Girls nights out are all about blowing off steam, having fun and connecting with some good girlfriends. However, when I was breastfeeding I hardly went out at night at all, partly by choice, as I didn’t pump and I didn’t want to be away from my baby. But, there are many things you can do with your girlfriends where you can take your breastfeeding baby along, if it is before their bedtime. Supporting our breastfeeding sisters with a good night out can be a blast, they just occur at someone’s house – maybe even yours – rather than out on the town.

The other month a bunch of girl friends got together at a friend’s house and had a spa party. Each of us bought an item or a service eg, face mask, massage, Reiki treatment. We put our names and offering into a hat and then drew out a piece of paper. Everyone got pampered and everyone had fun.

The other week I got an invitation to a naked party! Not what it seems – just a racy term for a clothing swap. This is where all your girlfriends bring clothes they no longer fit into or wear and then it is a free fall all- girls changing and trying on different outfits and hopefully going home with some great scores. And then there is the good old-fashioned movie night, where it could just be you and a friend or two catching up and watching a good flick.

If you do have a girlfriend who has recently had a baby go visit her or invite her around. Mary Jane Bennet, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and La Leche League Leader for Maui since 2005 says there are important things we as friends and family can do to support our breastfeeding sisters.

*Listen to her. It is tempting to want to offer advice, but sometimes simply listening can be the best help you can give.
*Keep in mind that new parents can be sensitive to things that are said to them. The way you say something can be just as important as what you say.
*Encourage the new Mother if the going gets tough. Remind her of the things that she is doing right for her baby.
*Breastfeeding is a learned skill. If the mother and baby are having difficulty with breastfeeding, kindly suggest that the mother contact a lactation consultant, within the first five days especially, to avoid problems in the weeks to come.
*Mary Jane Bennet is a certified lactation consultant and can be reached at 283-7139 or email her at mauidoula@hotmail.com

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Kate Griffiths is the creative soul behind The Mauimama. She is the owner/editor and a Maui mama to Dylan and Eli-Shai. Kate loves living and raising her boys on Maui. To contact Kate you can email her at djmauimama@yahoo.com.