Fiance doesn't want me breastfeeding!! What to do?!?!

Kristy - posted on 01/19/2010 ( 184 moms have responded )

27

23

2

The story goes a little something like this.
He didn't let his ex-wife breastfeed. Fine and good, I guess, because she was a push over. (and I dont mean that in a hateful way... Me and her are actually friends now). She didn't breastfeed their son because he didn't want her to.
I'm more upfront with what I want and am going to do. I have already informed my finace that I WILL be breastfeeding.... And he's kinda accepted that fact.
However, he does not want me ACTUALLY breastfeeding. He wants me to pump and feed thru a bottle. He has no reasoning behind this besides that he doesn't want the baby to grow up and be... quite literally... a "titty baby." He doesn't want her growing up with an unbreakable attachment to me. Or something like that.
I feel like, I will be doing what I want, with the breastfeeding... and that's GREAT. And I feel like I should be more considerate because I AM breastfeeding when he doesnt want it at all. I feel like the "right" thing to do would be compromise... I've mentioned ACTUALLY breastfeeding for the first 3 (or so) months and then weining over to formula (i know i know... i hate it.) But he says that he's okay with me using breast milk for as long as I want (or can) as long as its not baby-to-breast breastfeeding...
Where would you go with this? I mean, would you insist on ACTUALLY breastfeeding the whole time, would you compromise (and if so then how)... just let me know what you'd do...??
Thank yall!!

This conversation has been closed to further comments

184 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

Just something I thought of, if your fiance is worried about not bonding with your baby while you breastfeed: he can actually be involved in breastfeeding too and help you with it more than he might realise.

He will be a crucial part in your breastfeeding relationship, especially early on. My husband listened and watched in hospital whenever I got breastfeeding assistance from the nurses and lactation consultant and then would help me at home to latch my son and ensure that the latch was correct. So, he would guide his little head to where it needed to go, sometimes even sit there with us and stroke his head while he was feeding. Of course, he can do the burping, which is almost as good in terms of closeness to the baby, because baby gets a good cuddle with whoever is burping him or her.

Sylvia - posted on 01/20/2010

1,315

8

31

P.S. I wonder whether those who are yelling LEAVE HIM are extrapolating from this particular bizarre and unreasonable request a habit of making bizarre and unreasonable requests that might indicate a not-very-healthy relationship dynamic. This reaction is unquestionably overkill for one incident, but for a pattern of behaviour it might not be, KWIM?

Sylvia - posted on 01/20/2010

1,315

8

31

I would just go ahead and do it. If you really feel like he needs to feel as though you're offering some compromise, maybe you could suggest renegotiating in 6 months (by which point, unless he's a complete nincompoop, he'll have figured out that there's nothing so terrible about breastfeeding and won't have any problem with your going on from there). But they're your breasts, they're there for the purpose of getting the milk into the baby - it's your decision, not his. And, honestly, why on earth would anyone choose all that inconvenience, expense, and hassle if they didn't absolutely have to?

Rebecca - posted on 01/20/2010

7

9

2

I think you and the baby would really be missing out if you just express your milk. The bond you form is so strong and rewarding - I really would have hated to miss out on it. I have just had to stop at 6 months as my milk supply dropped to practically nothing and I do miss being able to do it sometimes. It sounds to me like your partner is afraid of being left out, perhaps try and express some milk for him to be able to feed the baby too occasionally and maybe if he really is that uncomfortable with it try not to do it too much in front of him. Expressing milk though is a hassle though. Good luck!

Amanda - posted on 01/20/2010

3

10

0

I have to agree that your fiance has some underlying issue or maybe he just doesn't understand. Pumping is a hassle and you have to be really committed. I work full-time with a new 6 month old and pumping gets real old real fast. I breastfeed her when she is with me and let me tell you it is so much easier. I have to pump while at work at least 3 times in an 8 hr day. I have to remember the bottles, the bags, an ice pack and to get the milk from the fridge. You WILL be exhausted! Try to exclusively BF for as long as you can. It really is the best you can do. My first husband was not supportive and I was young and didn't know any better but this time around it has been a totally different experience. You are going to need his support. It makes a world of difference. I truly do know the dilemma you are facing. I think if he has issue with this then there are other things he may have issue with and that is going to lead to a lot of stress so try to sit down and have a serious conversation before the baby gets here about things. I hate pumping but it is the very best thing I can do for my daughter to make sure all she gets is my milk. It is made specifically for her and is completely natural. NO formula can make that claim. When my husband has our daughter he has to worry about her screaming while he waits for the milk to heat up and to make sure there is a clean bottle and all that but me I sit down, get comfortable and off we go. There is nothing like to feeling it creates especially between you and the baby. When she looks up at you or rubs her had across your chest you will be hooked. I don't know if this helps you but I just wanted to let you know that there are others who have been in your situation and this is just a little bit of advice. Trust your instincts. You have them and they will help you decide.

