in the first week after birth.”

Helen

“He cuts up my food so I can eat with one hand whilst breastfeeding.”

Jo

“I couldn't have done this without being the great team that we are - living far away from our families with very little support - my other half has never been anything other than my rock. Most of the early times are now a delirious blur, but what will always stick in my mind is his line: 'You do inputs, I do outputs'.... he was the nappy changing king. And this is the lighthearted encouragement to get involved he now gives his friends as they become dads.”

Saffi

“He cooked (despite not being a great cook), he did the weekly shops even though he can't drive (I had a c section), supported my decisions 100% including the decision to bed share, and still secretly loves it 11 months later. And most importantly he fed me on my first public breast feed.”

“My husband was amazing!!! Both times I've given birth I've fallen in love with him all over again. Seeing him hold our baba and the love in his eyes. Even though he went self employed 2 days before our son arrived (so had no time off) he got up to pass me Theodore and winded/changed him and helped me to the loo when ever I ask for help. He made arrangements for people to come and sit with me, take my daughter to and from preschool, the list goes on...” Josie

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“My husband was amazing!!! Both times I've given birth I've fallen in love with him all over again. Seeing him hold our baba and the love in his eyes. Even though he went self employed 2 days before our son arrived (so had no time off) he got up to pass me Theodore and winded/changed him and helped me to the loo when ever I ask for help. He made arrangements for people to come and sit with me, take my daughter to and from preschool, the list goes on...” Josie

Kay

“He sat with me, held my hand and stroked my hair whilst I fed. Each time he reassured me that we'd do it together and that it would get better, that we were doing our best for our baby. He never once questioned my desire to breastfeed, nor did he challenge me when I wanted to give up. I'm not sure I would have got this far without his support. And now...? I'm still feeding baby #4 as he approaches his first birthday.”

Frankie

“He never said anything like, "He's hungry again? Surely not?!" (That came from me!) it was more, "I think he might be hungry again" (then braced himself for some kind of emotional outburst from me as I raged about the lack of sleep, etc, etc (no, I am not proud of any of this!). He would take our son for a walk so I could shower/rest/eat in peace. He bonded so well with our son doing everything but the feeding. He would get me drinks/snacks and help feed me my meals when he was around. He would tell me endlessly what a fantastic job I was doing.”

Rebecca

“In the early days my husband got up during night feeds and made me a cup of tea and biscuits. He would sit there unbelievably tired at 4am supporting me, telling me I was doing great. Telling me I could do it, even if I didn't believe it myself. He gave me all the emotional support I needed, which has led to a happy 12 month feeding relationship.”

Elizabeth

“I don't know where I'd be without my husband. Together, we have progressed from clueless to clued up. He has never been anything but supportive, vocal and determined, and he helped me feel confident in carrying on well beyond 'normal' duration. In addition, he sought out extra information and has integrated it into his professional practice as a GP.”

Asha

“Hubby helped with anything and everything I needed: A shoulder to cry on. Cooked for us. Made sure I was fed and watered. Held me up when I crashed with PND. Washed and sterilised all the feeding equipment so I could pump knowing I had clean stuff when I needed it. Made me sleep/rest as much as possible. Actively involved himself in being as much as an equal parent as possible, by doing bath time, story time, walks around the block at 2am so I could have an hour sleep. He's my rock. He's my everything.”

Gill

“My partner was at times more determined than even I was, that we should carry on breastfeeding. He was the one who called for the midwife to come to the house, 'just' to help with position and attachment - every day for the first eight days of our son's life. I hated him for it sometimes. Now I am so grateful. And today I am a breastfeeding peer supporter.”

“He brought me water and meals, kept me stocked on snacks and supported me staying skin to skin in bed with him, nursing on demand. He supported me as we struggled with his weight loss and lack of regaining during the first 4 weeks... then called a lactation consultant in for me when I was losing it, afraid for our little one's health. He researched and went shopping trying to help me get my supply up when we discovered that lip and tongue tie was the cause of our trouble, and held me when I cried over getting little man's lip and tongue ties revised. He's been my supporter and strength, my protector and helper. He plays and reads with our son, helps me get a few minutes for the self care I need, and is my champion.” Rebecca

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“My best friend (of 26 years!) held my hand through the first 6m of breastfeeding. She travelled an hour to see me after our daughter was born, she drove me to all the breastfeeding supports groups in the area, she lent me books and sent me links and info. She’d text me to check up on me and make sure I was ok. I love her to bits, and I truly believe that she helped me to continue.” Asha

“He supported me through the first few difficult days of feeding amazingly. Our little ones latch wasn't quite right so for the first few days every time she latched on and pulled my nipple out I would have a sharp pain. During these nights he would sit up when she wanted a feed and encourage me simply by putting his arm around us.....a bit of corrective latching and all sorted. I don't think he knows how much those few minutes each feed meant to me and made me carry on! Plus he would stare at the two of us in amazement at me feeding her which gave me the greatest pride I have ever felt.” Hannah

How you can Help Support a Breastfeeding Mum, by Prof Amy Brown & the College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University

"Creating a supportive environment where mums can breastfeed more easily is the responsibility of us all. As part of our research at Swansea University we asked over 1000 breastfeeding mums what helped them."

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