These Tips Are A Must-Read For Anyone Who Visits A Breastfeeding Mom
Because breastfeeding is actually a team effort
If you’re a breastfeeding mom or know a breastfeeding mom or have ever been in the vicinity of a breastfeeding mom — well, then this viral Facebook post is for you. Because it’s got a little something for everyone.
Though breastfeeding should be perceived as the normal, natural act it is — many people still find something to feel uncomfortable about. Because boobs. Luckily, the Breastfeeding in Northern Ireland Facebook page is here to help us all calm our tits (pun absolutely intended) about it in the best way.
“This news just in — when you visit a breastfed baby, you are likely to see a little bit of breast,” the post starts. Then it launches into tips for how people should react when confronted with the sight of a “tiny bit of breast,” because “the breast is where the milk is and the milk is what the baby drinks.”
A few of these tips should go without saying — like acting totally normal and continuing your conversation with the mom as you were before she starts feeding her baby. But some other tips are just good, universal reminders.
“Do not leave the room unless asked, do not ask mum to leave the room.” This was probably the biggest issue I encountered while breastfeeding my daughter for 13 months — feeling like I “had” to leave the room to ensure other people were comfortable. Which is such bullshit. Because in the case of whose comfort should be the priority — it should absolutely be the mom of the hungry baby who is the priority. If Uncle Ted or great-Aunt Gertie are getting the vapors over a smidge of boob, then they can get up and leave. Breastfeeding moms can feel isolated enough as it is. Don’t make them feel like they have to shun themselves in a room because your Puritan heart can’t take seeing a millimeter of nipple.
Oh, also — covering up suuuucks. For both mom and baby. So don’t even go there.
“Tell mum she is doing brilliantly and you are proud of her,” the post continues. “If mum is struggling, get her good face-to-face support. A bottle is not face-to-face support.” If you feel inadequate giving her advice, make an appointment with a lactation consultant for your mom friend, or better yet — take her to see one.
“Bring food. Bring drinks. Make the food. Pour the drinks.” This is undoubtedly the best tip on the list. Breastfeeding tends to make one hungry and thirsty — and while mom can have a glass of wine if she wants and be perfectly fine to feed, any tasty beverage will do.
“If the baby cries, give the baby to mum. Do not attempt to walk around shushing, patting saying it worked for your baby. This baby wants mum.” Which is true, if the baby is hungry. Or just wants a boob-pacifier — which, let’s be honest, is exactly what they are when you’re breastfeeding. And that’s perfectly OK.
And perhaps the best tip of all is the reminder at the end: “Remember – visiting a breastfed baby may result in exposure to breasts, oxytocin, melatonin and all round feel good hormones.”