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Dp and I got into a fight last night over something that seemed really innocuous and simple at first. We were talking about breastfeeding and I said something along the lines of "We won't have to worry about pumping for at least a month or so because they don't recommend any bottles at all for a while." And she stopped in her tracks and said "What? I can't believe that you are not going to allow me to feed the baby." I tried to explain to her that it wasn't about ME not ALLOWING HER to do anything, and that I wasn't trying to take anything away from her experience or her ability to bond with her daughter... just about what's best for the baby. But it didn't matter... she was hurt and upset and we didn't talk for the rest of the night.<br><br>
The context of this is also that she tends to think that I am controlling, and I think she has fear that I'm going to try to control her relationship with dd and not let her "make mistakes" and do things her own way. I'm the book reader/researcher in the family, and she's the "learn about life by living it" type. Normally we balance each other out in a very yin/yang way. But in this case, you add my "control- freakishness" (according to her) to the fact that she is the nonbio mom and is afraid that she won't be able to bond with the baby, and we've got some real deep stuff.<br><br>
I don't really know how to make her feel better, or even what to say. I have no problem pumping away once things get going so that we can both feed the baby. (I know everyone here will not agree with that.)<br><br>
Any advice would be really appreciated...
 

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Well, considering that breastfeeding in those few weeks can sometimes be very stressful for both mom and baby, trying to find the natural schedule between you two, I don't think it's unreasonable to not want to use a bottle for at least the 1st month. I think babies, as well as moms, need those first few weeks to get used to each other.....learn each others cues....and get into a rhythm with each other. I'm also getting a pump, but I wont be using it or a bottle for at least the 1st 3-4 weeks. Of course I also want my husband to bond to with the baby, but I feel there are other ways to bond beside feeding. He'll do what he always did in the beginning.....give baths, change diapers, extra cuddle time, rock baby, walk the floors with baby, and do some of the baby massages....I'm a big believer in baby massage and it's a great way to bond with your baby!!! I don't know how to make your DP feel any better about this, but I just wanted to say that I think you are correct in how you feel. After the 1st month or so, then I would allow a bottle or two.
 

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I chose not to pump at all. It makes a considerable amount of extra work for the nursing mom if it's not needed.<br><br>
Is she willing/interested in inducing lactation? I've heard of several two-mom couples who did this and were very happy. Even if she would just be willing to let baby nurse for comfort after breastfeeding is well established- boy, you don't know HOW many times I wished someone else was there with a boob to suck on when mine needed a break <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I would be much more comfortable with *that* than insisting the mom with milk make tons of extra work for herself in the name of equality.<br><br>
good luck!<br><br>
-Angela
 

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I pumped starting around week 3 postpartum. I had to return to work, so not pumping was not an option for me. DS had to take a bottle and my boobs had to get used to the pump. End of story.<br><br>
Really, you should wait for about 3-4 weeks to pump. Anytime before then, and you risk developing an oversupply problem (not a good problem to have). I know my husband liked feeding DS a bottle, but that was not the only way they bonded. Other ways to bond are cuddling, napping with, cosleeping, bathing (this was DH's big bonding time with DS), and playing.<br><br>
I'm sorry that you and DP had a fight about this. It must be a tough situation. I would tell her, though, that pumping for those first few weeks will most likely do more harm than good (I'm a breastfeedig counselor - this is something we spent considerable time discussing).
 

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I really think its fear. Getting your supply up and going is the most important thing in those first few weeks. There are plenty of things DP can do. For example, my husband would get up and go get Gabrielle and bring her to me in bed (we did a mix bag of co-sleeping during the first year). We would all snuggle as I nursed her. Then he would put her back in the bassinet next to the bed. I was sore and exhausted, so I definately needed his help/support.<br><br>
Believe me, Gabrielle and Daddy had no problem bonding.<br><br>
One thing I do remember when I had my son. My husband and I got into a huge fight, which I have no clue as to what was exactly about. But basically, I was giving him a demanding attitude. I had to realize there were things that I might do differently than Daddy, but the same result was accomplished. I felt my way was the only way possible, but through that argument, I learned thats not the case. I would have to say the only exception is the BF because of you needing to get your supply going.
 

