Breast-feeding support: How a partner can help

There's more you can do for your breast-feeding partner than you might realize. Understand how to provide breast-feeding support. By Mayo Clinic Staff

If your partner plans to breast-feed your new baby, you might have questions. What's your role? What can you do to help? Find out how to provide breast-feeding support.

How can I help my family prepare for breast-feeding?

You can start helping your partner prepare for breast-feeding by taking time to understand the possible benefits. Breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients for your baby and boosts your baby's immune system. It's considered the gold standard for infant nutrition.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months after birth — and breast-feeding in combination with solid foods until at least age 1. Extended breast-feeding is recommended as long as your partner and your baby wish to continue.

To learn more about the benefits of breast-feeding, attend breast-feeding classes with your partner. If you know the basics of the techniques involved, you might be better able to help your partner after birth. These classes can also help you understand the impact that the use of bottles, pacifiers and supplemental feedings can have on the breast-feeding process, and spur you and your partner to make decisions together about how you'll care for your baby.

Nov. 28, 2012 See more In-depth