Getting breastfeeding working well for you and your baby can take some time.
Having the support of those closest to you can make a big difference.
For example, research has found that women are 10 times more likely to initiate breastfeeding when their partner prefers their baby is breastfed.
8 Things To Do When Your Partner Isn't Supportive Of Breastfeeding
But what about if breastfeeding is important to you but your partner is not supportive of breastfeeding? This can make the early weeks of breastfeeding even more challenging.
Here are eight things to do when your partner is not supportive of breastfeeding.
#1: Attend A Breastfeeding Education Class Prior To Birth
If you’re expecting a baby, going along to a breastfeeding education class can help to inform your partner about the importance of breastfeeding and how breastfeeding works. This may encourage your partner to be more supportive of breastfeeding.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), for example, runs prenatal breastfeeding education classes.
#2: Join A Breastfeeding Support Organisation
Becoming a member of a breastfeeding support organisation such as the ABA can help provide you with much needed breastfeeding support. This may help make up for your partner’s lack of support.
By being an ABA member you receive expert assistance from trained volunteer breastfeeding counsellors, as well as friendship and practical support from other mothers. All these things can help you gain breastfeeding skills, confidence and overcome breastfeeding challenges.
#3: Encourage Your Partner To Call A Breastfeeding Helpline
If what you say about breastfeeding doesn’t seem to make any impact, it may help to encourage your partner to hear things from someone else who is knowledgeable about breastfeeding.
Encouraging your partner to call a breastfeeding helpline could help.
#4: Encourage Him To Attend A Local Breastfeeding Support Group Meeting
Breastfeeding support organisations such as ABA often run local support group meetings.
Encouraging your partner to attend one of these meetings may help to change your partner’s focus.
#5: Arm Yourself With Breastfeeding Information
Arming yourself with accurate and up-to-date breastfeeding information, such as from the BellyBelly website, can help empower you.
Even if you lack support from your partner, knowing about how to overcome breastfeeding challenges and about the importance of breastfeeding can help you reach your breastfeeding goals.
#6: Enlist The Support Of An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are health professionals who are the gold standard when it comes to providing breastfeeding information and support.
Most IBCLCs are only too happy to provide ongoing support after the initial visit. Having an IBCLC in your corner can make a huge difference to how breastfeeding works out.
#7: Find Out Why Your Partner Isn’t Supportive Of Breastfeeding
It may help to find out why your partner is not supportive of breastfeeding. Many partners want to help because they can see how tired out, worried or stressed mothers are about breastfeeding. Or they might not have been breastfed themselves and feel it's not necessary.
Depending on the reason(s), the solution to making your partner be supportive may be easier than expected. If you don’t ask, you may never know.
#8: Surround Yourself With Those Who Are Supportive
If you have a partner who is not supportive of breastfeeding, surrounding yourself with people who are supportive can make a big difference. Joining a breastfeeding support organisation and attending local support group meetings can help. Also, if you have friends or family members who are supportive, be sure to spend as much time with such people as possible!
It can be tough to breastfeed if your partner is not supportive of breastfeeding. Hopefully these tips can help you be able to reach your breastfeeding goals and may even help your partner to change their mind!