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The role of partners

Feeding is only one part of being a parent. There's so much more you can do.

parent role

Pregnancy and breastfeeding come with lots of changes. It can be both exciting and worrying at times. Your partner may need reassurance that her body can grow and feed this baby. Most mothers can breastfeed if supported.

A learning experience

Breastfeeding is a learned skill and sometimes it takes a little time to work well. A healthy, full-term baby who has skin-to-skin contact and a feed at birth, often has an easier start. You may not be able to learn the skills of breastfeeding, but you and your partner can learn how breastfeeding works, what’s normal and what to expect.

ABA has lots of resources - articles, videos, and downloadable booklets. Attending a breastfeeding workshop before your baby is born will help to prepare for your baby. 

Finding out about your local ABA group activities is a good idea too, as you can meet other families in the area who have babies and young children. 

Practical support at home

You may think breastfeeding means you will spend less time with your baby because you can’t feed them. But feeding is only one part of being a parent. Bathing, nappy changing, massage, cuddling to sleep and playing are great ways to get to know your new baby.  

While your baby is feeding, you can sit and chat to your partner, offer her food and a drink, help with meals for the rest of the family, care for your other children or do things that need doing.  

When it's not feed time, you can enjoy some one-to-one time with your baby. It's important that your baby learns that love can also come without food. 

What can I do to help?

  • Change your baby’s nappy and bring them to your partner for feeds.  

  • Help your baby get skin-to-skin before a breastfeed.

  • Get a pillow for your partner, if needed. 

  • Make sure she has a drink of water and a snack handy. 

  • Settle your baby after feeds.  

  • Just be there for a chat and encouragement. 

  • Create a relaxed atmosphere and manage visitors. 


© Australian Breastfeeding Association April 2022

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