The ability to make life and then sustain it is amazing. But sometimes breastfeeding mothers need encouragement.
My goal for this article is to encourage moms who breastfeed. Before I continue, I would like to be clear on this: I do NOT intend to bash moms who choose to use formula. My wife breastfeeds our children and the other mothers in my family breastfeed their children, so this is what I am familiar with.
Breastfeeding, as you know, is an excellent source of nutrition for babies. I am very grateful my wife has been able to breastfeed our kids, but there have still been some ups and downs. I have had to support my wife and ask her how she feels about breastfeeding. Sometimes we’ve had some unpleasant reactions from people when they see her nursing our children in public, and even some negative reactions from certain family members who are ignorant on the subject.
But all l can do is encourage her.
Most importantly, if you are a breastfeeding mom, I want to say: “thank you for breastfeeding”.
If you are the significant other of a breastfeeding mom, or know a breastfeeding mom, below are six encouraging things you can say to her today:
1. “Thank you for breastfeeding”
How did you feel the last time someone said “thank you” to you? I am sure you felt good and happy. Let’s do the same for our breastfeeding moms. A simple “thank you” will go a long way towards improving a breastfeeding mom’s day.
2. “I support your breastfeeding decision”
If you are the partner or spouse of a breastfeeding mom, tell her exactly how much you support her nursing as long as she sees fit for her and her child. Let her know just how awesome you think it is that she is breastfeeding. Tell her what a great job she is doing.
3. “You are enough”
Trust your body. I know the question of supply comes up often with breastfeeding moms, and misinformation can create stress and extra pressure. Just know for the majority of women, your supply is enough.
Encouragement is also important as many people are ignorant about the life-sustaining ability of breasts and are only concerned with their sexual function. As a supportive partner, by learning and understanding the basic functions of breasts and nursing, you will be able to understand any complications that arise. Let her know you understand breastfeeding is not easy, and that you are thankful for her.
4. “Great job, mama”
Give her a smile. Don’t avoid her and act awkward. Keep the conversation going or if you are just passing by, smile. Offer an encouraging phrase like “great job, mama!”
5. “Take my seat and be comfortable”
Offer her a comfortable place to sit and perhaps a glass of water. Moms who breastfeed are constantly thirsty because it takes a lot of water to make breast milk.
6. “Thank you for not giving up”
Breastfeeding is hard work. It can be physically draining and unfortunately, not always socially accepted. So, thank you, breastfeeding moms, for dealing with all of this, and doing what you feel is best for you and your children.
I am not saying this to criticize anyone who is not able to breastfeed. I know not every mom will be able to breastfeed, which is very sad. I learned about this after my wife began breastfeeding and she shared some breastfeeding stories with me.
Breastfeeding moms, thank you for sacrificing sleep to make sure your baby is fed at night. Sometimes breastfeeding hurts; it can involve mastitis, sore nipples, and leaking breast milk. You should be appreciated for dealing with all of this, as well as dirty looks and snide comments. You stuck with your gut and continued to nurse your child as long as was right for both of you. For all these reasons, I am grateful.
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