Supporting Friends with Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be a fantastic experience. However, it is not unusual for mothers to have some difficulties when they start out on the breastfeeding journey. If you have a friend who is breastfeeding, you may want to offer her some support, especially if you have some experience of breastfeeding yourself. Here are some tips on how to support a friend who is having some difficulties with breastfeeding.

Be there to listen

Sometimes, all a new mother needs is somebody who will take the time to listen to her about her concerns, experiences and difficulties. A good friend will make time to sit with a cup of coffee and listen to her while she talks.

Talk about the positives

Having some experience of breastfeeding yourself can be beneficial to somebody who is having difficulties. Try to talk to your friend about any positive experiences and memories you have about breastfeeding. This will give them some encouragement and motivation to continue through any difficulties they are experiencing and give them hope that they too will have a positive breastfeeding experience.

Avoid the negatives

While having experience can be an advantage when supporting a friend and the ability to relate to their difficulties can make them feel that you really understand, dwelling on the negative aspects of your experiences can have a negative outcome. It is important that you avoid talking too much about the downsides and any problems you had and focus more on how you dealt with any problems and overcame the difficulties.

Tell them about support services

There are many professional and voluntary services available to support new mothers while they are establishing breastfeeding. They will offer advice and support on a variety of issues including, problems latching on, milk flow, positioning, emotional support, health advice and much more. Try to find out about any services that may be able to help your friend while they are experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding. However, it is important to remember that it must be their choice to speak to somebody and seek advice. Forcing the issue with them may feel like a criticism of how they are coping.

Conclusion

Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience and one that may be shared between close friends. However, if you have a friend that is having difficulties with any aspect of breastfeeding, they may need a little support from their friends. There are lots of ways that a friend can be supportive including listening, being positive, avoiding talking about negative experiences and finding out about different support services.