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Information For Supporting Breastfeeding Mums

The early days and weeks of breastfeeding your baby can be very tiring, stressful and emotional for both of you. Supporting each other is very important at this time. 

While mum and baby learn to breastfeed, your support makes a huge difference. Mum is much more likely to enjoy breastfeeding and manage any problems if she has good support around her. Emotional support is so important for helping mums to breastfeed for longer too.

There are lots of ways that you can help.

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  • It would be really useful to know how breastfeeding works and what to expect when the baby arrives;

    • Breast milk is the most natural food for a baby. It contains just the right amount of nutrients for the baby, and changes as they grow to meet their needs. It is all the baby needs until the age of six months.
    • Research shows that breastfeeding has many benefits for baby and mum.*Click here* to find our more.
    • Babies need to have their breastmilk fed to them by mum as much as possible. This will help increase her milk supply,
    • Babies are much happier if they are fed as soon as they start showing signs of hunger.
    • Babies can feed a lot! (anything from eight to 12 times or more in 24 hours) in the early weeks, especially during the evenings. This is called cluster feeding and is a very normal baby behaviour and is an important part of establishing breastfeeding. 
    • Some babies may not feed very quickly at first, but they may get quicker as they get older.
    • The more a baby feeds, the more milk their mum makes because it’s the removal of milk that increases the production of it. Supply and demand!
    • Pain when feeding is not normal and could be a sign that attachment or positioning needs some adjustment or a sign of thrush. If there is pain when feeding, talk to the midwife or health visitor.
  • There are many things you can do to support someone who is breastfeeding and help make the experience easier for mum and baby. If you are a new dad or co-parent all the help that you provide will help you to bond with your baby. If you are a Grandparent or other supporter for mum, all the help you give will help her to bond with her baby. Below are some ways you can support mum; 

    • Support her choice to breastfeed.
    • If you are a dad or co-parent offer skin to skin to sooth baby between feeds.
    • Boost her confidence by giving her reassurance and praise. 
    • Help with the household jobs so mum can feed the baby for as long and as often as they need.
    • Encourage them to eat and drink regularly with healthy meals and snacks.
    • Help out during the day and night after feeds by caring for the baby while mum rests.
    • Taking on practical tasks such as nappy changing and bathing the baby.
    • Help her get specialist support if she’s struggling with breastfeeding. You can call Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 who can provide the support that she needs. 
    • When mum and baby have got the hang of breastfeeding she may ask you to feed the baby an expressed milk feed. 

     

  • You and your partner may worry that if they cannot feed the baby this will affect their bonding and attachment. The good news is that there are lots of ways that your partner can bond with the baby without feeding them. To establish and maintain breastfeeding it is important that you feed the baby but your partner can bond with the baby by bathing them, changing their nappy, having lots of skin to skin and sling time, singing songs and reading to them right from birth and of course cuddling them as much as possible while having a chat - babies do love a good conversation! All of this time your partner and baby spend together will help them bond, while they still enjoy and receive all the benefits of your breastmilk.

    Photo Of Man Carrying Baby

Who Can Help?

If your baby is less than 28 days old you can contact your local midwifery team or you can contact the Healthy Child Programme at any time following your baby's birth by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590.

Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. Norfolk Healthy Child Programme has a team of infant feeding champions who can contact you by video call/telephone initially to discuss your questions and refer you to further help if required. All of our staff are trained to Unicef standards to provide you with the best possible breastfeeding support and advice.

It may help in the first instance to look again at our page on Positioning and Attachment and *click here* to read the Essential Guide to Feeding & Caring for your Baby. 

If you would like to make connections with other parents please click on the links for our Just One Norfolk Community Forum; the Norfolk Community Directory and Early Childhood & Family Service (ECFS) below

 

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