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OMG, I LOVE Angela's suggestion!!<br><br>
There are very sound reasons for wanting to delay using a bottle, not least of which is that it's much easier to get milk out of a bottle than a breast. It's not uncommon for a baby who is given a bottle early on to then refuse the breast. Why work so hard when it flows right out of the bottle? So it can very easily sabotage the nursing relationship (depending on the baby), and is a risk not worth taking IMO. You could probably find tons of "supporting information" on kellymom.com if you're looking for an objective source of information for her.<br><br>
That said, my guess is that the breastfeeding/bottle argument is just a proxy for a variety of her fears, and you could argue the facts and reasons until you're blue in the face, and your partner won't care. It sounds like your partner has fears -- understandable ones. Not that I'm saying you're going to do what she's afraid of, but we ALL have fears about becoming parents, and I can sympathize with where she's coming from. I think many men are kind of resigned to feeling like a "second fiddle" in a way, but I imagine it's a whole different thing for her to see herself in that role as a woman.<br><br>
IMO, looking at a "traditional" hetero couple, the man and the woman DO bond differently with the baby. And especially in the early days, the bond MAY be stronger between the mother and baby -- especially if she's breastfeeding. It's just simple facts ... to spend so much time in close physical contact, to be providing the basic needs and nourishment for that child. It just happens <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">. Now. There are other ways for the father to bond, but it will take more effort and work on his part. And some babies just don't want anyone but their mama for a while (sometimes many, many months) and it's just the way it is.<br><br>
And I can see your situation being even more complicated, because she is a woman and will be a mother, yet her role will not be that of a "traditional" mother, and that can be confusing or painful.<br><br>
So it may be helpful to acknowledge her position, to tell her you understand how it might be strange and a little frightening to be the non-bio mother, and that you'll do everything in your power to make sure she has lots of opportunities to bond with the baby. But as the non-bio mom, her role <i>will be different</i>. So she may have to find <i>different</i> ways of bonding, instead of being an exact replica of YOU.<br><br>
In this specific case, maybe she could induce lactation, or be another pair of breasts to offer for comfort nursing, etc. But there will be other ways your parenting will be different, and where you simply won't be interchangeable. And <i>that's okay</i>!!! My dh parents completely differently than I do, and sometimes he figures out solutions that I never would have hit upon because of it. And he offers our dd a whole new dimension to her life. I don't think she would benefit from having two parents who were identical and interchangeable and did things exactly the same.<br><br>
So perhaps if you acknowledge and validate your partner's fears, she will feel heard and will be able to let down her anger and defensiveness, and then you can move on to a discussion about how she can be incorporated into this baby's life without risking things like your nursing relationship.<br><br>
I know we have another mama in our group who is already a non-bio mom, so hopefully she will speak up and share her perspective. I am just purely speculating <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">!!!
 

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As someone who gave a baby a bottle at 3 days postpartum, I have to say DON'T DO IT!!!! From there we had problem after problem. I ended up pumping 95% of the time b/c DD wouldn't take the breast. Nipple preference is a big problem. It was a big PITA. I finally gave up at 6 months, which I really regret.<br><br>
I love Alegna's idea to induce lactation. Seems like it would solve a lot of problems.
 

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DD took a pumped BM bottle at 5 days old because she had to go back into the hospital for severe jaundice. I was worried it would hurt her ability to Breastfeed, but it didn't. From then on, I pumped once a day to get a supply up for when I went back to work and DH ocassionally gave her a bottle during the night. She had no problem switching back and forth whatsoever. Do what feels natural, if you have some time and energy to pump a little bit after you nurse the baby then go for it. If it is important to your DP and you for your DP to feed the baby, then you can work it out. I PROMISE you will be thankful that DP will be able to take over the feeding once and a while at first- it is a nice break.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KylieLove06</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10309881"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I PROMISE you will be thankful that DP will be able to take over the feeding once and a while at first- it is a nice break.</div>
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But for most women it's not a break. Whenever a bottle is given, you really need to pump to make up for that. Doesn't sound restful to me. Sounds like *more* work for a tired mama.<br><br>
Much easier to lay down with the babe and snooze while they nurse.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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It is certainly true that some babies are content to go between bottle and breast with no problems, even when the bottle is introduced very early. But you have no way of knowing what your baby will be like, and all you have to do is read Naomismom's story to see the risk involved if you end up having a baby who WON'T switch between the two easily.<br><br>
Every baby is different. I introduced a bottle when dd was 8 or 9 weeks I think? Which is "traditionally" considered very late, and you run the risk of them refusing the bottle. But it went totally fine. My friend's children (both of them) outright refused a bottle, even though it was introduced at the "right" time. They wouldn't have anything to do with it ... they would rather starve than drink from a bottle. Some people can't pump <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">. Plenty of supply, but can't get anything out with a pump (this is less of a problem with electric pumps, but it's wise to understand that pumping isn't necessarily a sure thing).<br><br>
And then there are situations where everything goes splendidly. Pumping is no problem. Baby takes the bottle. There is no nipple confusion, etc. But how do you know which case you will be? So you better be aware of the can of worms you might <i>potentially</i> be opening if you introduce that bottle too soon. If there is no good reason to do it early, then it's best not to. Why take the risk?
 

