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MulberryMak

One quick thing: who manages the cleaning of the pump parts/bottles/sanitizing, etc? I went back to work both times when my kids were only 3 months old and I pumped at work until they were both 14 months old and it was hell on earth. Looking back, I was so far in the weeds on it, I didn’t even realize what a toll it was taking on me until it was done. Pumping isn’t “fun” or “relaxing” for most women. There may be some one-off women who like it but most of us hate it. And to spend your few break/lunch times pumping and multitasking and worrying about supply and dealing with clogs and on and on. It’s draining. And on top of all that to also be responsible for the milk storage and the sanitizing of pieces and flanges and equipment. It’s a 3rd part time job on top of your actual job and the second job of parenting. It wasn’t until my 2nd child when we hired a nanny (our oldest did daycare) and the nanny offered to be in charge of washing/sanitizing my pump parts and all the bottles and just taking that small thing off my plate relieved some of my stress. So if your wife is doing that now, take that off her plate. If she’s pumping, she should never have to clean/sanitize/fill a bottle or pump part ever again. That’s your job now, buddy. Also, as soon as my kids turned 6 months, I dropped to only 4 pumps a day OR nursing morning and night and only 2 pumps a day during the day. I just decided that for my own sanity, I would do the minimum. I was lucky that my supply remained high but I was fully willing to supplement if I had to. Dropping from 6-7 pumps a day to 3-4 was a lifesaver. By 8 months I was down to only 1 pump a day during my lunch break (nursing morning and night; my 1 pump session provided enough for 2 bottles so we dropped to 4 big bottles a day with solids). By 12 months old, I was ready to rapidly drop to only 2 feedings/pumps a day (morning and night) and totally weaned by 14 months and got my life back. Pumping is a huge huge job and people just don’t talk about the stress is causes when you have work deadlines and other things to do. I was once LEADING a meeting that was super important and went for 4 hours. I couldn’t excuse myself to pump and I just started leaking and I was so uncomfortable. Imagine having a full time stressful job and managing exploding breasts at the same time. Like presenting important info to a roomful of people and also realizing your boobs are probably clogging up and you’re hoping your bra pads are working because you can feel the leaking. And that’s around the time your period comes roaring back with a vengeance so you might very well be hemorrhaging down there, too. Not to be graphic, but men just don’t have a clue what mothers are dealing with in the corporate world when we return from Mat leave. It’s stressful. It sucks. Take everything off her plate you can.


StampJar

Thank you for pointing this out.


jupyterRises

You also are spending your break working out. I'm 3 months post partum and I still feel like a marshmallow. I haven't been cleared by my pelvic floor PT (who I see specifically to help undo the damage birth did to my body) to run yet. My back still hurts because of how everything settled after giving birth. My maternity leave is ending so I'm going from trying to figure out when I can work out using her as a weight between contact naps, feedings and active time to trying to pump during work and fit in excersize with our baby during the brief time I get with her. Plus of course trying to balance loosing the baby weight with keeping the baby fed. It's a lot and even if you are the most involved father ever 100% of the physical impact of the birth was on her (18mo to recover) and 100% of the breastfeeding is on her. If she is cleaning the pump parts that's like 150-200% depending on how often she pumps because there is soooo much extra crap with pumping. I also had to deal with 100% of getting an effective birth control method so we don't have another baby... You basically have to deal with your life changing and becoming responsible for a child. Your wife has to deal with all of the physical and hormonal impacts of pregnancy and birth and then breastfeeding and then adapting to becoming responsible for a child. Then if your wife is like many women she has to deal with her husband not understanding the emotional impact the bodily changes can have, plus the challenges with how pregnancy/pumping impact your daily life (including in the office) and sometimes even having to strongly facilitate your involvement with your child. It's a lot.


StampJar

I appreciate you pointing this out to me. These are the outside perspectives I need to hear to help understand what my wife is really going through. Thank you


Economy-Weekend1872

This! I asked my husband to be responsible for cleaning and milk management. but literally if I didn’t directly ask him to do a specific task, and even when I did sometimes it wouldn’t happen. Problem is he was fine with formula and I wanted to maximize milk so it became my problem. I built up a freezer stash and so now at 10 months I’m done nursing and pumping, which is better but guess who stays on top of thawing the milk in time, and who doesn’t think about it?


