How to Support a Breastfeeding Mom

How to Support a Breastfeeding Mom

Many consider breastfeeding a one-person job. Sure, only mom is lactating and can produce the nutrient-dense milk baby needs. However, there are many other ways family and friends can support a nursing mom. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), how long a mother breastfeeds her baby is heavily influenced by the amount of family support she receives.

So if you’re a spouse, partner, sibling, parent, grandparent or friend of a nursing mom, check out all the ways you can support her throughout her breastfeeding!


  • Learn baby’s special feeding cues so you can help watch for them. 
  • Offer to bring mom things while nursing like water, a snack, an additional pillow, phone, or book.
  • Bring baby to mom for feeding and settle him/her back to sleep after nursing.
  • Even if you can’t help with feeding the baby, you can get up with mom for night feeding to keep her company.
  • If your loved one is pumping, take over the night feeding by warming and feeding a previously expressed bottle of breast milk. 


  • Take over bath duties.
  • Offer to change diapers. 
  • Rock the baby to sleep.
  • Wash bottles and pump parts.
  • Soothe baby when he/she is upset. 
  • Take over swaddling. 
  • Assist with tummy time. 


  • Provide words of affirmation. 
  • Give supportive words or encouragement without judgment when she’s facing breastfeeding difficulties.
  • Encourage her to find a breastfeeding support group.
  • Start the process to get additional help or support from a healthcare provider or lactation consultant if needed.
  • Show appreciation for  the time and effort mom is putting into nursing and remind her how important she is. 
  • As much of the focus has shifted to the baby, be sure to ask mom how she is doing and really listen to her concerns. 


  • Take the baby out for a walk to give mom some quiet time.
  • Make sure mom is staying hydrated and has nutritious food options available. 
  • Spend some quality time with mom, without baby. 
  • Take older kids out for time away from home.
  • Gift mom a massage or nail care appointment.
  • Offer to watch the baby and give mom a chance to get out of the house. 


  • Deliver a meal and/or set up a meal train. 
  • Wash dishes.
  • Wash, fold and put away laundry. 
  • Offer to do the grocery shopping or run errands. 
  • Help with tending to older children. 
  • Ask mom if there is anything you can do to help?