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HI,<br>
I posted more about this over in the Queer Parenting section. But short version is my DP has done comfort nursing with both our kids and will definitely do it as well with the twins. The babys very quickly know it's for comfort (kind of like a bottle vs. a pacifier) and don't get mad or frustrated. It's a special time they have to bond one on one and has worked well for us in the past.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Shanana</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10309986"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It is certainly true that some babies are content to go between bottle and breast with no problems, even when the bottle is introduced very early. But you have no way of knowing what your baby will be like, and all you have to do is read Naomismom's story to see the risk involved if you end up having a baby who WON'T switch between the two easily.........So you better be aware of the can of worms you might <i>potentially</i> be opening if you introduce that bottle too soon. If there is no good reason to do it early, then it's best not to. Why take the risk?</div>
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I totally agree with this. We had latch issues from the start (Ds had a slight tongue tie on top of the other usual learning curve stuff) so I was totally scared of the bottle and adament we would not be going near one. But I really did need a break, just for a few hours because the pain and exhaustion were getting pretty overwhelming...on day 4 my doula and doctor finally convinced me to try pumping just a couple of ounces so that DH could feed DS to tide him over while I got a solid 4 hours of sleep. So that is what we did - we opened our vitamin D and DS used that dropper to feed the expressed milk. We were all better off for it, and I took another couple of breaks in the following couple of weeks, with DH either dropper feeding or finger feeding with a tube....anyway, the point of all this being that even if you do need a break, it is possible to sneak in a little one without messing up latch. But as PP have said, I would be leery of replacing a whole feeding and heavy duty pumping early on - we did more like little snacks to tide DS over and stretch a little while longer between two feedings, that way I wasn't going so long that it would affect my supply in either direction.<br><br>
That said, if you are up for it, talk with your partner about her also breastfeeding. We had a two-mom couple in our breastfeeding class, I have always wondered how they did with it - it sounded like heaven to have someone else to pass baby off to! The non-bio mom was following Jack Newman's adoptive breastfeeding protocol, and I think she was planning on phasing it in after the bio mom had a couple of weeks to get her supply and latch established...Newman's site might be a good place to start if you are interested!<br><a href="http://www.drjacknewman.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32&Itemid=66" target="_blank">http://www.drjacknewman.com/index.ph...d=32&Itemid=66</a>
 

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Think about the long-term bonding. Breastfeeding is not the only way to bond and the first few weeks aren't the only chance to bond. My opinion is that establishing a good supply is more important to the child's long-term wellbeing because if you give up breastfeeding due to latch problems because you gave a bottle to the baby too early (happened to me!), you will be missing out on the benefits of breastmilk. Either that, or signing yourself up to being a slave to the pump. Pumping is a huge PITA to do on more than an occassional basis, in my opinion. It's like having another baby that needs to be fed on a regular basis.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alegna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10308896"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is she willing/interested in inducing lactation? I've heard of several two-mom couples who did this and were very happy. Even if she would just be willing to let baby nurse for comfort after breastfeeding is well established.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
I second the induced lactation or comfort nursing so both mommies can bond.
 

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There was a study that showed that what most correlated with dad's bonding (so extrapolate to non-bio-mama-partner) was the number of diapers he changed. Lots of new dads-to-be (I'm sorry about the crappy language; tell me how to phrase it) get all uptight about "not bonding b/c of feeding" but it is totally a red herring and as you guessed, fears about not being the mom.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Galatea</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10313115"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There was a study that showed that what most correlated with dad's bonding (so extrapolate to non-bio-mama-partner) was the number of diapers he changed. Lots of new dads-to-be (I'm sorry about the crappy language; tell me how to phrase it) get all uptight about "not bonding b/c of feeding" but it is totally a red herring and as you guessed, fears about not being the mom.</div>
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I think this was true for us. Dh wasn't really worried about the not feeding thing...he took over diaper changes for the first two weeks and that (along with waiting on me hand and foot while I nursed DS) kept him pretty busy! We also agreed from the getgo that he would be the official bath-giver...it took a few weeks for him to be ready to do it without me there as assistant, but ever since then he has been the bath man and it's been really nice for him and DS. I have always stayed out of the way during that time they have together...unless I'm needed, of course!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluepetals</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10313265"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Dh wasn't really worried about the not feeding thing...he took over diaper changes for the first two weeks</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> DH is always on diaper duty when he's home. I always joked that I put it in, and he got to take it out <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">.<br><br>
I second the bath suggestion, and I also think someone else mentioned massage -- that's something that dh did too. We were lucky enough to take an infant massage class in the area, so we both learned how to do it. He did it every night for a long time -- until she was well over a year -- and then one day she decided she didn't want it anymore <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">.<br><br>
I think the key is to reassure your partner that there are many ways for her to bond, and feeding doesn't have to be one of them. I will warn you, though, that sometimes it IS hard to step back and let them do things their own way. I always felt like I knew best, and it could be hard to not constantly intervene, especially if dh was struggling, baby was crying, etc. But like I said before, I was sometimes pleasantly rewarded when he came up with something all on his own that worked great. So I always tried to at least give him a shot, and didn't intervene unless dd was really upset, or I knew for sure she needed to eat, etc. And dd has always been very close to both of us -- at the age of 2.5, we have yet to go through a preferring mommy over daddy (or vice versa) stage. Although to a certain extent, that is also just a personality thing (she has never had separation anxiety either <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">).
 

