Supporting Breastfeeding Mums

You may not have had a baby or breastfed yourself, but you play a vital role in supporting and praising a mum to feed her baby in the way she wants to. There are lots of things you can do to support them.

  • Don’t be embarrassed if she is feeding in front of you – remember she is feeding her baby – you wouldn’t be embarrassed if she had a bottle of formula in her hand
  • Don’t assume that she will want to be alone or in private to feed her baby – most women hate being locked away on their own. She will probably want to chat and talk to you as normal
  • Remember that she is learning a new skill and needs help to build her confidence
  • Sit next to rather than opposite her – that way you don’t have to ‘avoid’ looking at her while she is feeding but can still have eye contact while talking
  • Offer to help, by making her more comfortable or getting her a drink
  • Try not to ask questions like ‘how do you know whether the baby is getting enough milk?’ – she may start doubting herself and worry unnecessarily
  • Help out your friend by bringing lunch/dinner when you visit her or offering to pop out to the shops for her
  • Join the Beside You Facebook, X and Instagram accounts and share positive messages about breastfeeding
  • Offer to go with her to breastfeeding drop-in, it can be daunting to meet new people, you can help to break the ice and make her feel more relaxed.
Images of breastfeeding mothers at cafes in Medway
Grandparent and mum

It was lovely to have a mum there for me who had breastfed both her babies, and her support at this vulnerable time was invaluable. I’m now feeding a 2.5 year old, which is not something I had planned or expected, and is probably (at least in the last few decades) a family record!