[deleted account]

If it were me in your shoes, I'd be telling him TOUGH LUCK! It's completely naturaly and HARMLESS. He doesn't seem to have any real logic or meaning behind why he doesn't want baby to breast contact. I say go for it. And if he doesn't like it, well that's just too bad.

Tannis - posted on 01/20/2010

39

14

0

I agree with most of the comments to your post. I truly believe that breast feeding is the only way to go for me. I also believe that it is your choice. I am curious what is causing him to feel the way he does. I nursed my twins for 15 months until they had weaned themselves. They are big for their age (especially for being twins!), healthy, and very attached to both me and my husband. They are still mommy's girls, no doubt there, but their love for daddy is amazing as he is super connected to them. My husband made it a point to be involved in every aspect of their lives from day one.The bond they have with daddy is different from that with me but it is incredibly close. The connection issue between your baby and fiance is what pops out for me. If he is concerned that he won't be close to the baby, I would encourage you to attend some BFing classes together. Have him involved in as much of the breastfeeding experience as possible, changing diapers, getting up with you, bringing you what you need, talking to the baby while you feed,etc. Whatever you decide, make sure that you have had all the conversations with him that you need and that you are both comfortable with your decision. Best of luck to you!!

Jodie - posted on 01/20/2010

28

17

0

So long as you wean your baby at an appropriate age, you will have absolutely no problem with your baby being attached to your "titties" haha. And you need to recognize that his desires for you not to breastfeed are entirely selfish. It is crucial for your baby to be able to bond with you, as well as receive the nourishment he/she needs.
And so long as you want to breastfeed, I would encourage you not to switch to formula. After you get the hang of it, its actually WAY more convenient to nurse anyway. Don't feel like you have to compromise taking care of your baby properly. As hard as it may be for him, he needs to be understanding and considerate. You don't want to face bitterness toward him later; you might end up blaming him every time your kid gets sick or has health issues and get upset with yourself and wonder "if I had only kept nursing...!" You don't want to deal with that. Do what you know is right, and if your fiancee is a good man, he will grow to embrace it.

Erynne - posted on 01/20/2010

110

40

14

Breasts are there to feed an infant. The fact that they're also wonderful sexual toys is just a side note.

I'm sorry your fiance is having trouble with the idea of the baby at the b reast, but that's HIS hang-up. All he is doing, in regards to the infant, is donating sperm and changing diapers. YOU will be doing 99% of the feeding, comforting (and nothing beats breastfeeding for comfort; my 9-month-old is learning to walk and he crashes into EVERYTHING; the ability to pull up my shirt and calm him down saves my sanity DAILY), and caring for the baby, so you should get 99% of the say.

IF it really bothers him that you breastfeed, he can always leave the room. HE can leave the room, NOT YOU. If you are comfortable on the couch and the baby starts sucking her fists, or nuzzling your breast, YOU should not have to get up, move to a new room, and get comfortable (because once they start looking for their nursie, they need it NOOOOOW! and if you take the time to go to a new room and get comfy and THEN pull your shirt up and THEN latch her on, hooo buddy. besides, your needs and her needs outweigh HIS needs. two to one, the two win)

Seriously, darling. Breastfeeding is absolutely the BEST thing you can do for your baby. If he has a serious problem with it, then let it be HIS problem. Tell him you're sorry it upsets him, you're sorry he's going to be uncomfortable, but the health benefits to the baby AND to you (like a decreased risk of breast cancer) are just too important to pass up just because he feels squemish about it.

- E

[deleted account]

I definitely wouldn't pump or switch to formula. Yeah, leaving him is definitely excessive advice. I've got 3 little ones being raised in a broken home right now. While breast IS best.... it's not worth tearing a family apart for. Not even close. :(

I'd maybe try this compromise.... you breastfeed from the tap w/out him mentioning it and you let him sleep at night. If he mentions bottles or formula at all.... he wakes up everytime the baby does and you STILL breastfeed from the tap. :)

Sorry, I don't have any better advice. My ex was fully supportive of me breastfeeding our twins for the first year. I'm pretty sure he thinks it's nuts that I'm still nursing our almost 2 year old son, but since he bailed on us when I was pregnant.... he doesn't get a say.

Good luck!!!