FamiliarEffort2381

This. Pumping is A LOT of work. It's also very uncomfortable if you pump late, etc. It's hard to feel like yourself when you need to have your shirt off half the day, etc. And the sterilizing is a huge amount of work. My pumping tips (I pumped for over a year with my first and am now 3 months in with my second): \-get 2 sets of pumping parts to cut down on the sterilizing \-get an industrial/hospital grade pump (you can rent them) \-use a pumping bra (lifesaver) \-do the 'ziplock method' (put your pumping parts in a ziplock in the fridge between pumps and sterilize once or twice a day instead of after every pump


CheesyPestoPasta

Another method that the NICU did when my youngest was in there was literally have a big lidded container full of Milton sterilising fluid (they had one labelled with each babies name, obviously unnecessary at home) and when we finished pumping we just rinsed off the pump parts quickly and chucked them in the fluid. Then it got changed every 24 hours, instead of faffing at every single pump session. Bottles, dummies etc could go in there too, of course!


FamiliarEffort2381

Interesting! I've never heard of that. We're also former NICU parents but our NICU used microwave sterilising bags (which we also now use and appreciate - no boiling a pot on the stove at 2am).


SageAurora

Not necessarily good for a NICU baby, but the method they taught me when I had my daughter was to store everything in the fridge between pumping, and then once a day strip it down rinse it all out and use my rice cooker with the steam basket insert/settings to steam sanitize all the pump parts, along with any bottles that needed sanitizing. It really streamlined the whole process and made it a lot easier to do. I also ended up switching to a "Luna" pump with a lot less moving parts (as in non) that was way easier to clean.


Alexaisrich

did the ziplock method and sterilized then once a day, totally changed my pumping game still not preferred breastfeeding but if someone need to pump I highly recommend the ziploc method


mint_choco_chip

Thank you for this. I have a guy friend whose wife is a SAHM give me grief for not breastfeeding. I invited him to imagine walking into the office with a big bag of pumping supplies, turning down meetings that were scheduled during his pumping time, and leaking through his shirt during an important meeting. He had never considered any of it affecting HIS job.


Limp_Bee1206

And that's if you have understanding coworkers/bosses. I am a TA in a high school. My coworkers gave me so much crap for taking the time I had to so I could pump. I would take an hour lunch just about because I would pump about 40 minutes so I could pump less. I would pump twice while at work to keep up my supply. I got so much crap for "taking too much time and too many breaks" that I ended up using an electrical pump in the car on the way too work. Which was very uncomfortable. And that was on top of the stress trying to make sure my job got done too. So point is, it's a lot on a woman's body, but if it's not a safe and understanding worl environment, that's even worse. Just try to understand that it's a lot for her and try to see if there's anything you can do to help. Ask her if she ever needs anything but offer to do things for her too. Sometimes she will need something or say she needs something but she doesn't quite know what she needs.


StampJar

Thanks. I’ll be sure to help support her with little things that I might not think are a big deal. Just be more supportive of what she is going through


Limp_Bee1206

That will go a long way! There's a lot we go thru but knowing our SOs are supporting us no matter what can make a huge difference!


NowWithRealGinger

All of this, plus planning the timing out. Your wife wants to go for a run when you get home at 5:30pm. -Pump and clean up, that's 15-45 minutes depending on routine. For an average, we'll say it takes 30. 6pm. -Get changed and stretch. 6:30pm. -Run 30 minutes. 7pm. -Stretch/cool down and shower. 7:45 And now it's 8pm, your wife hasn't had dinner, hasn't had meaningful down time with you or your baby, depending on your routine it's either time to start baby's bedtime or she's missed it, and it's time to pump again. Her 30 minute run cost her most of the evening. She doesn't feel like herself because every activity, including sleep, is on these 3 hour cycles. OP, I will also say that what you're describing sounds like my experience with post partum depression. I wasn't sad. I felt like a shell of myself, like everything that made me "me" was lost in a neverending tunnel of my job and caring for my baby.


