Sarah, Sarah, Christina and Maria

Not all family and friends will have had a baby or breastfed, but you play a vital role.

  • 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 #BesideYou Facebook, Twitter 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.

Heather and baby Gloria, from Canterbury

"I have learnt with my third baby that support is so important. Even a super confident mum that has family or friends uncomfortable with how they choose to feed us going to find that a challenge."