Support the new mother in your life
- Limit the number of visitors in the first weeks of the baby’s life. Some mothers may feel overwhelmed and will appreciate the private time to adjust to the new baby.
- If you are visiting the new family, plan to help with household chores such as food preparation, garbage/diaper disposal, cleaning and caring for older children. Mom and baby need this time to get to know each other and if they are breastfeeding, it is important to have as much practice as possible.
- Support mom’s goals with breastfeeding and help her get support if she is having troubles.
Provide comfort for mom and baby
- Make sure mom is comfortable while breastfeeding and has had plenty to eat and drink. Provide a tray of snacks and water that she can reach easily.
- Talk, sing, and hum to the new baby in a soft, calm voice. Use eye contact.
- Bond with the baby by giving baths, practicing skin-to-skin contact, wearing the baby in a baby-carrier, and learning techniques to gently massage the baby.
A first-time parent, Kevin, was excited to take care of his newborn baby.
He thought giving his baby a bottle would give his partner a rest from breastfeeding, and help his baby get to know him.
While he wanted to support his partner, he learned that giving newborns formula actually interrupts the natural process of breastfeeding, and could lower her milk supply.
Kevin is still committed to supporting his partner with breastfeeding.
Now, he is having a great time exploring the many different things he can do to bond with his newborn. His favorite so far is holding his baby skin-to-skin on his chest.