How Family Members Can Support the Breastfeeding Mother

Updated: Sep 9, 2020



- Assure her that her milk is the best food for the baby.


- Help her to be comfortable while nursing. Bring her pillows, or a footstool, rub her shoulders and/or feet, play soft music if she asks.


- Prepare her a snack and something to drink while she nurses.


- Do not assume that every passing of gas or crying bout is related to the mother's milk. This creates a great deal of stress for the mother and also is not accurate.


- Offer your hands and eyes: help her to make sure that the baby has a wide-open mouth to ensure proper latch, help her watch for swallows. With multiples, this is even more important.


- Encourage her to put the baby to the breast on cue. Remember that crying is a late cue for feeding.


- Encourage her to watch the baby, rather than the clock; both parents will get to know the baby better this way.


- Develop skills for nurturing and soothing the baby, such as wearing the baby in a sling or skin-to-skin. This way the mother (and the breast) won't be the only source of comfort.


- Be patient. Remind her that she and the baby have never done this together before. It often takes several weeks before the breastfeeding couple has all the kinks worked out.


- Ask for help when you need it. Sometimes it takes an expert with thousands of hours of experience (a lactation professional) only a few minutes to fix a problem that's plagued you for days or weeks. That's why they're there for.


Adapted from Nurturing the Family: The Guide for Postpartum Doulas

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Natalie

 "I cannot encapsulate a better experience than having Suzanna as our doula...She was not only incredible support during postpartum but we also consider her a friend. She provided us incredible support with such a calm, empowering demeanor. She is also such an incredible resource and wealth of knowledge. We couldn't have made it the last three months without her, and every time she was away, we missed her (and still do)! If you are looking for postpartum support or a night nurse, Suzanna truly is a great person to have and we are so grateful to have experienced sharing post birth with her." -NW 2020

Emily

"Suzanna helped me through the beginning of a new phase of motherhood as a stay-at-home mommy of two. She coached me, helped me create and track goals to keep my brain focused, and provided an outlet for much-needed adult interaction in those first few months while everything was overwhelming and new. She was patient and kind, she listened to my opinions and concerns, and made sure that my mental health was a priority when I didn’t have the brain space to spend on it.

Suzanna is incredibly knowledgeable about pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, postpartum, and childcare; which was so helpful when I was exhausted, struggling with the changes my body had just gone through and had two little ones to look after on top of it all. It was life-giving having someone to care specifically for me and my mental health in this transitional time. It helped me become the best mom I could be." -2018

Lora

“We cannot even begin to express our sincere gratitude for Suzanna and her expertise. As first time parents (and first time mom of a now almost 7 month old!), my husband and I were unfamiliar with the role of postpartum doulas. She introduced us to incredible care centered on the recovering mom and needs of the brand new infant. Our daughter arrived a bit early, and was less than 5 lbs when we brought her home; she required a “triple feeding schedule” that resulted in almost 90 minutes of various forms of feeding followed by 30 minutes of rest...and repeat!  Needless to say, and despite so much love and support from our families, we were exhausted. Suzanna was truly a light in the haze of sleeplessness and new-parent uncertainty. Her unassuming and warm presence, calming words, as well as evidence-based, postpartum/breastfeeding knowledge were unparalleled. She skillfully guided us all through the early weeks of parenthood (and with COVID looming). We recommend her services to all!” -2020