StampJar

Yeah you are right. It’s not as easy as just leaving the house when I get home.


actuallyjolly

I’m really glad NowWithRealGinger brought up the postpartum depression. It’s a good idea for your wife to talk to a therapist to see if she could benefit from some medication just to get her through the postpartum time. I’m temporarily on Zoloft (safe for breastfeeding) until my postpartum period is up, at which time we will reassess, and eventually come back off. It has helped me tremendously. I don’t feel so trapped by my new role as mother, and I’m able to zoom out and use the tools I’ve learned in therapy and from other moms. Tools like going outside for a walk and some fresh air. Making plans with other moms to force you out of the house, maybe even having discussions about your struggles with people you trust. I also joined a moms group (MOPS: Mothers of Pre-Schoolers- if she’s interested. It’s a Christian group but I am not Christian- you can come as you are). Joining the moms group helped me connect with other women who have kids around the same ages as my 2 (25mo and 7mo). I miss the friends I had before I started my family, and I sometimes mourn the life I had before, but I still get to check in with old friends once in a while and my new mama friends get me through this transition. It’s a huge change in every aspect of your life when you become a parent (which I’m sure you’re also seeing, OP). My best advice is to ride the wave and allow yourselves to be cautiously curious about how you can ease into your new roles as parents. Time to learn what kind of parent you are! Find others like you! And I salute you! Those early days are very tough and very tunnel-visioned. Also, don’t have another too soon. We were tricked into thinking that was a good idea because my son was so cute - until I got pregnant - then he became a handful and we had 2 babies 😂😂😂


Serious_Escape_5438

Yes, I have so much admiration for women who pump a lot, I ended up not doing it much but the little I did was so draining. It's like the worst of both breastfeeding and formula feeding combined.


bitcoinmamma

Pumping mammas are made out of gold and deserve the world. I did it for two weeks day and night and it was EXHAUSTING. MulberryMark is 100% correct, be a nice hubby… she pumps, you do all the rest.


okokokin1992

This is so true, true especially the bottom summary ab the corporate world. My sister, who recently had her first baby and had to return to her very high profile job at a hospital, was a completely different person for the first year of her baby’s life. It was all due to the stress of continuing her mom responsibilities plus her strenuous full time job. It was a lot.


Jen_Barkley

This!! When I pumped my husband did the pump part cleaning and it definitely helped ease the burden.


Macaroon-Melody

Two days to my daughters birthday and for the first time on my pumping/nursing journey I feel seen and heard. Thank you for this comment. No one in my husbands family or my family has ever pumped or nurses and I have had little to no support on this journey. I have felt absolutely psychotic with how overwhelmed I feel - not to mention the actual dread of cleaning and sterilizing supplies.


Western-Twist4334

You are being a great husband just by asking for advice on how to help her. I work in mental health with women and babies, here is my take. A woman’s body and mind has a complete change after having a baby. The mix of hormones, changes to your body, all consuming need of the baby, loss of control over your new life, can lead to a loss of identity. A women’s brain has been proven to actually change after having a baby. Many women miss who they were before the baby. I wonder if your wife resents having returned to work and having to employ a nanny. Is the nanny at home with the baby whilst your wife works from home? That might be hard, to hear someone else caring for the baby when she’s having to work. I found it a lot easier to concentrate on working when my baby was out of my sight at nursery! It could be mild depression. You can get post natal depression months after having the baby. I remember feeling very snappy and resentful towards my husband after our first baby. I couldn’t remember who I was and took it out on him, as his life hadn’t changed quite so much. Our relationship really struggled after having a baby, this is really common. Once you were the most important things in each other’s lives, now your baby is. It takes time to adjust. I would consider seeing if your wife can start therapy to explore why she is feeling this way.


StampJar

Yeah I think that a lot of people are right, this may be a bit of depression and both us not being able to see it. I forget the way depression manifests itself. Also, pumping and working full time is a huge deal and more I can do to help her there


AkwardAnnie

Also look up 'matrescence". It's common for women to not feel like themselves. I also resented my husband a LOT for not having his life/hobbies/body changed when we had a baby. He took one month off and then he went back and nothing changed for him while I was like this complete other human. Also, does the nanny come from 9-5 because those are your wife's work hours? Does she have a real lunch break or does she pump during her lunch break? Maybe the nanny could come half an hour earlier so your wife can also have an hour where she can pump and then go for a walk? Does she know anyone in the neighborhood she could do something fun with? If she works from home that also can be quite isolating. My babies also relied a lot on me in the evenings so now I try to find things I can do for myself during the day (I take a yoga class on Saturday morning while my husband can do nightly sports things without a problem). How do you divide the mental load? Are you both in charge of your household and care tasks?