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I think everything about the <b>very very good reasons not to pump/bottlefeed</b> in the first few weeks has been said.<br><br>
I just wanted to echo the PP who said that bathtime can be a superspecial way for the non-breastfeeding parent to bond with the little one! It's intimately caring for the baby (without the yuck factor of the poopy diapers) and you get to hold and snuggle all that delicious naked baby (even take baby into bath/shower with you so you can get some lovely skin-to-skin time). Maybe consider making that dp's exclusive role if you feel jealousy is the issue behind the breastfeeding argument you had?
 

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Wow! My wife and I are having the same discussion. However, we have the experience we had with our daughter to add to the mix. My wife gave birth to our daughter. We were *planning* on having me induce lactation because I was going to stay home with our daughter. My wife took a 3 month maternity leave and I quit my job the day she was born, and the plan was for me to start inducing after a couple of weeks. Well, when I saw how intimate and special their breastfeeding relationship was, I decided not to induce. I didn't want to interfere. Also, and this is very important to our story, I was going to carry our second, so I was fairly certain that I'd have a chance to breastfeed. When our daughter was a week or two old, my wife was sooooo exhausted by the hourly feedings that she decided to pump and we introduced the bottle. Long story short, our daughter developed a strong preference for the bottle and weaned by 6 months.<br><br>
Now I am TERRIFIED of introducing the bottle to the new baby and my wife is hurt that I would try and keep her from feeding our baby. (i read her this and she now says she is no longer hurt- that was a momentary response, and she's now more than happy to let me get up with the baby all by myself <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">)<br><br>
I know that eventually we'll introduce a bottle. We need to spend time alone and I can't see doing that without a babysitter and a bottle. But I think we should wait. A long time. A very long time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I can understand how your partner feels because I was there, too. I was scared our daughter wouldn't need me the way she needed my wife. And to some extent, with a newborn who is breastfeeding, that's true. But it didn't effect our long-term relationship one bit.<br><br>
Before the baby is born all you can do is think about how your relationship will be and it can be scary. I remember that every decision seemed so heavy and dire and potentially harmful. I would get so worked up emotionally thinking about bonding with our daughter, how others would treat me as the non-bio mom, would I feel useless and unimportant ?...oh there was so much to worry about! But after our daughter was born, I realized that there were lots of ways to bond and that our daughter needed me as a mama as much as she needed my wife as her mommy.<br><br>
I was also the book-reading, had experience with babies, control-freak gal. If your partner is holding your daughter and she starts to cry (the baby not the lover!) wait for her to ask for your help! This is the hardest thing to do, and probably the most important. Make an effort to leave your partner alone with your daughter. In the first couple weeks, go out for a walk by yourself right after you feed her. That way your partner has time to prove to herself and to you that she can take care of your daughter. Have your partner wear your baby when she's home. I LOVED wearing our daughter (who loved the skin to skin contact) and my wife appreciated having her body to herself for a few moments! Also, consider having your partner be the official bather of the baby. Bathing is a fabulous way to bond. Our daughter preferred taking showers for the first five months, so my wife would hand me our daughter in the shower and I would wash her (or just stand there with her because she loved the water!) It was really special <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Sorry I wrote a book. Best of luck.
 

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It's coming back to me<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br>
With DS since he was our first we did plan on the bonding stuff more than when #2 came around it just happened. But DP did take an infant massage class and bath time has been her thing with the kids about 80% of the time followed by a massage. She is the working mom too, so certain things come up because of that more than being the non-bio mom in our case. You just need to keep communicating your feelings and it'll work out. We co-slept with DS and he spent a lot of time sleeping on DP's chest in the beginning too. We looked into her inducing lactation but it didn't make practical sense for us since again she was the breadwinner and at a stressful, not very flexible job.<br><br>
DD was slightly different because she was born with special needs and spent sometime in the NICU so we introduced the bottle right away to ease the stress and anxiety of me having to constantly go to the hospital to breastfeed. It worked for us and she was a champ breastfeeder and weaned at 18months. But it's an individual baby thing, and perhaps since she was our second I was comfortable with breastfeeding too.<br><br>
You have some great ideas here to try out. Keep and open mind and find what works for you guys without stress and anxiety. That's my motto for mothering<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 
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