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Inducing Lactation - Page 4

post #61 of 69

we considered this for a bit, but then after reading a bit about breastfeeding just in the context of what it will entail for me, we immediately thought of all these reasons it would be more trouble than it's worth.  but we also thought that we were the only people in the world to consider this idea.  i certainly didn't expect to come across a thread on here about it!  it's a while still before we have to decide, so in case she really wants to, it seems like a good time to find more out about it.

 

here were our concerns: i am going to be a stay-at-home-mom, and she works full time.  it's okay for me to be woken up a lot of times throughout the night, and sleep-deprived, because i'll be able to nap in the day.  i don't need to pump b/c i'm home and can offer the breast whenever baby is hungry.  we're really lucky that i don't have to work, b/c this setup makes it all so easy.  but if my wife wants to also breastfeed, if she pumps enough to get her supply up, then feeds at night, won't that cause my supply to dwindle unless i switch to pumping in the night?  won't that cause both of us to get poorer sleep, since now she's waking up when previously she wouldn't have to, and i'm waking up far more than i'd have to b/c i've got to hook myself up to a damn machine?  if she only BFs a bit here and there, how will she keep up her supply?  it seems like whichever one of us is not BFing will have to be pumping to keep up supply, which just seems like a lot of trouble.  if my wife only BFs a little bit sometimes, does it add that much to their bond, to be worth all this extra hassle?  i mean, i don't think it'll be a hassle for me, b/c the ONLY thing i'm going to be doing with my life is preparing for, and then birthing, and then being parent to, a baby.  that IS my life right now.  but my wife works full time.  i wonder if we will have greater enjoyment and relaxation in the time we spend together as a family if we don't have to stress over both breastfeeding.  but if it's not stressful, if it's easy, and sweet, and bonding, then it would be awesome.  it's just hard to know.  i would really like to hear your guys' thoughts on these things.

 

i feel like i sound like i already have preconceived of this as a bad idea, but i think that's just because i am listing the reasons we are disinclined to do it, versus the reasons we think it would be awesome.  also, i feel like it's my job to research the how-to-make-and-care-for-a-baby stuff b/c that's part of my full-time job (preparing for parenthood) right now.  it seems really easy and convenient to come to the conclusion, and just report to the wife, yeah, let's not bother.  but i'm not the one missing out on BFing, and i have really no idea how much that will affect how she feels.  i thought i was being sweet and bought her this book called "the other mother" which is about the experience of the non-bio partner in lesbian parent couples, and that turned out to be a huge mistake.  it only stressed her out and made her feel all depressed and left out and now she's fairly convinced she will feel somewhat less than a full parent to the kid, which is especially shitty b/c she has wanted a kid the whole time we've been together, and i did, then didn't, and now in the last year or two have started wanting a kid again (i think it's partially our age difference).  i want to be super incredibly sensitive to this, and i feel like learning all i can about the possibility of us both breastfeeding is one thing that might help.  but i also want to be pragmatic.  it isn't smart to do something that will help my wife feel better if it's not also in the best interest of the kid.  we don't want to do it if it would in any way cause the kid to wean earlier, for instance.  lots to think about, obviously.

 

i should also add that the wife would, if it made sense, carry the child, and BF, herself.  but she is really into her career, and i have the time and ability to parent full-time, so it just makes sense for me to be the one to get pregnant.  i have had step-parents and have absolutely no doubt in my mind that you don't have to have a biological component to feel fully family-bonded with a person.  i know i would feel like the kid was both of ours if she gave birth.  but i also understand she isn't secure in this feeling for herself.  so i do feel a little guilty that i will be taking this opportunity when it's possible she wants it more.  but this is just our situation, so this is how we're going to do it.  anyway, enough with my long, rambling story.  i want to hear all of your long, rambling stories!!!

post #62 of 69

Hi filamentary, I don't have a long rambling stories re: lactaction, as I'm currently carrying our kid and my NGP genderqueer DP has no interest in BFing (and probably couldn't do so efficiently, due to chest surgery), but I enjoyed yours! And just wanted to chime in to agree re: the book you mention about NGPs, as I too gave it to my DP in the hopes that it would be an inspirational read and instead we found it to be pretty difficult to digest. I mean, I guess the writers were trying to be honest about their experiences, and it's great that there is a space for that, but wow... Yes, I can totally see that being stress-inducing for your spouse.