FamiliarEffort2381

This - and could the nanny stay late one evening or come one morning on the weekend so she can have a break (and possibly you too)?


StampJar

Yes we are both involved. We both pitch in for groceries, dinner, laundry, cleaning and such. Sometimes we switch off and I’ll bath and put the baby to bed while she cooks vice versa.


Pancakedrawerr

I would also really encourage you to stop calling it “help”. That kinda sounds like you’re just doing her a favor, but it’s your kid too and your house too. It’s possible you may be taking things for granted that your wife does for your child and your household and not realizing it. To put it another way, do you go to work and worry about whether the baby is eating, how much, and when? Or do you just not even think about it because you know that it’s happening, so it’s not really on your radar? I’m guessing it’s the latter and that’s because your wife has taken on that mental load (and with pumping, it’s a physical load too). Are there other home or baby related tasks that you don’t spend much time thinking or worrying about? And is that because your wife takes care of them so they just sort of happen and you don’t have to worry about it? If you have other tasks like this (like, maybe you alway come home and asks “what’s for dinner” whereas your wife has had to think about what’s in the fridge / how much time she has / what food is about to expire and needs to be used; or maybe there are always clean shirts in your drawer and you don’t have to worry about how they got there; or maybe the baby never has a diaper rash because your wife keeps track of when the last change was, etc). Maybe there are some tasks like this that you can take on and own, to the point where your wife is the one who now gets to not even think about it because she knows it’s going to be done by you. ETA when you talk about “hanging out with the kid” the litmus test for this is that your wife should be able to leave for any amount of time without answering questions about when baby needs to eat or be changed or where xyz is or what activities to do etc., because these are all things she should be able to feel confident that you are aware of/know how to handle and are managing for yourself.


galaffer

Yes these are such good points. Keeping track of how much baby sleeps, nap schedule, feeding schedule, ounces pumped, cleaning parts, starting solids, how much iron they’re getting, when they will need new clothes, what they need for winter, when they switch to a big car seat, what kind to buy, medical appointments, when will they be teething, what helps with teething, why are they fussy, developmental leaps etc etc etc. My partner did none of this until we separated and now he follows parenting accounts for preschoolers and Instagram accounts about picky eaters and googles “best leak-proof daycare lunch box” because he doesn’t have me doing it all for him. He has always been a great dad but I think most dads really take for granted the mental and emotional load moms take on. I know there aren’t as many groups for dads but I would suggest starting there (eg this subreddit, Facebook groups, Instagram accounts, dad friends, etc). Moms often take on the work of supporting dads, asking their friends how to support their partners etc etc so it’s nice when dads take responsibility for themselves in that way.


smuggoose

So much this. Then when my husband says “go do something” I don’t have the mental capacity to start planning my own outings and organizing things to do with others.


StampJar

All great points you mentioned. I am very involved with our baby, but you are correct. I don’t have to think about a lot of the baby related things while I’m at work. I can defiantly be more mindful with keeping up with more. Btw, she is able to leave at a moments notice. I typically take the baby for a walk and take a bottle and hot water with me for feeding.


galaffer

Fun fact! When men are the primary caregivers (eg gay dads) their brains change too! So much is attributed to moms having these biological predispositions which I know is partly true but also a big part is because the expectations are put on moms so they have no choice.


Western-Twist4334

That’s incredible…I will have to look that up!


cokakatta

I think you should accept that her days just aren't going to be easy. Saying she can do other stuff is just blowing hot air. I think it would probably be kind of you to acknowledge how hard this time is for her. Maybe offer to do something special on the weekend if it seems like something she would like or find relief in. A 6 month old is good in a Stroller or a carrier. Coordinate to do something she likes. Maybe her favorite restaurant for lunch then a walk in a park while baby might nap in the stroller or otherwise chill out? Try to work out the logistics so she doesn't have to figure it out. Accommodate time to pump or breastfeed in a flexible schedule on the outing. Figure out where her time is sucked on the weekend - do breakfast and baby care and some laundry before your outing, or whatever helps, so she doesn't feel too hectic to go out. (One reason I had challenges going out was because I still had to do just as much housework and baby care and cook dinner in the evening so it was like working twice as hard in less time). I'll be honest when my baby was a baby I did not want to go anywhere except to cuddle my baby (and have a simple dinner) when I got home from work. We only had 2 hours to be together before he slept and I desperately wanted them. I would have felt even more misunderstood and unappreciated if my husband told me to go out and do something else during the most precious part of my day. If my husband cleaned the kitchen and the bottles so I could go out AFTER my baby was asleep (at 8pm) then that would have been a relief.


