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SHARING THE LOAD

Supporting breastfeeding

Research shows that breastfeeding is most likely to become established when it is fully supported by a woman's partner. If you'd like to help your partner to make a go of breastfeeding and provide the best start for your child, here's what other parents have to say:

"I was really keen for Julie to breastfeed Liam, but before he was born I wondered whether it would leave me feeling like a spare part. So I decided that whenever I was around when she was feeding, I'd make sure she had a drink of water, chat to her, or, if she didn't want me there, make a meal or do something practical around the house so that she knew that I was 'on duty' too.' Alan, dad to Liam, eight months

"When I started breastfeeding Liam the hardest thing for me was being out and about in public and having to get myself sorted out to feed. I'd get flustered, feel a bit nervous and Liam would start getting upset.

"By that time I'd feel like everyone's eyes were on us. Alan helped me so much in the early days because whenever he was there, he would calmly get us sat down, get me a drink or some food and then position himself so that I was never in full view of others. That helped me to get my confidence up so I could feed easily when I was out on my own without feeling like everyone was looking at me.

"Another thing I found difficult was Alan's parents attitude; they didn't like me feeding around them. It wasn't worth embarrassing them so I'd go upstairs. Alan always stuck with me by coming and keeping me company so I didn't feel like a social leper sitting up there on my own. It made the point that he was fully with me on this issue. I think your partner can do a lot to make you feel positive about what you're doing with breastfeeding."
Julie, mum to Liam, eight months

"I knew that Maura really wanted to breastfeed the twins and although I supported that, I was concerned that it would be really hard work for her. So I rang my mum and asked if she could come over a couple of days a week so that at least at some points when I was out at work Maura had some support and could feed the twins one at a time, which was more relaxing for her. I figured it was something useful that I could organise for her."
Richard, dad to Abigail and Georgia, six months

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