Tammy - posted on 01/20/2010

52

8

8

There's a lot of extra work involved in pumping and feeding the baby breastmilk, and a big chance that you will not be able to keep up your supply this way. So in effect, by insisting on you following this method, he's jsut sabotaging you.

Tell him you need him to be supportive - provide him with whatever education you can (i.e. whatever he will listen to) on why breastfeeding is the best method of feeding, for the baby's health, for your health, etc.

In terms of a compromise, I guess the thing I would do is reassure him that you - and the baby - will both love him too! It sounds to me like he's being a little bit jealous.

Jessica - posted on 01/20/2010

26

13

4

your husband is nuts. sounds like he wants your boobs all to himself, which is pretty selfish if you ask me. you want to give your child the best, and breastfeeding is one of the ways that you can to that. if you bottle feed your baby will have a compromised immune system from the start because nursing helps stimulate the formation of the thymus gland (where you get your immunity from). i would say that if you are having an easy time breastfeeding then keep going with it! I weaned my youngest at 14 months! This needs to be your decision and not his.

Julie - posted on 01/20/2010

85

24

6

Also, a compromise could be that you will breastfeed until the baby is 6 months. That is a good amount of time for the baby to get the nutrients, and it is the time where as the baby gets bigger it might make him uncomfortable. The other thing you can tell him is that you can get a nursing cover to cover yourself. You will want to find an easy one to use, though, cause some can be a hassle.

Julie - posted on 01/20/2010

85

24

6

I agree with everyone, but want to add that it sounds like he is scared and it sounds like it will make him uncomfortable. I would talk to him more about that, and say that your not going to not breastfeed just because he is uncomfortable. It sounds like he is also concerned about the bonding. Let him know that you can pump some so that he can give the baby a bottle, but it is true that some breastfed babies want there momma most of the time, but after like 6 months they are attached to both parents.

Bottom line is just keep trying to make him more comfortable with it and reassure him that the baby will bond with him no matter what. What is your opinion from friends or family? Are there any health care professionals that you know that could explain the concept of breastfeeding (not necessarily the benefits,) but the reason it is such a beautiful thing and that it doesn't effect the baby when they are older.

Jennifer - posted on 01/20/2010

17

36

2

if you want to breastfeed that is your decision your fience can stick it the breast is best and for a GUY to tell you not to feed from the boob is selfish i find the breast is more bonding thannthe bottle in the end its YOUR decision Not his

Morgan - posted on 01/20/2010

438

0

53

@ Dana, Full formula feeding requires about $135 a month for the first 6 months. After that, it depends on how much solids vs formula ur feeding the baby, but will still average around $100 a month. That's just formula. That doesn't include the point that you either have to use baby water or boil ur own water. Baby water can cost upwards of $50 a month as well. Or else you can be like those moms that boil the water, let it cool, prepare the formula, put it in the fridge. :)

Nicole - posted on 01/20/2010

131

4

11

Somewhere he's gotten a really negative picture of what it is to breastfeed. I'd quietly just go ahead and do it without argument. Maybe once he sees you doing it, he'll see the beauty in it and change his opinion somewhat. I wouldn't hold my breath, but there is always that hope.

Also, men are usually information driven. (I know, not all, but the majority) I'd leave whatever chart, graph, visual representation of data I could get my hands on laying around the house. Specifically target those articles that discuss the security and confidence of BF babies. Also mention your benefits in reduced cancer risks etc. Also target the financial benefit. What man doesn't understand $ ?!?! lol

Best of luck to you. I hope you are able to sway him. If not, and it were me, I would peacefully choose to ignore him. That's just me.

Sarah - posted on 01/20/2010

15

88

0

I have an issue with this. This is Your body...and honestly, you should be able to "Breastfeed" if you so choose. It is the healthiest choice for your baby, not only because of the breastmilk, but the skin to skin contact is widely recommended by health organizations. Perhaps your b/f should seek counsel with a BreastFeeding organization such lalecheleague.org. To me this is a control issue that the b/f has. I would stand your ground and ensure he gets the proper knowledge as to the benefits of breastfeeding. It can also be done discreetly in public and no one would even know what you were doing. Follow your heart girl. But definitely have your b/f talk to a professional about breastfeeding so that he can see it for the beautiful and natural thing that it is. Good luck!

Audrey - posted on 01/20/2010

43

31

8

Only two people said leave him. The rest of us are only trying to impart how crazy he is. :D

[deleted account]

Are you or is he aware just HOW much work it is to express milk to feed a baby. And the milk supply does not keep up with what the baby requires, or it is very hard to do. Maybe you could inform your fiancee that he would have to take care of most of the remaining baby care including night feeds, if you were to express, because you would literally have to express every 2 hours even if the baby doesn't want feed that often. It's the only way to keep up your supply.