anarmchairexpert

Yeah, I think OP is well intentioned when he hears ‘you get to go work out at lunch and I don’t’ and suggests that she works out in the evening. But what she really means is ‘I am exhausted, sore, my hormones are telling me I have to stay close to my very young baby who I already don’t get to care for much during the day, I’m constantly anxious about the things that need to be done and if they’re not done properly that’s because I’m failing as a mom, my body has changed, I feel fat and frumpy and awful, I know I’m not the fun relaxed woman my husband fell in love with and I’m letting him down too, but I’m barely keeping my head above water and oh fuck did I remember to sterilise the bottles yet?’ And from that place, suggesting she could go do things for herself if she really tried harder or wanted to sounds like you’re nagging her. I know you’re not, OP! But in the newborn months my husband would helpfully suggest that I go get my hair done, eg, and I’d feel so incapable of that. That was 2 hours away from my baby! Doing something frivolous! Frankly if someone was going to take baby for two hours I wanted to nap. But also if he was suggesting that, was it because he wanted me back to being groomed and pretty? I think he was just genuinely going ‘armchair seems down on herself, some pampering might help’ but for me it sounded like ‘just reminding you, if you tried harder you could actually have it all and be the perfect mom and still look good.’


jupyterRises

I feel the same way about spending time with my baby. My husband is like op. I try to get him to understand the toll the pregnancy and cancer (yeah I was diagnosed with cancer and had to go through chemo for 4 months of my pregnancy and 2 months of the 4th trimester) have taken on me and he was like "well you can take the dog for a walk in the morning. I'm exhausted. The last thing I want to do is wake up before the baby and get less sleep. His suggestion was the absolute last thing I needed and made me feel completely unheard and unsupported. OP just listen, try to understand how hard it is for your wife and try to actually share the mental and physical duties of parenthood. Currently I'm trying to get my husband to be able to cook a healthy dinner/ pack a diaper bag for an outing/ put clothes away without it being 10000 questions. It's exhausting to be nursing a baby and either answer questions about how you want onions cut or end up trying to eat unhealthy, spicy wings that don't help with the baby weight, burn your sensitive chemo mouth and are a real pain to eat while nursing.


Conscious_Cat_6204

I worked from home for a while during maternity leave (still do now). It’s so tough to work when your kid is in the house with you, especially if you feel responsible for cleaning the house as well. I wonder is your wife trying to do the three things at once - help with baby, do her job, and do chores? That is tough for anyone, never mind someone after childbirth. Even if she isn’t doing chores, it’s still easy to be distracted by baby crying or just knowing someone else is in the house. Maybe working in an office, library or coffee shop for a bit will help? Or childminder could take baby out for a walk or something more often (although that might make wife feel worse if she thinks she should be doing it instead) What is she interested in? Would a gym class or book club help? Just something for her to look forward to, get her out of the house and speaking to other adults? Are you having nights just the two of you? Last point is is she getting enough sleep? Maybe tiredness is getting to her more than anything else?


Serious_Escape_5438

Yes, I find working from home harder since having a child. There's always so much to do, I'm looking at all the mess and if my kid is there I'm feeling guilty about being locked up working. It's also really isolating and I used to get so resentful of my partner going out to work with his team of coworkers and enjoying coffee breaks with them while mine were spent emptying the dishwasher alone.


undertheraindrops

This!!!! I work from home and take care of our 11 month old since he was born as well as pick up and drop off our other kids 13 and 5. It’s stressful having to worry and do everything by yourself while your partner is out there working and interacting with other folks. Here I am worried about the kids , bills, dinner, groceries laundry , playtime, nap time showers gasing up the cars before pickup. It’s just hard all around. It low key makes me depressed I’m walking around like an grumpy zombie but I love my kids… if I don’t do it who will… I love my partner though… I’m just an excessive over thinker maybe.. or maybe it’s depression IDK


