Partners can be a useful source of emotional and practical support when starting a pumping routine. One of the most important things you can do is to remember to be open to help and utilize your partner’s gifts. Every partner is a bit different- some techies, some care-bears, others just curious. Knowing your partner and tying in a relational aspect to the pumping routine can make it a bit more personal, caring and even fun! Otherwise it’s just a pretty cool pump-right?
Some practical tips of what your baby’s other parent can do include entertaining the baby nearby or sending you adorable videos of your baby to your pump space when you are separated from you baby. Did you know that the loving bond between you and your baby is the most powerful effector of your milk supply? Connecting your partner in this powerful loop can be very rewarding, meaningful and even enrich the relationship between baby and their other parent. This can be another source of the so-called bond mixed with the practical element of supply and demand. Your partner should be informed about the benefits of nursing and pumping and how it may ultimately affect supply and demand, but that is sort of another article.
You never know what surprises the act of involving your partner in the pumping process will bring- maybe a bit more joy in playtime with them, or a child’s new curiosity about what is a “pump.” Other more practical ideas include having your partner help with things you usually provide to your home in that time you have to spend pumping, even if that includes self-care. They can bring you a snack, a water, put on music or help warm your feet up.
Open your mind and the possibilities are endless. But even when your partner is not around, remember that your connection to the pump and your child are important. There can also be other ways to involve support people in this practice of so-called “bonding,” with the pump, family and baby as one unit. Putting on a happy face and remembering that spending a little extra time pumping each day can help your supply, but can also can be hard, even daunting. So never force yourself to go that extra inch. Just remember you and your family got this and the pay back is yet to come!