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Thread: Secret BF'ing without DH knowing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Question Secret BF'ing without DH knowing?

    Hi, I am posting for someone I work with. She has started back to work last week and we set up a lacation room for her because she works in a cubicle. She wants to breastfeed and did so after having her LO (baby now 3 months). However, it is her first baby and her husband was Sure that the baby was not getting enough milk so he started formula. He feels that formula will help the baby sleep longer and gain weight better. The rest of her family agrees with DH and does not support BF'ing. Her mom lives with them so she is always around thus making it impossible for her to BF much if at all.

    So, with no support at home she thought she would pump at work. Her husband is against that idea so if she does pump here she would need to find a way to dealwith not being able to pump at home on weekends or holidays when the rest of her family is around.

    Is there a such thing as closet breastfeeding? If so, that is the position she is in. I am doing all I can here to be supportive and we work at a university that is very pro-breastfeeding so she has support at work - just none at home. it is not even just a lack of support but an anti-breastfeeding attitude at home. She has given her DH all the litature and explained the benefits but nothing helps.

    Any suggestions for pumping at work, secret breastfeeding and what to do on days she is with her family and cannot BF or pump?
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Secret BF'ing without DH knowing?

    Ugh. That is a terrible situation. I guess just standing up to the DH and saying "I am going to breastfeed, deal with it" is not an option?

    All I can say is hand-pumps are small, portable, and easy to use anywhere - a car, bathroom, closed room - in a pinch.

    I hope your friend can just explain how much this means to her to the DH and they can come to some kind of compromise. I don't understand how this is for the DH to decide. Can she get the support of her doctor or another health professional? Maybe they could help her explain the benefits of BF'ing to her family?


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Secret BF'ing without DH knowing?

    I think it would be more productive to offer up a name of a good marriage counselor.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Secret BF'ing without DH knowing?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*shannon75 View Post
    I think it would be more productive to offer up a name of a good marriage counselor.


    I'm sorry your friend is in such an awful position.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Secret BF'ing without DH knowing?

    She had her doc and even a LC explain to him and he just will not listen. I do not think she feels like she is in a position to say it is not his choice and just do what she wants without causing huge problems in their relationship. It sounds like he is a bit controlling (but not to the point of abusive or anything like that - just stubborn). A small hand pump may be an idea. She has a Medela PISA so I think they come with a small hand pump (mine did so I coudl give t to her).
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

  6. #6
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    Apr 2010
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    Default Re: Secret BF'ing without DH knowing?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*shannon75 View Post
    I think it would be more productive to offer up a name of a good marriage counselor.
    I second this. He obviously doesn't respect her and her opinions enough or believe that she is smart enough to feed her own child. This will show up all thoughout other aspects of raising this child and it will be a slippery slope. She really needs to learn that a husband can't control her like that. If the husband is with the baby alone, and he chooses to give formula instead of bottled breastmilk, that is one thing. If the lady can't even put the baby to her breast while the husband is around, that is downright obsurd. Sorry, this probably isn't what your wanting. I may not be in the best mood to give the advice you are actually wanting. Sorry if this sounds offensive. I just grew up with a horrible father and my mother had a habbit of tip toeing around him at times and it angers me greatly so I may jump to the extreme when I hear things like this.
    Married 9/17/2005
    Mother to Seamus born 3/9/2010 7lbs 9oz Still nursing with no end in sight!
    I love , , cloth diapers! with #2! Due 4/5/2012. for a Vbac!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Secret BF'ing without DH knowing?

    I don't know her or her situation, but to me, having him dictate what she can and cannot do with her own child to the point where it will cause huge relationship problems is a large red flag for an abusive relationship. I wouldn't call this "a bit" controlling, but a lot controlling. And where is this going to stop for her? Right now it's about formula vs. breastfeeding - which I already think is a HUGE deal. But what about when it comes to discipline? Is she going to back down if this guy wants to beat their child?

    Seriously - why would she hide this? She is doing the right thing for their child. What is his problem? Clearly he is not interested in facts, but only in controlling the situation. This child is both of theirs - why is he the one making the decisions? And how will she sneak the milk home anyway? Won't this deception cause more problems than actually sticking up for herself?

    If I knew this person, I would tell her to grow a pair and stand up for what is right for her and her baby.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Secret BF'ing without DH knowing?

    My question would be - how will she get the milk to her baby if she can't BF around her DH. Preparing BM is different than formula, he's sure to notice.

    I also agree that this situation seems like more than "a little controlling." I understand that it is difficult to know how to be supportive of a friend who is in a tough situation, and you're clearly doing your best to help your friend. If she is not ready to stand up to her DH or leave, than you can't make her do so. But obviously, DH's "stubborness" on this point is not a good sign.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Secret BF'ing without DH knowing?

    I would go so far as to say that having the right to breastfeed your own child is a human rights issue. No one has a right to interfere with that, certainly not a spouse or in-laws. This mom doesn't need to stand up for herself so much as she needs to stand up for her child's right to his/her birthright. It's her job as mother to fight for her child. If she can't do that . . .

    This woman's husband sounds like a real tool. Abuse doesn't require physical harm, emotional and psychological abuse is far more common, and probably more damaging. Her husband sounds like a bully and a jerk. And he's not just pushing her around, he's depriving her baby of baby's right to be breastfed. This is just the beginning of a lifelong pattern of that. He's abusing her, he's abusing her child, and he's setting up a pattern where she stands helplessly by and watches him abuse her child.

    I grew up in an abusive household. I have worked in the domestic violence unit at legal aid, and continue to volunteer to represent victims of domestic abuse. There are all kinds of red flags waving here. I would not tolerate this situation, not for myself, and certainly not for my child.

    I'll also say that being in an abusive situation can sometimes be like a frog in a pot - if they turn the temp up slowly enough, it's hardly noticeable, and you forget what cool water felt like. It can be very helpful for someone in this situation to hear that this is not normal and that you are concerned about her. Emotional abuse can get you to a place where you have no self-confidence and your abuser can have you doubting reality - the landscape is always shifting, you never know what to expect, he convinces you that you're always wrong and not thinking straight.

    Your friend is in a bad situation. I think it's definitely worth sitting down with her and very seriously expressing that this is not a good situation, that it really sounds like abuse, and that you'll do whatever you can to support her. If you can provide contact information for a domestic violence shelter, consider doing it. I believe it is that serious.
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!



    My little boy is my everything.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Secret BF'ing without DH knowing?

    Thank you all for the advice. Last night I talked to my DH about it too and he too said he woudl worry about the controlling and that is may be a warning sign to a bigger issue. I am going to talk to her again today to see what I can do or if she sees it as a problem. Maybe if I point out that this coudl be a turning point where things could get better or worse if she stands up for her self it will help change things. We are not that close but I do have extra space in my home if she and her baby need a place to stay. She is a very nice, stong, smart, black woman so I guess my first thought was that maybe I was missing a cultural difference with the husband's attitude.

    Thnak you all and I hope to have good inforamtion to post abou ther situation soon. Any other advise is welcome.
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

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