In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, Stacey H. Rubin, M.N., APRN, IBCLC, author of The ABC’s of Breastfeeding, offers her suggestions as to how a partner can support a new mom’s breastfeeding relationship. Here are her top tips:

1. Become aware of the benefits that breast milk provides to your baby. Breastfed babies are healthier then formula fed babies.

2. Encourage togetherness: Breastfeeding works best when a mom and her newborn are close to each other. After giving birth help mom to get comfortable so that she can hold baby skin-to-skin. After a difficult birth or a c-section stay with mom in the hospital so that her newborn can room-in [as opposed to spending long periods away from mom in the nursery].

3. Learn to recognize your baby’s signals: Read your baby’s hunger signals! Newborns communicate their hunger by turning their head to one side, opening their eyes, opening their mouth. Help a new mom to initiate a feeding when your baby shows these early signals. Crying is a late sign of hunger and it is difficult to nurse a crying newborn.

4. Be Patient: Remember breastfeeding takes perseverance in the beginning! Some frustration is normal along the way! Help mom through these difficult moments.

Stacey H. Rubin, M.N., APRN, IBCLC is author of The ABCs of Breastfeeding: Everything a Mom Needs to Know for a Happy Nursing Experience (AMACOM 2008). She is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. After graduating magna cum laude from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, she was commissioned as an Army Nurse Corp officer and served overseas during the First Gulf War. Following four years of active duty military service, she earned a Master of Nursing degree and moved to Connecticut where she works with the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, runs her own private practice, and lives with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.abcsofbreastfeeding.com.

*Image of the book cover and tips were provided by AMACON Books for this article.*