A new baby in your family can be rewarding yet challenging. Especially as many couples don't spend much time with young babies before having their own. One of the best things you can do is prepare for the physical and emotional demands of caring for your baby.
Even if you have a good idea of what to expect, you can still learn a lot about being new parents. A strong relationship with your partner will also help as your new baby needs so much attention and energy.
Your new baby will need care 24-hours-a day, 7-days-a week. Always being on call, with interrupted sleep, makes many mums very tired. Your partner may feel exhausted and less confident. It can take time for both parents to adjust to the lifestyle changes a new baby brings.
Being there for your breastfeeding partner during the early days of breastfeeding will help you both share the role of caring for your baby. Together, you will both become more confident. It will also feel good to support your partner to nurture your baby.
Supporting your partner's emotional needs
There are many ways you can offer support and care for your new baby:
Your partner needs lots of encouragement learning to breastfeed. The early days and weeks with a new baby can be very challenging. Sometimes it is difficult to adjust and becomes overwhelming. The days may blur into each other. New parents often feel as if nothing is getting done. Encourage your partner just to do their best. New mums need to hear that they are doing a great job and how proud you are of them.
Sharing ideas and thoughts can help put things in perspective. Sometimes it will be you who remembers an important bit of breastfeeding information when it is most needed.
Parents are often given conflicting information. Everyone has different ways of doing things. You may need to try several options before you find what works best for your family. Remember that your baby and your family are unique.
Encourage your partner to talk through any breastfeeding concerns with an ABA breastfeeding counsellor or check information with an ABA community educator on ABA's LiveChat service. You are also welcome to this.
You can also encourage your partner to attend a local ABA support group to chat with a trained volunteer and meet with other parents to share ideas and gain support. You’re welcome to come along too!
Practical support at home
Take as much leave as possible or maybe arrange some days working from home. Do as much as you can at home: making meals, doing laundry, general cleaning and looking after other children or pets. Accept offers of help from family and friends. This can help your breastfeeding partner to rest and recover from the birth.
Hear from a supported mum
Without my hubby's unwavering support, there is no way I would still be feeding my twins at 15 months! He never once, during all the madness and sleepless nights, suggested we feed any other way. He took over basically all meals and feeding me was his way of feeding the babies. We had discussed during pregnancy how important it was to us that the twins be exclusively BF and that it would be my full time job for quite a few months. He picked up soooo much of the slack in caring for our older child and for our home. Could not have done it without him.