Here's another sweetener for him: if you breastfeed, you would have to do night feeds while he would get to turn over and go back to sleep (don't worry, you can feed in bed and have a snooze while doing so). If you were to bottlefeed (either formula or breastmilk), tell him that you would expect him to share the load, because he would be putting that much more work on you. And believe me, it is a HUGE amount of work. For EVERY SINGLE expressing session you would have to:

1. Express milk, can take up to 1/2 hour

2. Wash ALL equipment

3. Sterilise ALL equipment

4. Dry and reassemble

There goes the better part of an hour, and your baby hasn't even had a single drop of milk yet nor have you had a moment of bonding time. On top of that would be feeding him/her, which can take up to 1/2 hour for very young babies too. Try repeating that every 2 hours, that leaves you 1/2 hour for diaper changes, baths, eat something yourself, have a rest, etc.

It might be feasible to exclusively express for a week or two, but permanently would be a HUGE amount of effort.

Furthermore, maybe ask your fiance whether he wants his child to be healthier, have a higher IQ, have a lower risk of allergies and eczema, the list goes on.

Also, maybe inform him of what "titties" are actually meant to be for: feed a baby. Every baby is a "titty baby", that's what nature intended.

Personally, I would tell him that it's none of his business. It might be his child also, but what you are doing is feeding top grade milk, not second best.

Oh, another one I just thought of, if the thought of less work isn't already enticing enough: check out the formula feeding requirements are (on the back of the tins) and calculate how much formula feeding would cost per month or even for the whole first year. Going by what friends tell me of their formula use, it's roughly one 900g tin per week (sorry, I'm in Australia, we only have metric measurements) at a minimum of A$22. That works out as more than $1000 per year (you'd have to do your own calculations as mine are in Aussie dollars). But still, I can think of better ways to spend that much money than on tins and tins worth of "dead" milk, and contribute to landfill. On top of that, lower medical bills, less risk of skin problems, so less risk of hundreds spent on finding the right creams to soothe it, etc.

Sorry for rambling, I couldn't help myself ;-)

[deleted account]

If my husband said that I would tell him to get over it. Pumping is such a hassle and it is hard to maintain a supply. Plus if your pumping and bottle feeding then tell him he'll have to help with all the late night feedings. Someone has to feed the screaming baby while you're hooked up to a pump.

Tara - posted on 01/19/2010

167

20

19

Wow, ya leaving someone is a little much over that! my husband supports my breastfeeding our son, but does not support after 1! Since I had a very preemie baby i am still going to breastfeed after 1 and i dont care what he thinks! LOL. oh man breastfeeding and pumping is exhausting i did it and still sometimes have to do it and ill tell ya what, i get NO sleep..

Morgan - posted on 01/19/2010

438

0

53

You probably won't be able to maintain a milk supply for 3 months (or more) by pumping exclusively. Maybe, but more then likely no.



I think there is compromise. Half and half. Breast feed and pump. Most women can create quite a supply by doing both. Establish ur supply by EBF for 6 weeks. At that time, introduce the bottle (this will alleviate nipple confusion), make sure it's a slower nipple. Ask him to do all the feedings by bottle and when you take care of him, feed him by breast. Maybe make a timeline like 1 year that this will stop. Stay your ground. I think that it's bs that his ex and now u are letting him dictate what you do. no man should dictate what a woman does, as no woman should dictate what a man does.



It almost seems to me as if he doesn't like the thought of the baby sucking on ur breast and/or the toddlers that are able to open the shirt up. Or maybe it's watching it? Maybe dig a little deeper and see if there's a trigger. If so you can address it. Maybe agreeing to wear a nursing wrap while feeding?



If it's that he thinks about the bond, I mean my son is breastfed and a daddy's boy....

Kristy - posted on 01/19/2010

27

23

2

wow. okay. first off. Leave him? honestly? that's a little bit much. He's not TELLING me I can't. He knows me better than that. He's just stating that he doesnt want me to. I'm honestly in shock that yall would LEAVE a man because he saw differently than you on breastfeeding.

I understand that his reasoning is WEIRD. and not a little dumb. I know that. And I will breastfeed.

Yall really have no idea how SHOCKED I am that it's a matter of leaving someone over.

Marabeth - posted on 01/19/2010

394

7

39

p.s. what would he do if you told him not to touch your breasts ever again because you didn't want him to turn in to a 'titty man?' it's ridiculous. she has more of a right to your breasts than he does.

