I’m almost to the point of having my husband sit with me every time I pump and pull on his nipples every time the pump pulls on mine. Maybe then he will understand why I get upset when he feeds the baby the ENTIRE 15 ounces I had in the fridge waiting to be separated into the 2-a-day-4-ounce bottles she usually eats and bag the rest for freezing. This man blew through my entire freezer stash that should have lasted a month and a half in TWO weeks.
That being said ladies, I have a bit of advice for how to handle the discussion you may need to have with your partner or baby’s caretaker when it comes to using that precious liquid worth more than gold itself (yes, I know the world doesn’t understand unless she was a pumping momma).
I tried to make it easy for my husband when he started taking care of the girls after getting injured. I would separate the milk into 4 ounce bottles (what my babe was taking) and leave them prominently displayed in the fridge.
The problem was that he wouldn’t just feed her those bottles. He’d take any other bottles I had in that fridge and feed them to her. Now, I have a nice chunky baby to show for it, but I would also come home to see an ounce of milk sitting there in a bottle that was essentially wasted (I’m saving for breastmilk jewelry [www.laitdelavie.com all the way for your jewelry desires] and baths, but when you are a just-enougher, that ounce or half ounce of waste really hits you in the feels--like angry and devastated feels). Needless to say, I cried. Several times.
So ladies, if you have a husband/partner/baby caretaker who thinks every time the baby makes a peep she needs to be fed, HIDE ALL THE EXTRA BOTTLES. I’m not really joking about that. I did have a discussion with my husband and he’s gotten better at it, but he really doesn’t understand what the big deal is about feeding her ALL my pumped milk.
I wound up telling him how much I pumped and showed him how long it took to get a measly two ounces of milk. I’ve found that that helped. I’ve also had to take the baby with me several times because I simply didn’t have enough milk to leave her with a sitter. I had to mention that because otherwise he wouldn’t have realized that I literally couldn’t leave the baby because he had used up all my milk.
My next bit of advice is to remain calm. Yes, I know that’s hard. We’re hormonal, and he has crushed your dreams of getting that extra ten minutes of sleep because now you have to pump extra (or supplement when you really didn’t want to). However, I learned with my husband that if you’re irate, he will get his back up and will close his mind off to whatever you’re saying. (If your partner isn’t like that, kudos! You can ignore this part). My husband absolutely does not respond well to me yelling or fussing at him, and when I discovered that he fed her 15 ounces, I blew like a human volcano. I’m pretty sure steam was coming out of my ears. When I calmly explained why I was having a fit about the milk (because he fussed back at me asking what does it matter a few times), he understood a bit better.
The only other advice I can personally give is to portion out the milk and make sure whatever else you have is promptly frozen and/or hidden.
I do hope you and your S.O. (significant other - mom group lingo) have enough communication to avoid this issue, but I’ve heard of quite a few situations where the baby’s caretaker just doesn’t understand just how hard it is to pump and how precious every drop is for those who pump. I’ll leave this here. If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to read them in Lait de la Vie’s VIP Facebook group or Babez With Babiez Mom Group! I have to go wash pump parts, which is the bane of my pumping existence currently, and head to work.
Written By: Jerrica Cheramie