October 1 to 7 is National Breastfeeding Week, and with more and more Irish women wanting to breastfeed their babies, there is a huge demand on fathers, partners and family members to learn how they can help make breastfeeding work.
Here are five ways that you can support breastfeeding in your family:
Mind the mammy: Partners, keep a ready supply of fast, healthy meals and snacks to keep mum fed and watered. Family and friends might consider bringing the new family a home cooked meal to pop in the fridge or freezer. Hold the baby while mum showers, eats or gets dressed. Anything you do to support mum helps support baby as well.
Mind the baby: Feeding is not the only thing a baby needs. Hold the baby, take the baby for a walk in a sling or pram, change the baby, bath the baby, settle and wind the baby after feeds. If there are older siblings around, take them out for some one on one time.
Mind the house: In those early weeks after having a baby, a new mothers priorities are recovering, feeding and getting to know her baby. Cooking, cleaning and laundry can be done by anyone and everyone else.
Inform yourself: If you are not familiar with how breastfeeding works, check out websites such as kellymom.com or breastfeeding.ie to find out what to expect in those early days. Apps such as Breastfeeding Solutions by Nancy Mohrbacher offer simple solutions to everyday breastfeeding problems.
Know your local supports: While breastfeeding your baby is perfectly natural, it is not always easy. Knowing where to go for local breastfeeding support is key to making breastfeeding work. To find breastfeeding support in Athlone, go to www.breastfeeding.ie
Cuidiu is a national organization providing support and education to parents across Ireland. Cuidiu Athlone is running several free events to celebrate National Breastfeeding Week.
For more information visit the Cuidiu Athlone Facebook page.