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Your parents might want to help by offering the advice they were given when they were new parents. However, there's been a lot more research into breastfeeding since then so their advice may be a little out of date nowadays!

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Getting support from your parents to help you breastfeed

If you or your partner's mum didn't breastfeed, they might tell you that you don't need to breastfeed because formula was fine for you or your partner. That may be true, but what we know for certain now is that breastfed babies are more likely to grow into healthier children free from infections, diseases and conditions like eczema and asthma.

Grandparents naturally look forward to spending time with their new grandchild, so if you're breastfeeding they may be slightly disappointed that they can't be involved in feeding or babysitting before you're ready to express. They don't need to be though, there are lots of ways they can help out. Speak to them about your decision to breastfeed and let them know how much you would appreciate their support.

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How can grandparents help out?

Grandparents can help out by:

  • offering to look after older children
  • offering to do some cooking, cleaning, or shopping as you will probably be struggling to find the time
  • listening – without necessarily offering answers. Sometimes mums just want a supportive ear from family and friends.
  • changing, bathing and cuddling baby
  • offering to take baby out for a short walk to give you some time to yourself.
  • If you're struggling, they could phone the health visitor for you or the Breastfeeding Support Helpline (0300 100 0212 between 9.30am and 9.30pm).
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How can grandparents bond with my baby?

There are lots of lovely ways grandparents can bond with your new baby.

  • Taking them for a walk round the house and helping your baby develop their senses by showing them their new world.
  • Talking and singing. Babies love the movement and sounds, and that way they'll get to know their grandparent's voice.
  • Playing games. For example, a baby will react (probably with giggles!) to the sound of a rattle from just one month old.
  • Rocking the baby, gently stroking the side of their face or back, and holding the baby so they can hear a heartbeat.

By helping out where they can and sometimes just by being there for you, grandparents can play a vital role in making your life as a breastfeeding mum easier.

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