Issues with a partner not supporting breastfeeding?

For discussion of issues related to breastfeeding an older baby/child
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Issues with a partner not supporting breastfeeding?

Post by catnap73 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:23 pm

I breastfed my first baby until 20 months, second 15 and lucky last is now 17 months. I've been having a hard time with health issues and asked my partner to take a day off work to look after the house and kids to give me a break. I have no family in Australia and so my breaks in this time have been practically non existent. Like an hour here and there. For things like biopsies...
Anyways, he won't until I wean her. He says she is totally dependent on me because I continued to breastfeed her. A few times he's said in passing that it might be time to wean her, but never went into the whys or pushed it when I didn't agree. But now I want him to actually help out... that's his reason / excuse?
We have a lot of problems in our relationship, which is probably obvious.
I guess I just wonder did anyone else have to deal with issues with a partner? This isn't even like a 4 year old, most of the basic advice is continue for a year or 2 at least. He didn't want her and I feel he has never accepted this new reality of 3 children but he would never admit it. It's all my fault I made her dependent.

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Re: Issues with a partner not supporting breastfeeding?

Post by JMc » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:25 am

This seems like such a difficult situation. I'm sorry you're having to deal with lack of support. It sounds like there are a few different things going on.

My DH suggested twice that I wean my 2+y/o and I felt annoyed about that, so I can only imagine how you are feeling. It was the same sort of thing - DH saying it was too hard for him to comfort ds because he would just want me anyway.

I found it helpful to validate dh's feelings but also to encourage him to find his own ways to connect with ds. It was hard not to be grumpy or bossy though, which would have made things worse in our case!

Can you talk to him about how you are feeling? Or other issues likely to get in the way of it being a productive conversation?

Hope you can find the support you need (baby sitter?). And that your health issues resolve soon.
DD - November 2009 (Breastfed 19 months)
DS1 - August 2011 (Breastfed 2 years and 8 months)
DS2 - November 2014 (Breastfeeding happily)

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Re: Issues with a partner not supporting breastfeeding?

Post by kingofthedivan » Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:28 pm

hugs catnap, that sounds like a tough situation, and quite exasperating. I'm familiar with that argument, and really it wasn't until DD started going to childcare (and survive 9 hrs without boobs) that DP would take on single parenting opportunities. to be fair though, often DP hasn't been well enough to manage DD solo for extended periods. And now DD is 22 months and i'd like to night wean, but DP is strangely unresponsive to my hints that other DPs take on night settling as part of it! In fact, only after I have successfully nig weaned will DP consider taking on bedtime routine.

JMc has some very astute advice though, i should take it myself!

Perhaps another option might be to get a 'mother's helper'? Apologies for using such a heteropatriarchal term, but a friend recently reminded me that she used to do this as a teenager after school. Its kind of like guided babysitting, where they help you out with housework while you baby wrangle.

hope you can find a way to sort things out, and that your health issues resolve soon too.

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Re: Issues with a partner not supporting breastfeeding?

Post by Aurora » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:32 am

Sorry to hear you're finding things hard at the moment. Breastfeeding is such a big commitment and can be so draining, so when your partner isn't 100% supportive it is so hard!
I've been having slightly similar discussions with my husband recently, as we are considering weaning our 3yo. Other than the fact that our son is getting older, one of the reasons that my husband is in favour of weaning is that he wants to be just as able to care for and look after our son, and feels that while I'm still bf it puts us on uneven standing so to speak - it's something my husband can't offer and means our son will miss me more while he's spending time with his dad.
While I'm not totally sure if weaning would be a solution to this, I think there are some truths.
Breastfeeding definitely is very bonding, and is something that only the mother can offer, which makes it a very unique and precious relationship, and does harbour a dependency on the mother - and this is not at all a bad thing. Good relational dependency is very healthy and normal.
However I think dads often have a harder time bonding with new children than mums do, and I think it is easy for them to feel jealous of breastfeeding because they don't have such an easy way to bond, feel so needed, feel so necessary.
I don't really have any solutions for you, but I have found having honest discussions about how we're both feeling very helpful.

Sorry to hear about health issues and getting exhausted as a mum :( I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed as a mummy lately too, and I feel like it must be pretty common, so know that you're not alone!

Praying things start to figure out soon.

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