By: Mirella Alexis
August is World Breastfeeding Month. It is important to do everything we can to ensure that the women in our lives have the support they need to breastfeed in a positive, healthy, and successful manner. As a doula, I’d like to share some tips on how nannies can help the nursing moms they work for.
1.) Make sure mom is fed. It’s very important that a nursing mom is well-fed and hydrated at all times. As a nanny, it is not your duty to cook unless it is something extra that you enjoy and get paid for. However, nursing parents need extra stamina in order to keep up with their nutrition, calories, the babies feeding schedule and/or pumping schedule. Offering mom a snack when you offer the older children one can be very helpful. Or, if there are no older children, checking in every few hours to see if mom needs a refreshed drink or easy to grab snack like fresh fruit, a hard-boiled egg, or any pre-packaged snacks can go a long way in being thoughtful and productive. It also helps mom’s mental health and overall wellbeing. It can also be a good time to bond or catch up with your employer.
2.) Remind mom to take some time for herself. New parents can sometimes have a hard time separating from their baby. Encouraging some alone time can be good. Often times parents forget about themselves and their wellbeing because they are so caught up in the baby. Reassure them that it’s a perfect time for you and the baby to get to know each other and bond. The parent can go for a walk, read a chapter of a book, or just have some much-needed alone time to recharge their batteries to be fully present for the baby.
3.) Keep a list or a log. Parents, especially new parents or breastfeeding parents, have a lot to keep track of, therefore keeping a list can be very beneficial for you and them. You can keep a list of schedules, baby supplies; such as items for changing tables, diaper bags, bath time, pumping supplies, or baby food and snacks. Keeping track of these things can be a world of help for everyone involved and save a lot of time during a very busy and commanding day.
4.) Give a little space. Feeding time is a very special time for parent and child. Often times parents have a hard time telling family members “no.” It helps to have a buffer or someone else looking out for their best interest. That’s where you can come in! Reminding family members to give mom and baby a little space by just a little nudge can bring much piece of mind to mom and baby. Let the mom and baby have privacy by asking extended family members to help out around the house, go do errands for the family, or if there are older children in the house, spend quality time with them.
5.) Be a good listener. Often parents are looking for a soundboard, someone to vent or talk to about things, or just need to hear some kind words of encouragement. Many times, just being a good listener is listening, nodding, and a few positive words. Being a good listener can go a long way in having a successful work-life relationship with the children and parents.
Being a breastfeeding parent can be a very hard and demanding job, just like being a nanny. Therefore, being a nanny who can help during the breastfeeding journey can leave a lasting positive impact on parents, children and yourself!