Communication target: Partner/Family! Weigh in!

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MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3234
Communication target: Partner/Family! Weigh in!

This year's World Breastfeeding Week is focused on communication. As we kick off the week, we wanted to invite you to share your experiences in communicating your desire to breastfeed with your partner (and/or family.) Did you hit resistance? Loads of support? Were you both on the same page or did it seem to become a power struggle? Did your mom/mother-in-law try to dissuade you from trying?

If your partner was an enthusiastic team player, what kind of support and encouragement did you receive?

Share your breastfeeding journey experiences in communicating with your partner/family now!

mommycarrie's picture
Joined: 09/07/06
Posts: 358

I think once my DH read a little about how good it was for baby, he was on board. He was especially supportive because he knew that it would be less work for him, lol. (Not that he's a selfish guy, but he was happy to just sit back and watch and support me, and let me doing the mothering.)

My in laws didn't know anything about bf, and their entire family FF but they are smart and educated people (doctors, dentists, etc.) who won't argue with the AAP recommendations. So that was easy enough in the beginning. For them, bf after age 1 is a little harder to explain, but I'm lucky that mostly they just don't ask.

My mom was a great support, she's a nurse and former LLL leader, so I had a great support system!

I know I'm a lucky girl.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

I have been very fortunate.

My husband and I both grew up in households where breastfeeding was the norm. When it came to birth of our first child it was just assumed we'd breastfeed. He's always been extremely supportive. From day one he took on the job of doing night time diaper changes. Just having those few minutes to relax alone in bed was a life saver. He's never once complained. He's also been very willing to take over baby duty in the morning for a few hours after a particularly rough night. He knows that I'm always on duty when DD wants to nurse so he'll take over and play with her for a few hours so I can catch some much needed sleep. He's also taken a great deal of interest in the act of breastfeeding. He always asks questions and talks about it with me.

I go to school and pump. DH has worked hard with me to make sure our schedules make it so that I can still nurse as much as DD wants and pump what I need when we're apart. I am also very lucky to work with a woman who nursed her own daughter for 3 years.

Neither of our families live nearby but they've still managed to be supportive from afar. Every time we visit with family, I've nursed in front of them. My brother may have scuttled out of the room but that was his choice and I'm fine with that. DH's grandmother was even the one to buy my breastpump for me! I post about nursing on FaceBook and its a topic that friends and family feel comfortable talking about with me.

It was never a surprise to any of my friends or family that I would breastfeed. As I get closer to the one year mark I am starting to wonder if anyone will question my decision to nurse well past her birthday. My husband, my immediate family, my close friends, and my boss will all be very supportive. I expect to receive looks from strangers if and when I nurse a toddler in public. I welcome them. I hope I'm doing my part to change this country's opinion of breastfeeding and make it so that all women get the kind of support I did.

girlisrad's picture
Joined: 04/24/07
Posts: 1587

My DH has always been So supportive. He did all he could to help me keep going with Everit, and was onboard for everything I HAD to do to keep BF'ing Dalton. It has been not only a rough, but expensive road as well. Not once has he ever even made a face at doing what needed to be done!!!

As for friends and family, I have never heard an ill word which is so nice because BF was NOT the norm for our family at all... In fact I believe only myself and my cousin have ever been successful BF'ers... I am glad no one has had something negative to say!

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

My husband has no issues with me BFing. Never has. He read part of Sear's Baby Book and told me that I better be planning on BFing for a year at least because our son deserved the best and he didn't want to spend money on something that I make for free. He was great at encouraging me to keep going when I had mastitis at 2.5 weeks.
I never met any resistance for BFing from anyone, just for nursing in public. I think my mom (the main person with the problem) has gotten over that for the most part. She doesn't understand how I can BFed now that he has teeth either, but I wonder if she's partly jealous since she never really gave BFing a good try. My MIL has never said a word for or against BFing.

