You can be the Hero of a nursing Mother and Baby you know. Here is how!
1. Tell Nursing Moms You Support Them!
Nursing can be very difficult, even for experienced mothers. Often the early weeks are the hardest as baby learns to nurse and Mom gets used to the new and changing scheduled to meet baby’s needs. It can be very disheartening. Currently 79% of babies are getting some amount of breastmilk when born, sadly that number drops to just 26% at a year old and even fewer getting to the 2 year mark that the World Health Organization recommends. While laws are changing in many places to protect breastfeeding in public, society some would say is still not breastfeeding supportive. One of the best things you can do is show your support. When Moms post photos, comment positively. Call and ask new Mom how nursing is going. Listen when things are hard and don’t offer to bring over formula unless asked. (this happened to me a number of times and it just made me cry harder honestly.) Sometimes all a struggling Mom needs is someone who will listen and someone who will help her through the hard moments. Your voice is your greatest tool in helping new Moms succeed in their breastfeeding goals.
2. Bring Breastfeeding Moms Gifts
During the hardest times of breastfeeding for me I was lucky to have an amazing husband and lovely friends who would gift me all kinds of breastfeeding accessories and things most don’t think about, like tea made to increase milk supply and snacks, so many wonderful easy snacks I could munch on while feeding baby. Books are a great idea too. Sometimes when you don’t know what to say, or what to do, you can show your support by bringing or mailing a new Mom something to show her you care and support her goals. You don’t need to know much about breastfeeding to support breastfeeding Moms.
One of the best gifts I was given was a basket of snacks, teas, and nursing pads. Breast Pads are needed by many women and so many of them are sticky uncomfortable disposable ones. Econursing.com has reusable breastpads made out of my favorite eco-friendly green fabric, Organic Bamboo! Super comfortable, absorbent, and it in my opinion, the very best fabric. This kind of fabric just gets softer and softer the more it is washed. The hypoallergenic bamboo pads, with leakproof layer, make an excellent gift for expecting and nursing mothers.
3. Offer your physical Support.
Nursing often takes up more time in a Mothers day than you can imagine. Days blur together as one nursing session blends into another and so on. So often when you ask a nursing mother how often she is nursing her new baby she will tell you that she hardly remembers the times when she is not nursing. This means other things can’t be tended to. If you can help her, please do. Offer to do the dishes, the laundry, shopping, cooking, really anything. In the early days she might want someone to hold the baby while she takes a shower but most Moms need all the time with baby possible for bonding so you taking on other things for her is the best option! Even if the New Mom isn’t asking, please do offer to help and ask often. Don’t just tell her that you are there if she needs anything, be specific. Let her know what you planned for dinner and ask if you can bring over dinner for her family as your making double. Let her know you have a morning free and would like to come clean for her. Call her from the store and ask if she can text you a list of things you can get for her.
There is a special place in my heart, and society, for those who support Moms. Thank you for being a part of it!