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Your question:

How can family and friends help?

Expert’s answer:

Mother father and two babiesIreland currently has the lowest breastfeeding rate in Europe this means that many mums may not have close family and friends who have breastfed. Others may have friends or family who found it difficult for various reasons. So it is understandable that family and friends may not know what they can do to help you.    

They care for you and want the best for you and your baby, so help them help you by asking for practical help and support like:

  • making you a drink and snack,
  • bringing a casserole, lasagne or other ready-made dinner,
  • doing the shopping,
  • entertaining older children,
  • washing up dishes or putting on laundry, or
  • doing a quick tidy up.

During the first days and weeks after the birth mums may be emotionally and physically drained and may be particularly sensitive to feeling that others may be critical or unsupportive of their decision to breastfeed. Or even feel under a lot of pressure to breastfeed, keep a perfect house and be a perfect hostess all at once.

During the first days you need to take time to recover from the birth and spend time with your baby. Housework and being a hostess should be the last thing on your mind. Try to limit visits in the first days to close family and friends. Staying in your nightdress and robe is a good way of reminding both yourself and others that you are recovering. Resting in bed and taking a nap when baby does are important tasks for you.  

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