 

Hopefully someone else will chime in with lactation-specific advice!

post #63 of 69
If she uses a Lact Aid nursing system or some other SNS then she can nurse with her own milk (if it comes in) or yours, and enjoy the benefits of being a nursing parent without the pressure of needing to build a supply.
I'm all for folks nursing if they want to,
however it happens.
All that said, I have zero doubt that our two children are as bonded and attached to DP as they are to me, and she didn't carry them or nurse them.
There is defibitely something to be said for one parent NOT nursing so that they can be a support to the nursing parent. Not that DP ever wanted to nurse (genderqueer & no interest to do so), but it was amazing to have her support in other ways.
post #64 of 69
Also, that book was a downer, in my mind.
It seemed to come from a premise that there is always an 'issue.' And yes, that is very common, but not a given.
We've had no NGP issues, although our situation is unique in that our kids aren't
genetically related to either of us, although
I carried them both (donor embryos).
post #65 of 69
ps. I used an LA system for both kids, due to low-supply. That also warrants a mention. smile.gif
post #66 of 69
Starling said it all. My kids' mama nursed with a supplimenter. If occasional nursing sounds good, I wouldn't bother with induction. Feeding with a bottle is a bonding experience, too, and much easier than tubes.

Once your supply is well established, skipping the odd feeding is no big deal.

One thing I want to address is working. Plenty of parents work and breastfeed. Plenty of parents get up and care of their children in the night despite working full time. I mention this both because it's possible to parent and work and it's acceptable to ask a working partner for help in the night.
post #67 of 69

Yes, if you're skipping more than one feeding, likely you will have to pump. And yes, what Starling said about using a SNS! I'd say if it feels worth it to your wife, and you're willing to support her in the project, try it. Or try having her nurse with a supplementer without inducing. If she does decide to induce, I'd suggest that meds will make it a lot easier.

 

I'm the NGP of an almost-4-month-old, and I induced lactation right before she was born. I was really resistant to using meds to induce at first, so I tried to do it through pumping and herbs. It was really stressful, and a lot of work for me, and ultimately I ended up taking domperidone because it seemed like that was the thing that would work for sure. I really, really wanted to be able to feed my daughter and to bond with her through nursing. I had hopes of having enough of a supply that I could nurse her without a supplementer, but I've let go of that idea. I don't pump at all and stopped taking domperidone over a month ago, and am still producing a little milk. When it's my turn to feed the baby I just feed her my partner's pumped milk through a SNS and it works well enough. I don't love messing around with the tubes, but I'd rather that than bottle feed. My partner (who is "at home" with the baby more than I am, although we both have a lot of work flexibility since we live and work in the same place) appreciates that she can be away from the baby for longer than 2 hours at a time, and I like that I can just feed her myself when she's hungry rather than going and finding my partner all the time (as long as we've planned ahead and have some milk in the fridge). And I like that sometimes when she's not really hungry but wants to suckle and my partner's milk flow is too much for her, I can comfort-nurse the baby to sleep. I can't imagine that there's any way having two sets of breasts available to her could be a bad thing.

post #68 of 69

We are planning to at least try to induce some lactation out of my tatas, so we'll probably get started in the next few months.  

 

I am going to get more info about the protocols, and am definitely not opposed to birth control/domperidone/lots of herbs/lots of pumping, because as the ngp i feel like it would be really powerful to be able to, even once, provide sustenance for my baby.  if it doesn't work or is stressful, at least we tried!

 

i mostly just chimed in here to say that i am very familiar with the author of Confessions of The Other Mother (she also wrote Buying Dad and was partnered to and coparents with Faith Soloway, a very talented, funny woman whose work I really DO enjoy)--and I find her work really problematic.  Buying Dad was chock full of internalized (and externalized) homophobia, weird stuff about being jewish, and reliance on gender stereotypes that most queers chucked out the window a looong time ago.  The Other Mother is essays about people who are feeling insecure or crappy about being NGPs, and Soloways ex put the book together (with an essay by Soloway herself about how breastfeeding leaves her feeling left out) after the two split up.  

 

I wish I hadn't read it, to be honest.  

post #69 of 69
Huh, good to hear that context, @sandiegongp... I can't say that I ever looked up any of her other work, after disliking COTOM!

Now that our DS is here, I wanted to update here with a quick bit about how things turned out: I'm exclusively breastfeeding now, but as we were needing to supplement for a while, my DP *did* end up feeding our kid many times, and says it was a wonderful experience... Though not one she feels she needs, more like a bonus. I was already topping up feeding with pumped milk & formula from a bottle via a cathether that I'd slip into the corner of DS' mouth while he suckled; DP would tape the catheter to her finger & have him suck on that... While I'd drink a dark beer & soak in a hot bath & feel grateful :-)
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