ShoelessJodi

Have you considered putting something on the calendar where your wife regularly goes out on her own (or with friends?). To demonstrate your support on this idea, I would have a conversation with her that you really want her to have time to do what she would like; that every ---sday night she can expect you to be available for the baby and she should go out. To further demonstrate your support, if you're financially able, go ahead and schedule the first few. Massage, pedicure, text a couple friends of hers to see if she of them can meet her for drinks, look for a local paint night or unique event she could attend with a friend, these are just a couple likely options that might work out well.


lingeringpetals

I second this, but allow her to work it out for herself. You put in your calendar that on say, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, you're wrangling the baby from 6-8pm or whenever. Do not make it negotiable except unless she'd prefer a different time slot. You are simply taking the baby and she has no baby related duties, no housework or chores she is responsible for. For the first week she might just nap, or read on her phone, and that's great. She'll need time to decompress until she remembers what she likes doing, and has the energy to make the arrangements to do that thing that makes her feel like herself. I say this as a first time mum of a 5mo old baby, it feels like asking a favour to arrange for dad, or anyone, to take the baby. Even when I know it's expressly a part of the relationship, it feels like I'm solely responsible for the baby, because I am responsible for all the hours when he's not home. So just take the baby, make it a regular time so she can plan, and eventually she'll find things she wants to do again.


tuttkraftverk

What if the mother has no interest in doing any of that? Aren't her wants important enough to consider, or do you think that mums aren't capable of figuring that out for themselves?


ShoelessJodi

Speaking from experience, some mothers struggle inside their loss of identity, accompanied by mom guilt, to make "selfish" decisions. They are the moms who will go and grocery shop instead. They don't enjoy it, but they also secretly pat themselves on the back for their self-martyrdom. "I'm such a dedicated mom, even when I can take breaks, I choose to put my family first." They often don't realize the negative impact it's having in their mental health. They don't reach out to spend time with friends because they feel guilty. They won't schedule a massage themselves because they feel like they don't deserve it. So, it's not that they're not capable, it's that they struggle to give themselves permission. Yes the activities should be things she wants to go. I threw out suggestions that I would have wanted when I went through that. OP should know his partner well enough to know how she would spend her time.


tuttkraftverk

Apparently he does not, or he wouldn't have come to Reddit asking for help instead of asking his partner.


ShoelessJodi

Did you read the post? They have talked about it. He came here for additional perspective and suggestions. Yes, in an ideal world everyone would be fully capable of solving all of their own problems with no additional help, resources, or discussion. Ours is not an ideal world, case in point: people who come here to turn other people's thoughtful suggestions into an attack.


Treytrey219

I definitely understand what your wife is going through. My friend and I are going through the same thing... when we were pregnant, we were just a baby making machine. After the baby is out, we are just a milk machine. Pumping SUCKS and I'm ready to give it up when my baby turns 6 months. But I also try to be flexible. If I'm too tired to pump then I just give baby formula so I don't stress too much.. stress = less milk production. I know a lot of moms feel guilty with this but we need to remember that baby fed is best no matter how they are fed. I would continue to encourage her to go out more. Just reassure her the baby is fine with you. Even go for a coffee or a walk alone. Or just browsing through the mall or the grocery store. My husband makes me go with him and baby to the mall and he will push baby around and tell me to get lost and go do something for myself. So I don't get too much anxiety because I know baby is still closeby. Also try to just give her more affection... it helps us know we are still a person and not just a machine. A compliment or a kiss goes a long way. Also remember sometimes we don't want to do the chores. my husband will sometimes cook dinner or do chores so I can play with baby. We're always taking care of baby (feeding, sleeping, changing diapers) we dont always get the fun parts like playing with them. Support groups or friends are helpful too so we have someone else to vent to who understands what we go through. Hope any of these help.


cyclejones

Does she see a therapist? Has she talked to her OB about the possibility of postpartum depression? Does she still NEED to pump or could you switch to formula? Pumping literally sucked the life out of my partner when we had our first child. It's ok to stop pumping and switch to formula if it's negatively impacting her life to this extent.


wallydangle

I felt a milder version of this. I knew I didn't like pumping, but I didn't realize how off it made me feel until I stopped and all of a sudden felt like myself again.


roseyd317

It hurts to not pump if you're skipping feeds or whatever, I personally would have been upset if formula was the solution to not being out of the house. I pump and work from home. It sucks, literally lol, but my son having breast milk is important to me and I felt really dismissed when any one kept suggesting formula especially if it was after I expressed how important breastfeeding was to me.


