This week is Thanksgiving. Here are a few tips and suggestions for helping your breastfeeders.
Let’s be understanding and helpful when our little people get tired after eating. Let’s stay away from calling a child bad or spoiled because they want their mother after they have eaten and are tired. We all get sleepy after eating and so do they!
Please, let’s not question mom why she is feeding her baby again or at all. Babies will feed frequently for a variety of reasons. This doesn’t mean that mom’s milk is lacking. She is actually making milk that is high in calories and fat to help the baby’s brain, lungs, and other vital organs work efficiently. Encourage her to keep her baby to the breast every time the baby requests to feed. Yes, this might mean several times in an hour, every hour, or for very long periods of times. This is normal, healthy, and needed. Remember, her milk is the best milk in town and we want this baby to get all of the benefits breastfeeding has to offer. Let’s work as a team to make sure this baby has the best!
Offer to refill mom’s drink, to bring her something else to eat. Get a chair for mom’s other child to sit with her while mom breastfeeds, or you sit with mom while she is feeding. Now let’s make sure we’re not staring at mom’s breast or asking intrusive questions about breastfeeding. Questions not to ask are things like; “when are you going to stop breastfeeding, do you have to do that all of the time, or can’t you just put it in a bottle.” These are very discouraging and negative questions and can cause some moms to doubt their ability and decision to breastfeed. We want to be positive and encouraging.
Asking things like; “are any of your other friends breastfeeding, what have you learned since you started breastfeeding, do you have someone who is helping or supporting you to breastfeed” are questions that encourage mom to share her experiences and causes her to feel like someone is interested in her and what she is experiencing. And of course, sharing some encouragement is always needed. “I’m so proud of you! You’re doing a great job. You know you are giving that baby some good milk.”
If mom wants to go into another room to be alone while feeding, check on her. Offer to bring her something to drink or eat. Don’t question why she has been in there so long. And if her other children want her bring them to her.
Let’s make Thanksgiving a special time for everyone! Be nice. Be kind. Be loving. Make me proud 😉