One of the best things about breastfeeding is that when all goes right, and especially if you don’t have to return to work, it can be totally free — extras are optional. So when you have a friend who is expecting who plans on breastfeeding, she definitely needs your support and help preparing. However, this doesn’t have to come in the form of purchases, and in fact, it’s some of the things you can give her for free that will make the biggest difference.
1. Your company. Go with her to breastfeeding support groups while she’s still pregnant. Lots of moms-to-be have never seen another mom breastfeed. It’s like learning to ride a bike when you’ve never seen someone else do it; it just helps to see it first! It’ll also help her get comfortable with the people there which can be really important if she needs to go without you, or needs to enlist their help later on. They can also answer any questions she might have. Plus, they can just be a lot of fun!
2. Your resources. Make a big list of your favorite helpful breastfeeding and parenting websites, blogs, articles, reasons to breastfeed, and also local numbers and people she can contact for help. E-mail it to her, so that way she always knows exactly where to find it.
3. Your protection. With all the Booby Traps moms have to face, having someone to run interference and let her know when someone’s given her bad advice can be key. Be there to point her toward sound advice when she asks. If she comes home with a “gift bag” from her OB, take a peek and make sure it’s Booby Trap-free.
4. Your ear. Make sure your door is always open to her, even if she needs reassurance at 3 a.m. that her newborn eating 15 times in one day is okay and normal. Sometimes just commiserating with someone else who’s been there and can say, “I know it can seem hard, but it’s worth it” can be a lifesaver!
5. Your praise. Write her a letter or just make sure you tell her how dang proud of her you are, and how you know she’s going to do great. Let her know that even though there can be a learning curve when it comes to breastfeeding, you’re going to be her personal cheerleader every step of the way.
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Image credit Scott Ellis
Christie Haskell is a coffee and tea-addicted wife to Kyle and mother of two wee beasties — Rowan (7) and Aurora the Destroyer (2) and one fur baby, Isis. She’s a true geek at heart and spends too much time playing video games and reading fantasy novels when she’s not typing her fingers off for CafeMom’s The Stir or her personal blog-love, DailyMomtra.