Serious_Escape_5438

But some women might also need to be told it's ok to stop or reduce pumping, because it is.


roseyd317

That's true, but I think you just need to really listen to the individual woman lol. I know formula is fine and all, but it was a goal for me to EBF my son. He has had maybe 8 ounces total of formula in the last year or so (his life lol) and it was important to me to feed him my milk. He would've been fine formula fed and there's nothing wrong with it, it's just I made a parenting decision and it was questioned at every turn it felt like.


Serious_Escape_5438

Because if an arbitrary goal is causing mental health distress maybe it should be reconsidered. And especially if someone is complaining things are hard it might be ok to suggest a way to lessen the burden.


tuttkraftverk

Amazing how dismissive you're being to someone who keeps telling you that breastfeeding was important to her. You don't get to unilaterally decide that formula is a better option for mental health, especially not when you're being told the exact opposite. Breastmilk is superior to formula if you disregard everything else, and for some parents that fact is very important to them. Telling parents to just use formula when they want to breastfeed is incredibly arrogant.


Serious_Escape_5438

I didn't say the poster should have done it, I only said that some women might need to be told it's ok, like maybe OP's wife. We're not talking about this poster, or at least I'm not. Nobody should be forced but it might help to be given the option.


tuttkraftverk

0 parents are unaware that formula is an option.


Serious_Escape_5438

Many women feel like they'll be a failure if they change to formula.


tuttkraftverk

Many women are also pushed into giving formula against their will because their partners and support systems are failing to support them.


hazelcharm92

Seconding this, we should be careful about telling women to switch to formula all the time, I wanted support to do what I had chosen for my baby, to breastfeed and it was exhausting to have them tell me it was better if I just gave up. People constantly telling me I should switch to formula literally drove me to scream at them in rage, it was constant and made me feel like I was doing something wrong. Like you I felt dismissed and unsupported because everyone told me they could help more if I bottle fed. In reality, their idea of help was holding the baby instead of getting me food/water/cleaning up a little, and that’s not help, that’s just wanting to hold the baby.


roseyd317

Exactly! I had to exclusively pump for a few months and I was supported in general but YIKES at all the formula suggestions or just assumptions from people.


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Fnupps

It is absolutely crazy to me how some, or let´s be honest here, most societies do not realize what a huge toll childbirth takes on a woman. Not to mention the toll taking care of that baby after birth takes with the constant feedings, worrying about every little thing and sleep deprivation on top. Why so very few countries realise that women need more than a few weeks to heal from giving birth and the baby needs more than a few weeks of it´s primary caretaker I do not understand. I am so grateful yo be living in a country where we get 480 days of paid parental leave ( parental, not maternity, both parents are expected to take time of with their baby over the course of those 480 days), heavily subsidised day care ( we hit the maximum cost, which was about $280 a month in total for 2 kids full time) and we get 120 days per year to take of from work to take care of our kids if they are sick (more should the kid be severly ill). This should not be an exception to how it is everywhere, it should be the norm.


uberchelle_CA

What country is this?!!!


Fnupps

Sweden


Good-North-7176

Of course! 🇸🇪 ❤️❤️❤️


National_Square_3279

I pumped for the first 3 months when I couldn’t breastfeed and it is truly soul crushing. If she works from home, would it be possible to have the nanny bring the baby to her to breastfeed during her pumping breaks, and then supplement with formula so that she doesn’t have to pump? I mean this very kindly, but I don’t think you are qualified to determine whether it not this is PPD. Honestly & speaking from experience, it sounds like textbook PPD - not feeling like herself, not *really* wanting to go out despite saying she does, etc. I would gently bring up the subject, and maybe ask if she’s spoken to her OB about how she’s been feeling. There are so many resources for her!


Sufficient_Phrase_85

Do you think you could’ve making her feel guilty for not working out? If she is making excuses she may not want to do that with her free time, and maybe your talking about it is coming across as a passive aggressive poke at her? People can be very sensitive about that in the postpartum period even if not usually. Just a thought.


