I don't want to express :-((17 Posts)
I guess I'm after some advice or thoughts on my situation.
PFB is 20 days old- he's amazing- feeding is going well, although he feeds a lot- we don't have 2 hour breaks yet. He's quite a settled baby, but DH would like to be able to feed him. He says he feels 'beholden' to me- as I'm the only one who can feed him. Truth be told, DH doesn't have a huge amount of patience, and will often pass him to me to feed, when infact baby isn't hungry, but just wants to be settled in another way.
I feel that as feeding is going ok, we shouldn't rock the boat- what if baby won't take my breast after a bottle? I don't want to use formula. I tried expressing this morning- I just felt like a dairy cow, it didn't feel natural to me.
Does anyone have any advice? Is there advice out there that advises against expressing if you don't have to? I just feel that it's natural for a mother to feed their child- I don't want DH to feel excluded, but I don't think expressing is necessarily best for me or the baby, but I feel like I'm being selfish
You don't need to express
Your DH can do lots of things to soothe your baby
Feeding is often cited as a way to bond but it's not the only way -
Skin to skin
Putting baby in a sling and going for a walk
Patting baby when they go to sleep
Singing and talking to your baby
My DH never fed our DD as she was EBF
Your DH needs to stop associating feeding with the only way to spend time with your baby
Of course you don't have to if you don't want to. There are loads of other ways for dh to bond - mine does bath time.
Having said that I express every morning and give 4oz in a bottle at bedtime. I have a really sucky baby and found it hard to tell when he was sucking for comfort at bedtime and I find a bottle helps that. It also meant I could go to bed at 7/8 whilst dh did the last feed so I could get a 6 hr stretch.
But I am a dairy farmer so maybe the milking process is not so weird to me!!
Three weeks is so little, if you're happy bfing as you are then I would continue. Expressing is a pita until you get the hang of it, and will just keep you glued to the sofa for longer. Plus at this point your supply is probs really responsive, you might end up with a looooot of milk.
Sounds like DH is unsure of himself. Babies can be hard because there's no clear or right answer (though for a BF little one, the boob can definitely feel like the answer!) Agree with ruby that your DH needs to ideas of how he can soothe LO, google baby calming techniques, send him out to the library / bookshop for some books he likes the look of, and push him to do plenty to build up his confidence.
I agree you don't have to express if you don't have to.
However, I think it's quite common for men to feel this way as they see how quickly a breastfeed can settle the baby and feel they can't do the same. My DH was the same as yours early on, passing the baby back to me to settle and I just went with it until one day I insisted he learnt to settle her himself. He felt useless and like he couldn't do it, but obviously he could and once he learnt how to settle her (when she wasn't hungry of course!) he forgot about wanting to feed her. I think he'd felt a bit inadequate before.
You may find you are happier to express once your baby is older of you want to avoid formula but have a bit of free time too. You may find you're more comfortable with hand expressing. Or you may find you never want to express and all of that is fine.
You don't have to express, you might not be able to express much anyhow, and even if you do, the baby might not take it. Better for your partner to find other ways to bond than feeding!
DP took so many baths with DS in the early months because that calmed him right down when other things didn't work. Try as I might, I couldn't express much at all, and DS refused to drink from a bottle in any case. DP was also the one that insisted on carrying him (past the first few weeks when I must have been scary enough to stop him) when we went out for walks, or pushing him in the trolly when shopping, both having afternoon naps together at the weekend etc. There are plenty of ways for your partner to feel close to the baby without feeding!
Expressing made my life nearly unbearable.
If your baby needed top ups you could maybe grin and bear it but don't do it for someone else.
Your life could become a miserable round of feeding, expressing and sterilising and your DH may not be able to get baby to take a bottle anyway.
Thanks everyone. DH is a perfectly reasonable man- I just think he feels a bit excluded. I guess I also get a bit snippy when he complained that the baby won't settle for him and it makes him feel inadequate. I spend all day at home trying to find ways to soothe the baby. It's not plain sailing for anyone!
DH here says he bonded with PFB over 75% of the nappy changes and taking on the winding of a very windy baby. DS1 also slept on his chest a fair amount. He doesn't feel he lost out by not feeding (I asked him) and I EBFed.
Are there other opportunities for your DH to have something which just belongs to him and DC?
I used to express, and DH could give a bottle - but this was so that I could leave DD with DH, not because it was what DH wanted.
I know a few people who gave a 'top up' bottle in the evening (expressed or formula), that helped their DC sleep better.
So I wouldn't rule it out. But I'd park the idea for another few weeks, then see what you think. (Btw I found expressing easiest during the morning feed - at the point when we had more than 2 hours between feeds that is.)
The thought of giving my baby a bottle (of anything) makes me sad because I love feeding her.
Make a daddy's only job. My partner always has our baby in the shower and sometimes I (lie) feed his ego by saying can you burp her because you are better at it then me, or I give her to him when she is super milk drunk and then tell him how chilled she is with him!!
If you are not ready to express, don't, you don't need a better reason than that. At so young (baby) you are just getting into the swing of things! Enjoy!!!
My dp felt the same and really was looking forward to feeding out baby even though I did express my LO has never taken a bottle. I gave uptrying but he wanted to continue trying to give a bottle to a screaming baby but I stopped expressing. He has his time with her in other ways like bath time routine walks etc and now at nine months has started enjoying taking her for naps in the sling and wishes he had done it sooner.
Sorry but your DH needs to get a grip, he didn't want to give birth too did he?!
My dh is enjoying giving solid food soo much at the moment, and I get lovely time off his time will come, he can do bathtime fhs
Just say no. You are so lucky that breastfeeding is going well that it is understandable you don't want to jeopardise that in anyway. Definitely don't give formula just so that your DH can 'have a go', as that definitely could cause problems for breastfeeding. It's about what's best for baby, and milk, straight from the breast, gives food and comfort in one go that no other feeding method can do.
My DH was in charge of bathing the baby when my DS was young. That was his thing and I had nothing to do with it.
My DH settles DD2 by putting his little finger in her mouth.
Its useful when she wants to comfort suck but not feed (I have a strong let-down and she often doesn't want it).
He also carries her in a soft sling and likes it when yo get a little tickle under the arm.
There are loads of ways for men to bond with their children, taking a bath together is another nice thing for them to do, its the skin to skin contact.
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