Breastfeeding and Husband Support

posted 4 months ago in Babies
Post # 16
6258 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

baller123 :  All the medical persons told me I needed to pump as soon as he was done feeding to make sure I was as empty as possible.  When it came to night feedings, after a few days of that bullshit, my husband started feeding him from a bottle while I pumped, so I was only awake half the time but it did keep my supply up.  Turns out our son had (has) a lip tie and now that we know that, I think he never really got enough by nursing.  We were constantly supplementing just to keep him happy, both with pumped bottles and formula even (though we never quite got through all the freebies we were mailed). 

When it comes down to it, it’s your baby, your decision and there’s no reason your husband can’t night feed too.  Word to the wise though – about half the time I’d come back in from pumping to find they’d both fallen back asleep with no feeding accomplished.  I had to make sure he was really awake before I left the room, lol.

Post # 17
7764 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

fromatoz :  Yeah this is a good point. My baby had no issues with the bottle initially since we introduced it early, but starting around 6 weeks when she started giving us nice long stretches of 6-7 hrs at night, we dropped that 1am feed that my husband would do, and so she was no longer getting a bottle every day. A couple weeks later, we tried to give her one and she was not having it! Which is not good because as a breastfeeding mama, you want to have the freedom to occasionally be able to leave your baby for a few hours here or there if need be. So we had to wage battle with her in the last few weeks to get her to take the bottle, and finally she does, but if we have another kid I’m gonna make sure we do a bottle a day from early on so we don’t face this issue again. 

Post # 18
9055 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

At the 3 month mark, LO was still waking up once around 2am and I’d pump while dh would feed him since I was exclusively pumping and too terrified of a supply drop. It wasn’t terrible since I wasn’t back at work yet and would be up anyway (I’m a light sleeper). And it helped build up my freezer stash.

When he finally dropped his 2am wakeup at around 6 months, I dropped my 2am pump. From then until now (just a few weeks away from LO turning one!) I’ll pump for the final time at night right before I go to bed (so around 9:30) and then not again until the morning.

Post # 19
973 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

baller123 :  By 3 months, you’ll have established a good routine of BFing and pumping. Will you be able to pump comfortably at work? 

Post # 20
3194 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

baller123 :  I didn’t respond to a pump. I had my husband give him one bottle of formula at night and the rest of his approximately 8500 feedings a day/night were breastmilk straight from the tap (my son woke up at least 5-6+ times a night well into 4-5 months old). It worked for us. No supply issues, nursed him til exactly a year when I tapped out. 

Post # 21
2298 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

I am not a mom but I was a nanny and babysitter for years. 

1. Do not let anyone tell you what you have to do. As a mom, you are given an amazing sense of motherly instinct and that’s what you should listen to.

2. Only do what you can. If something gets to be too much, then cut back or stop it. Don’t listen to any outside opinions because they don’t matter. It’s your body and your baby. 

3. I would highly highly recommend to bottle feed at least once a day a week or two before you have to go back to work. It makes the eventual switch easier for the baby if they’re already familiar with a bottle and it makes your husband able to help out a little more! There are a ton of bottles that are modelled after a breast and make for a great transition for little ones that are used to breast feeding. 

4. Everything is a baby step. And babies are in “stages” in the blink of an eye. If feedings get stressful, just know it will pass soon on it’s own. 

Post # 22
1217 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Whether this is a feasible plan depends on what your supply and your storage capacity (how much breastmilk your breasts can hold – not at all correlated with the size of your breasts) are.  If your supply is good and you have a medium to large storage capacity you may be able to get away with putting baby to bed, pumping, then going to bed and sleeping through a feeding.  The early days are somewhat crucial for building a full supply, though, so if exclusively breastfeeding is important to you then I’d suggest not skipping feedings until about 6 weeks.  

Post # 23
677 posts
Busy bee

It’s tough to plan this far ahead because you really have no idea how things will work out at that point for you. Depends on your supply, on the baby.. it’s really tough to predict. 

Just keep an open mind, do what works for you, and don’t feel pressured to do what lactation consultants tell you. As some PPs have said, they can be very opinionated and very wrong. 

Post # 24
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I had 8 weeks maternity leave with my first and pumped when I went back to work.  My suggestion would be to use your maternity leave to get your boobs and bubs on a schedule that will be most likely to work with your schedule in the office.