Marabeth - posted on 01/19/2010

394

7

39

i would leave him, live with my mother if i had to. marriage is dependent on the occasional compromise. if he can't understand that the person who carried her for nine months, gave birth to her and shoots milk from her nipples for that baby to survive and flourish knows how to best feed her child then he completely fails to understand what it means to compromise. another thing you should think about now is that the first 2 weeks - 5 months can be difficult for a nursing mother. she needs only positive people who are supportive of breastfeeding or at least her decision to breastfeed.. if he 'lets' (eyeroll) you breastfeed and you encounter troubles a week in it will be much more difficult to continue your nursing relationship with such a negative influence around. even people who are open to breastfeeding think people who attach their babies to their breast 16 hours a day (this can easily happen the whole first month or two..) are weird not to mention what your husband would think..

[deleted account]

PS - you should read all of these responses to him. Maybe it'll make something click in his head.

[deleted account]

Oh, I would absolutely insist! I've gotta say, I'm pretty ticked off at your man. He needs to stop being so selfish! You are doing the absolute best thing by wanting to BF your baby. And BFing isn't just good for baby, it's good for mom too. Being a new mom can be stressful and draining, to say the least. But when you and your baby sit down together and that tiny little miracle nuzzles into your breast and starts to suck, all your worries disappear. BFing releases endorphins to both you and your baby. Also, BFing reduces the risk of getting a couple different kinds of cancer (including breast cancer).
Maybe it will put things into perspective for your guy if you figure out what a year of formula costs in total.
And does he have any idea how much pumping in order to feed your baby vs. actually BFing will suck for you?! Pumping requires way more work! And it's also more difficult to keep up your supply when you're pumping. And then there's cleaning bottles, storing milk, thawing milk, and blah blah blah. Pumping is no fun. Why do all that extra work if you don't have to? And for what?! Because your man wants you to for some ridiculous reason that I don't even know/understand!
Also, what the heck is a "titty baby"? That term sounds so derogative. You and your baby are going to have an unbreakable bond no matter what!
Please please please BF! You want to and so you damn well should! And that's all that I've got to say about that:)

Emily - posted on 01/19/2010

2,233

8

295

He sounds really misinformed, and frankly, it shouldn't be his decision at all. You are the mother, you are the one with the breasts, your choice. I don't think this is a "compromise" issue at all. It sounds like this is more of his issue.. he needs to be thinking about what's best for the baby, not what's best for himself.

Does he understand that pumping and bottle-feeding is TWICE the work? He needs to know that breastfed babies do not grow up to be dependent or any other stereotype that he is making assumptions about. Yes, baby will be attached to you, but that is a GOOD thing. And baby will be attached to you if you bottle-feed too.

Start taking him to LLL meetings or a breastfeeding class. He needs to see that breastfeeding (not bottle-feeding) is the NORMAL way to feed infants.. it's what moms have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years.

Audrey - posted on 01/19/2010

43

31

8

I've seriously thought about this and honestly, his thinking (as his fiance) would strongly concern me. I find that what he is saying is so illogical that I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it.



Truthfully, do I think you should compromise? HELLS NO. This is breastfeeding! BREAST-FEEDING. BREAST-feeding. Get it? It's what your boobs were invented to do. And nothing nothing nothing soothes a baby like being put to breast. Not to mention that for you, baby at breast is the best thing for stimulating your supply. This is your body and your child. You mention the compromise of moving to formula at 3 months. Why on earth would you choose to give your child substandard nutrition if you are able to provide the very best that nature can offer? Your breast milk changes as your child ages and its nutritional content changes to match your growing child's needs. Nothing manufactured can ever match that.



Where would I go with this? In my mind, he firstly doesn't decide on this matter whatsoever. YOU are the one carrying the baby. YOU are the one going to be getting up in the middle of the night five times with feedings. Can you imagine having to bottle feed your child AND THEN PUMP for the next feed? It's ludicrous! All because of his silly notion.You'd never get any sleep. Seriously. And I guarantee you that if you give in to his lunacy, you'll regret it. You'll regret missing out on that time with your child.



I just don't think that you should EVER have to compromise on offering your child the very best.

Candice - posted on 01/19/2010

246

1

11

Do it anyway,leave him if he gives you crap. You baby,and your body.He needs to grow a brain and stfu That's what I would do. I would leave anyone who wanted me to poison my child.

Ruth - posted on 01/19/2010

27

17

1

why does he have an issue with a "titty baby." I would be more concerned with that and maybe finding out the root reason behind it. Were it me I would be insisting on Breastfeeding naturally for the most part and maybe letting him feed her by bottle with expressed milk (it's what i'm trying to do actually)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms