Re: Super long and frustrating story
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!
First, I have to say that it's great that you're so supportive of your wife. I wouldn't have made it through the first awful weeks of breastfeeding my first kid if I hadn't had my husband's shoulder to cry on. The best thing you can do for your wife right now is to tell her that she is a wonderful mommy, that she is BEAUTIFUL (I think that in the postpartum phase all women wonder if their husbands still feel that way, or whether they'd rather run screaming), that you are so proud of her and the work she is doing, that she's amazing for soldiering on despite the obstacles, and that you will always feel that way, no matter what happens with breastfeeding. Then hold the baby so she can take a shower, or offer to scrub the toilet, wash bottles and pump parts, or get some take-out, or run to the store for something she needs (get her some flowers while you're there!)- because those support functions are what will enable her to keep doing what she is doing. Seriously, I know it sounds trite- but breastfeeding is something only the woman can do, and the only way you can help her to keep going is to strengthen her spirit.
Also, I know that when mom is having difficulty with breastfeeding, and is suffering, that means that dad is suffering, too. Please be assured that this will pass!!!
The amount of milk your wife is getting from pumping is NOT small. 11 day-old babies are generally drinking only about 2 oz when they nurse, maybe 2-4 maximum. They make up for small feedings by having lots of them, usually about 10-12 per day. So 1 oz every 2-4 hours is a bit low, but not rock bottom.
One thing that's really important for a new mom to remember is that breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing. If you end up using formula part-time for a while or even for the rest of the breastfeeding journey, that's okay if it enables a mom to keep on going! Partial breastfeeding is better than no breastfeeding.
I totally get it that all the washing is wearing. Been there, done that! I strongly suggest doing the following:
- Wash the pump parts only every other time. You can leave the pump screwed onto the bottle, and put the whole thing in the fridge. When it's time to pump again, you can pump new milk on top of the old milk. My LC assured me that this was completely safe.
- Leave a large basin of soapy water by the sink, and throw bottles in as they get used. Doing one large wash-up per day instead of a zillion little ones is a lot less annoying. If you can afford a second set up pump parts, get them!
You might want to encourage your wife to join the forum. This is a very friendly place and we'd be happy to encourage her in any way that she needs.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"