So my plan was I wanted to pump at work every 3 hours, so while I was still on maternity leave I was nursing or pumping every 3 hours and massaged it so that the 3-hour mark fell right around 9 am, noon, 3 pm.  This worked out fine when I went back to work because I’d get home around 6 pm. I was lucky in that my kiddo started sleeping through the night at about 3 months, but I would still set an alarm to wake up to pump at midnight and 3 am. Occasionally I would cheat and sleep through one or both of those pumping sessions! But I found that if I kept up with those the majority of the time, it didn’t affect my supply any and in fact made the 6 am pumping or nursing session extra productive!

Post # 25
1364 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I’ve breastfed three babies over the last 6.5 years and my husband hasn’t once done a night feed! Missing the odd feed is unlikely to reduce your supply but regularly skipping a feed or pump will, particularly at night when your prolactin levels are highest. (And for FWIW none of my babies have ever taken a bottle so don’t automatically assume that you’re going to feel tied down or trapped by your baby!)

Post # 26
1940 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

I also haven’t given birth yet. I also want to exclusively breast feed. From what I learned from my breastfeeding classes this is solely on me.

Post # 27
7764 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

baller123 :  Just wanted to add one more thing. You are absolutely right that the onus of feeding your baby will rest squarely, 100% on your shoulders if you choose to exclusively breastfeed. It’s an insane responsibility, and it’s easy to get resentful toward even the most devoted husband when you’re up at 3am (after being up at midnight and 2) feeding your newborn baby and your husband is snoring next to you in bed…or in the guest bedroom. Even if he gets up to do a diaper change or and put the baby back to sleep after you feed, it doesn’t change the fact that in those early weeks and months when baby is EBF, you still have the ultimate responsibility when it comes to parenthood…a responsibility that never ends and you can never take a break from!

I really found myself starting to lose it when I was two weeks postpartum…I was becoming someone I did not recognize! The hormones, the sleep deprivation, and the incredible responsibility of being my baby’s sole source of nourishment…it all just got to me and I was a weepy mess more often than not for a few days there. It was around that time when my husband kind of laid down the law and was like, “I am giving her a bottle tonight because you need to sleep more than 90 minutes in a row.” My initial reaction was to be like “NOOO the breastfeeding book I read said my supply will dry up and breastfeeding will be over if we so much as let our baby LOOK at a bottle!!!!” …but then the thought of several hours of uninterrupted sleep ended up winning out and I decided to let him do it. That night, I got 5 hours in a row of sleep, and I woke up at 3am feeling completely reborn and actually happy to nurse my daughter for her next feeding.

We never looked back after that and it became our routine that dh would take the first night shift, from 10-3am or so while I slept in the guest room, and I’d take over after that. It worked really well for us, and my supply never suffered even though I started going 5 hrs between night feedings at 2w pp (again, I assume because we were giving her excess milk that I’d pumped earlier in the day, so I was still producing 100% of what she consumed each day).

But even if my supply HAD suffered and we’d had to supplement with formula, I think it would have been worth it for my mental health to let dh take that “shift” so I could sleep. That’s a very personal decision though and not one that you’ll probably be able to make until you’re in that situation.

Just wanted to share my perspective!

Post # 28
457 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

My kids have all been crappy latchers so I spent a lot of time trying to breastfeed and then pumping anyway. Agree with everyone else- you just need to express milk, however you do it, every 2-3 hours for the first couple of weeks to keep your supply up. Depending on how much you produce- you might be able to collect some oversupply and even though you’ll want to get up and pump, your partner could help by doing a bottle feed here and there (my husband was great for that).  It’s exhausting, but you kind of just get used to it. 

Once you go back to work, you’ll just be pumping there (or in the car if you have to- my pump had a car adapter!) to keep up your supply. Of note- agree with PP who had a LC come to their house. It is something I also did and it was very helpful. Lastly- formula is a fine- remember FED is best- however you do it. Good luck and congratulations! 

Post # 29
660 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Yeah, driving whole sleep deprived is not good. By three months, though, the baby should be able to sleep through most of the night, maybe with one or two feedings. So your husband can help by putting the baby to sleep when they’re not supposed to be eating. And he can help by putting baby to sleep when you get up to feed them and they eat, but then stay awake.

Post # 30
1984 posts
Buzzing bee

My baby is 9 weeks I’ve mostly been exclusively pumping for a variety of reasons.  I can’t really skip a middle of the night pump or I get engorged and uncomfortable but sometimes baby wakes up every hour and two hours and I only pump about every 4 hours so sometimes I can make my husband get up and I don’t get up at all if it’s an off time or sometimes he feeds a bottle while I pump.  I have a good supply, at least right now so that isn’t an issue.  

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