Getting Your Family on Board

If you’ve made the decision to breastfeed, talk about it with your family and friends before you give birth. Breastfeeding moms benefit hugely from support!

It’s important to make sure your partner is supportive and has a clear picture of what breastfeeding a newborn and, later, an older baby looks like (the time commitment, potential feeding challenges, etc.):

  • Watch a few videos or take a breastfeeding class together.
     
  • Talk to your partner about why breastfeeding is important to you and what your goals are. Do you want to breastfeed for 3 months? 6 months? One year? Together, you can make a plan to meet those goals as a family. 

Other family members should be supportive of your choice, too. Some older relatives, such as parents and in-laws, may have outdated or even inaccurate ideas about a baby’s behavior, sleep and weight gain, especially if they fed their own kids formula.

  • If you’re feeling judged or getting unwanted advice, be gentle but firm about your breastfeeding goals.
     
  • Share information on the benefits of breastfeeding and the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to get them on board.
     
  • Have your partner back you (and your decision) up.

You may find that your family wants to bond with the baby by feeding him a bottle. But they can bond through other activities, such as bathing, changing, dressing, baby-wearing or even infant massage. Work with your mom, dad, siblings or others to come up with ideas.

And tell your support system that you’d love lots of encouragement during your time as a breastfeeding mama. That can come in the form of a text, phone call or just a simple verbal affirmation when they see your baby at your breast.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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