This morning we have a special treat – the second edition of Dispatches from the Wife! I can attest that everything she says here is spot on – freshly pumped breast milk IS liquid gold and it was a hard morning for all of us when it spilled. But as bummed as I was, as guilt-ridden as she was, as oblivious as O was – s*&t happens and we have not yet run out of milk. And more importantly wife is a TOTAL partner in the feeding of Baby O – so all the non-breastfeeding parents (NBfPOMWIBf) out there – take note!
I spilled liquid gold – otherwise known as expressed breast milk – the other morning. I was getting ready to take O to day care and gathering the MANY things needed, including bottles of milk, and one just fell and that was that. Yep, it was a low moment. Yep, I felt bad. Why?
Because I have watched how hard opinionated mama works to pump enough milk for O every day and as we know, pumping sucks. We try to keep ahead of the amount he needs each day but it is always close (for those of you who wonder why we didn’t stockpile milk in the freezer – we did. He is just one of the very small % of babies who doesn’t like reheated frozen milk).
On my way into work, after dropping off O, I started thinking about ways in which the non-breast feeding-partner-of-a-mom-who-is-breastfeeding (do we need an acronym for that? NBfPOMWIBf?) can help the breast feeding mom (spilling milk is definitely not one of them). But there is so much to help with and I thought it might be useful to lay some of this out for those of you are not sure, think you have little role in this regard, and/or are still sitting on your assess while the breastfeeding mom is WORKING HARD! Here is my list:
- Feed and Hydrate the Mama: Breastfeeding makes a woman very hungry. And thirsty. Get her food. Make her breakfast. Bring water. She will be focused on the baby so offer to do this. Or, just do it (in my case, it is a discussion b/c opinionated mama always has a very specific idea of what she wants).
- Get the non-perishable supplies ready: OK, so yeah, breastfeeding can be done with, well, just a breast and baby, but sometimes things like boppy pillows, burp cloths, iPhones, etc are really needed. Get them!
- Burb the Baby: Just because she is feeding him doesn’t mean she has to burp him all the time. Maybe she can sleep a bit and you can do the burping.
- Be a Pumping Partner: If pumping, make sure the pump parts are getting cleaned and bring them to each pumping session at home. Take the bottles after each pumping session and label them or do whatever you do need to do with them. And if she pumps at work, why not get the pump parts ready for her every morning before she goes to the office? I mean, she’s the one who has to find time during her work day to be milked like a cow. All you have to do is get the stuff together.
- Prepare for Day Care: If going to day care and milk is needed, get the milk out and ready. But be careful not to drop a bottle – that stuff is liquid gold.