The importance of a support network
Your pregnancy is a good time to talk about your impressions and expectations with your partner, family, and friends. It’s also a good time to find out about the breastfeeding resources and community groups in your area.
The role of the partner
As soon as your baby is born, you can find ways to support your partner with breastfeeding. Your presence means a lot, especially during the adaptation period.
As a future father and partner, you can play an active part in the discussions and decision on breastfeeding your child. Your role is important.
You can make a real difference by working hand-in-hand with your partner while a breastfeeding routine is being established.
At the beginning, the mother often needs help getting the baby latched on to the breast. You can help by lending an extra hand to hold the baby, shifting a pillow, or sharing a word of encouragement. Little things like bringing your partner something to drink or making a snack are always appreciated.
You can also reassure your partner when she’s feeling unsure of herself, shield her from negative pressure from friends and family, or seek out support if she needs it.
Helping care for your baby will also make breastfeeding easier for your partner and allow you to ease into your role as parent. You can work as a team, taking your turn holding your baby skin to skin between feedings, especially after your partner’s milk has come in. You can change diapers, burp your baby, and rock her in your arms to soothe her or put her to sleep.
Support from family and friends
If you or your partner were breastfed, your families may be familiar with the practice. But you might also be the first in your family or your partner’s family to breastfeed. In this case, you may want to let them know what your intentions are. Knowing your plans can help them support you in your decision.
Also, don’t hesitate to ask them for a helping hand with things like meals, babysitting, errands, and housekeeping.
There are several types of resources that offer breastfeeding help and support. For more detailed information, see Getting help.
- Breastfeeding support groups and organizations
- Early childhood services at your CLSC
- Info-Santé: 24/7 telephone consultations at 8-1-1
- Certified lactation consultations (IBCLC) (private services)
- Breastfeeding clinics with medical specialists (available in some regions)
- Your midwife or doctor
Here are some resources:
Association québécoise des consultantes en lactation diplômées de l’IBLCE
Centres de référence des grandes régions de Montréal et de Québec
Mouvement Allaitement du Québec
mouvementallaitement.org (in French only)
514-948-9877 / 1-866-948-5160
Réseau des centres de ressources périnatales du Québec
Breastfeeding a baby isn’t always easy, but once breastfeeding is established, it can be very rewarding and nourishing for you and your baby. Trust yourselves and enjoy the pleasures of parenthood—one day at a time.
Remember that everyone’s breastfeeding experience is a little different and that every baby is unique. If you or your friends have had difficult breastfeeding experiences in the past, that doesn’t mean you will have trouble this time.
It’s normal to need time to get used to breastfeeding. As you’re learning, you may have moments when you question your decision. It’s a good idea to know who to turn to for help and to have people around who can support you.