Partners in Parenting
Readers share with us about times their partners have helped to make parenting, breastfeeding, maintaining the house, etc. easier.
My youngest son was born 22 days early. While I was in the hospital, (my partner) took the time to make a bunch of breakfasts—burritos, muffins, sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits—wrapped them individually, and froze them. He has cooked almost every night and always does the cleanup. He and my oldest have kept up with the laundry. The other day I got sick in the middle of the night. He is deaf, so he kept one hearing aid in through the night and brought the baby to bed. He even loaded my nightstand with liquids and protein-based snacks before taking our oldest to school. — Rebecca Stafos-Weaver, Facebook
He is my biggest supporter for breastfeeding! He says women like me are paving the way for the next generation to grow up thinking it’s normal. He calls me a warrior and defends me at every turn. He comes to the classes, reads the articles, and knows the facts. He’s invested in this as much as I am, and it makes it so much easier. — Elena Thompson, Facebook
The best thing my husband does for me is simply to tell me I’m a great mother and doing a good job breastfeeding our baby. Those little boosts of confidence really help me mentally, especially in the early hazy days with a newborn. He also does the overnight shift: waking up when the baby wakes, changing him and bringing him to me to feed. That’s a big help so I can get a better night’s sleep to take care of baby and house during the day. — Tori Dawes, Facebook
I had an emergency cesarean (birth). My partner took time off work and did everything I couldn’t do. He drove me back and forth from the hospital (baby was in NICU). He always made sure I had clean bottles and a clean breast pump. He cooked, cleaned, washed diapers, and helped the older children with homework. He rigged our canopy bed with handles so I could get up easier. Now baby is healthy, still breastfeeding, and at home. My partner still helps so much. I am back at work, and he does everything that needs to be done. He is the best father and stepfather. I am so blessed! — Lorrain Pierce, Facebook
My husband has been great. On the weekends, he gets up with our littlest and brings him to me to nurse while he either stays in bed with me and the older kids come in, or he makes everyone breakfast. During the week, he will cook dinner. If I have it going already, he will clean the kitchen and help with the laundry. He is in charge of homework with our oldest and brings our middle child to the park when I pick the oldest up from school. After I told him I went on a “drinking binge” one night, drinking all the liquids in our house-water, orange juice, cranberry juice- he bought me a three-liter water bottle, fills it nightly before he goes to bed, and places it next to where I nurse. So I always have easy access to water throughout the night. — Amber Benton, Facebook
When our little boy was born, we both knew how important breastfeeding was to us. So nine days in when my toes are curling in pain each time I fed him, my husband said, “Nope! We’re calling the lactation consultant and paying for a home visit!” He knew it was worth the cost and that it was worth it to me, so he made it happen and learned right along with me while she was there so that he could help when she was gone. He used to help me with every latch in the beginning by moving our son’s little hands out of the way. He has changed almost every nighttime diaper since our son was born. He is completely supportive of us bed sharing even though we have an extremely wakeful baby. I truly think it makes all the difference in breastfeeding success and even parenting success to have a partner who supports your intuition and decisions. — Nicole Nannen, Facebook
Nighttime can be the hardest time to stay committed to breastfeeding. My husband wanted to help with the nighttime feedings. We chose to exclusively breastfeed, but he played a major role at night that helped me get my sleep while still providing for the baby. He would bring the baby to me. It seems so simple but gave me so much more energy than when I tried to do it all myself. — Sarah Naylor Ensenat, Facebook
My husband offered nonstop encouragement to me in the early days with our son. (Our son) was preterm and had jaundice and poor weight gain. Any time I wanted to throw in the towel, my husband said that wasn’t an option, would set me up with pillows, water, snacks, rub my back or feet, and basically treated me like a queen so I could focus solely on nursing around the clock. He still encourages me eight months later. The best thing he does is tell me how beautiful I look when I’m breastfeeding. — Alexandra Powers, Facebook
My husband wakes up first in the night to bring our son into our bed to nurse. He also cooks dinner during the work week; we both work full-time. He empties my pumped milk bottles from the day into bags and washes all of the bottles for the next day. He makes sure that my freezer pack gets put away, too. My husband also coordinated some outside help with laundry and cleaning each week so that we both would have more time with our son. It’s also just the little things, like when he offers me water and snacks while nursing. It is such a blessing to have a supportive partner! — Kimberly Christen, Facebook
My husband went to the hospital breastfeeding class with me and was an A-plus student. When we got home, I had a hard time nursing for over a month! He was there for every feeding, helping to check the latch and be encouraging. Having a knowledgeable and supportive partner is what got me through and helped me to persevere. — Sarah Ayala Márquez, Facebook
(Our daughter) nursing seems to be great family time. She watches mommy and daddy talk to her and each other. Sometimes her brothers and sister come and sit with us too. Everyone supports us and puts in a helping hand by starting laundry, dishes, or dinner. We all work as a team. — April Denise, Facebook
My husband took care of the household cleaning when my son was a newborn. He also read up on the benefits of breastfeeding and has been super supportive throughout our journey. — Anna Formeller, Facebook
In the first days, just the simple act of seeing things that needed to be done and doing them without me having to ask or tell him what I needed helped a ton. So many people will wait until you ask or tell them to do something, so things getting done without me having to think about it was a huge help. — Christine Brick, Facebook
My husband knows that I get up with our toddler throughout the night, so he wakes up with him in the morning and lets me sleep in a bit. — Lindsay Raskin, Facebook
When I was too afraid to nurse in public, he told me to worry about feeding our son and if anyone had something to say he would deal with it. It made a huge difference knowing that I had his support, and it didn’t feel nearly as much like I was doing it alone. — Anna Lynn, Facebook
He made French toast with cinnamon, eggs, and coffee. I was learning how to pump and was an absolute mess. I was starving but couldn’t use my hands to eat. He cut up my food and fed it to me, without even thinking twice about it. Still makes me tear up when I think about it. — Katie Franco, Facebook
He snuck away from work one day long enough to bring me a milkshake while I nursed my first baby. — Maggie Nunnelly Ginn, Facebook
When my husband knows it has been a hard day for me or for the children, he surprises us with a treat he picks up on his way home from work. — Faith Mansfield-Gregg, Facebook
My husband is an amazing father and incredibly supportive of breastfeeding. With our first son, I had a job that required frequent travel over a week. My husband took leave from work and purchased plane tickets to join me on my work trip. Many of my grantees or contractors would have a room on site for pumping or feeding my son. My husband explored many cities with our son, bringing him to me at lunch breaks. I successfully breastfed our oldest son until he weaned at two years and three months. — Bridget Shea Westfall, Facebook
I would not have been successful in my breastfeeding journey if it wasn’t for my husband. After my cesarean birth, I was so sick that sometimes my husband would literally hold my breast to our son when I was unable. When my milk didn’t come in right away, he helped me pump and would wash all of the parts. It broke my heart into a million pieces when the pediatrician told us that we’d have to supplement with formula until my milk came in. My husband stepped right up and encouraged me. Thankfully, the supplementing went on for less than a week, and our journey lasted for 15 months. — Amanda Hart, Facebook
After our second daughter was born, my husband would take our newborn after he got home from work and after dinner during her “witching” hour so I could get some rest from 6-9 p.m. He would rock her in his arms and calm her down. She’d fall asleep in his arms and wake up around 9 p.m. to nurse. I’d feed her and then put her to bed. That helped tremendously because I was shot by the end of the day and needed a few hours to recharge before she’d be up nursing at night. — MJ Gentile, Facebook
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