Okay, so now that I have your attention, I know it is probably obvious that Daddy cannot nurse your little one. So far science has not given our everyday dad that option yet, and if it did, how many dads would actually want to nurse a baby? I know my husband would never jump at that opportunity, but how great would that be?... If only helping out with feedings could be as easy as Grandpa Jack makes it seem in Meet The Fockers when he uses his set of fake mammary glands!
In all seriousness, though, there are many ways that Daddy can participate in nursing. And it is so important to get help and support through this process. When it comes to pumping and feeding your baby, it should be a calm, relaxing experience. There are a lot of times that I catch myself in a situation where I am exhausted, while nursing the baby, and I see my husband sitting on the couch watching football...and it irritates me. I know I can't be the first woman who has wanted to throw something at him for not having breasts to feed the baby or pump daily. If you have felt this way too, maybe it's time for a compromise in your home! Nursing can be a family experience that allows for a little QT. Here are a few tips to help you share the joys of nursing and pumping with the whole family.
1. While nursing your little one, ask your partner to read to the baby. This can be a special thing to do at nighttime nursing sessions. You can feed the baby and do story time all at once; giving you a little more time to spend together after the baby is asleep. This is even doable when there are older siblings. If the age gap is right, siblings love to listen in on baby's story time.
2. Sometimes you just want to be alone when pumping. I know this all to well. Pumping eventually became that 20 minutes of alone time that I enjoyed oh so much. Pumping was my zen time; the only thing that drove me crazy was cleaning the pump equipment afterwards. Asking your partner if he could keep an eye on the bambino while you are pumping is something you can do to get a small break. What's even better is if you can occasionally convince hubby to wash those pesky pump parts for you.
3. Let your partner know if you are feeling isolated. If you feel like you are the only one who is feeding the baby, try to see if they are interested in feeding the baby via a bottle. If your baby does not take the bottle, try to see if they can be involved by sitting next to you during a few sessions so that you do not feel so alone. Sometimes a nice shoulder rub while you breast feed makes everything feel less overwhelming.
There are many things that you can do to make feeding your baby an experience that everyone in the house can be a part of. A happy baby means a happy household, and a happy household keeps a baby happy!
*Post Contributed by a Fellow Pump Candy Mommy