LMCH's picture
Joined: 02/05/07
Posts: 2031

My DH has always been supportive - read books, went to class, helped me position DS1 through our first few rough weeks. He even dealt with my weepy, hormone crazed state when I was frustrated, standing by my side even when I snapped "NO!" at him when he asked if I wanted him to get some formula. My family has no issue with it. MIL has some problems with me nursing anywhere other than a far away room, which I put up with with DS1...not so much this time around Lol What I thought was ignorance about BFing when dealing with her with DS1 (I patiently explained things, answered her questions, etc.) I now think is her discomfort with it all now that she continues to be weird with DS2. My mom (who BF me and my sister for at least 6 months each) was very helpful with the learning process and with latching difficulties with DS1...she and my husband helped me position baby, kept a sleepy baby awake during feedings, encouraged me, brought me water, etc. Without the two of them, I don't know how i would have done it with DS1...DS2 was more of a natural (and I knew what I was doing this time around)

daniellec.parker's picture
Joined: 09/06/09
Posts: 895

DH has always been very supportive. It never was really a topic of conversation with us. I told him I wanted to. He said great, and then proceeded to read up on the benefits and relay them to me. Smile I wouldn't say that any one really tried to talk me out of it.... They just didn't think I'd last long with bfing twins. Every day is another day of me saying I told you so. Smile

ETA: there was no one close to me-- friends or family-- that had been successful at bf. My mom had such a horrible experience trying to bf my oldest brother, that all three of us ended up being FF.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

My Mum formula fed my brother and I from fairly early on because her doctor convinced her it was best, recurring mastitis was her issue with me, 'not making enough' for my brother (ie he wanted to eat more often than every 3 hours). Even though she went the formula route she was very supportive of me breastfeeding, however as we get closer to a year she keeps dropping hints that I should start weaning or he will never give the boob up.
My MIL breastfed both her sons for a year, but she and I got into a huge arguement one night about it because DS was a cluster feeder and she started talking about giving him diluted cows milk and me not making enough milk, DS was just under a month old, and it led to her storming off and having nothing to do with us for 8 bmonths.
Hubby is supportive of whatever I want to do and is even supportive of extended breast feeding. He is glad I am doing what I feel is best for our child and he agrees it is best. I also made it clear early on that if my baby was hungry I was popping a boob out and if you (extended family etc) didn't like that idea you were welcome to leave the room while I fed. I have popped a boob out right in the middle of the main street of town before because DS was hungry and went from warning cry to meltdown hungry cry in about 2 seconds.
I'm also lucky I work in a workplace that allows me to express.

pico83's picture
Joined: 09/06/06
Posts: 3015

I have been very lucky. My MIL breastfed her kids, including DH's younger brother when DH was 4, so he expected that's how it would go. My family is also very pro-breastfeeding. My mom and her sisters all breastfed their kids. Even my grandmother breastfed her daughters in the 1950s. She only did it for 6 weeks for each baby, but that was really unusual then! It has been wonderful to have only support from my family. At this point I can, without social awkwardness, latch LO on or even pump milk while having a conversation with FIL or DH's little brother!

I am lucky, also, to live in an area where BFing is widely accepted. I have never run into problems when NIP, even when my kids decided to play peek-a-boo with the nursing cover.

PookieB's picture
Joined: 09/05/07
Posts: 631

DH & my mother have been wonderfully supportive! My mom regretted not getting help when I was born premature. Tho she did pump for the first 8 weeks. She thinks it's wonderful with what resources and support we have today and has always encouraged me. My husband is only male I know who doesn't feel awkward about NIP. He's always said "If they have a problem with it, they are looking to hard!" I'm grateful to have them both supporting me. Biggrin

AmyJo86268's picture
Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1406

My husband is fine. .. he likes that I nurse because if the baby cries it's because he's "hungry" and i need to take care of it. I had more troubles this time around and he didn't say much but knew enough to worry about me, he totally doesn't understand it.

My mom nursed my sister and me and encouraged me through both babies.

My biggest support/ influence was actually a coworker who has a baby 6 months ahead of me. She pumped and nursed for almost a year and really encouraged me to do the same. She also paved the way in the building we work for a place/ time to pump, which worked it out for me.