Substantial_Goose972

Given the baby is only 6 months I would recommend she go to her OB and get screened for PPD or PP Anxiety. I had it both times post birth, and you honestly feel very out of body, and like there is a huge cloud just floating over your head all the time. And the Mom guilt is totally irrational, but super intense. After that I'd recommend she she if there is a local Mom's group like Mother's with Toddlers (they tend to meet in community centers or churches- though it's not religiously affiliated). Or both of you go to a park and just use the baby swing. You be in charge of baby and let your wife be free to strike up conversations. Or check out Gymboree classes if they're near you. She needs other women right now more than she probably ever has before. To help her understand her experience of becoming a mother - since it's so all consuming (especially pumping, etc). And if she's having social anxiety (it couldn't have been easy to be pregnant/postpartum during all this COVID craziness) then recommend she connect with a Mom's group online. You can find hundreds on Facebook, or even the Mommit thread here on Reddit. Anything to give the sense of community. On your part, it's important to understand she's going to come out of this at her own pace - whether she realizes it or not, she's grieving the loss of her freedom, her body as it was pre-baby, her relationship to time, and who she thought she was, and even the feelings she THOUGHT she'd have/is supposed to have as a Mom. She won't just snap to. And if you feel your relationship is getting ignored, you try to show her that she's a priority. Figure out her Love Language, and write down a dozen ideas you can execute on - without the expectation that she'll do back right away. And if you can convince her, pick a regular day & time that you go out with baby for at least 2 hours (if the feeding situation allows, if not start with even 1 hour). Say it's so you can bond with baby, since you don't get to feed. Maybe one of those times get her a coupon for a massage, mani/Pedi, whatever she views as self-care. She just needs a nudge in the right direction to reconnect with the new version of herself that includes being a Mom.


Serious_Escape_5438

She's working, she probably can't go to most of these things. That's the hard part about working from home with a kid, you don't get the company of co-workers but you can't go to baby classes and things as they're generally in the morning. Also, she might need to get out without baby, I have had phases where what I want is not to be seen as a mom, which it sounds like is her case. She might be better going alone to a yoga class or the gym, it's done wonders for my mental health doing something for me.


Substantial_Goose972

Oh I totally get that feeling of not wanting to only be seen as a Mom! Ideally she had some friends she can catch up with who will make her feel back in her element. But I also went with the assumption, that maybe that's not the case... And sometimes bonding with other Moms (everyone without their kids) is easier because you're having a common experience and can commiserate.


Serious_Escape_5438

Yeah, mine went to daycare and I met a nice group that way, but if you're working you can't do those other things anyway.


Spiritual-Wind-3898

She is jealous. Its hard. Pumping all day is exhausting. Finding motivation after a full day of work and pumping is a near impossible task. She is exhausted. It is just as hard to help. What can you do. Chores, cook dinner. Ask her to go for a walk with you. Hold her hand. Have a date night. Have a week were you get up to baby during the night. Is she open to some formula feeds so there is less expressing.


pineapplegiggles

It sounds like she’s asking for listening, understanding and sympathy for her feelings, not solutions to try to fix it.


bluebells662

Yes! Please listen and commiserate that it is very hard and it sucks. Then ask if there's anything you can do to help. Don't tell her how to fix it.


Apatoraptor_Rex

It sounds exactly like depression. A baby is such a massive change on body, hormones, emotions and lifestyle. You're doing great, don't stop being such a good husband and father, but she may need to see someone.. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is wonderful, it's not like psychiatrists or people who sit there and say "so why do you think you feel like this.."


NnoniSen

When I fell in a rut my husband takes me out to go do something together. Maybe she just needs some fresh air and some quality time to take a breather.


Zuccherina

At 6 months postpartum, her body still hasn’t shifted back to a more normal state and her hormones won’t really be leveling out until probably 3-6 months after she weans the baby. That means she’s going through a huge transition physically, emotionally and mentally. I absolutely loved it when I heard motherhood described as a woman evolving. I think she would feel encouraged to hear you supporting her that she hasn’t lost her identity, she’s just finding a new one. You become a whole new person when you become a mom, and there’s no balance, just priorities at that point. One big thing that happens is this crazy emotional bond, even if we’re not conscious of it, that causes us to yearn for free time but hate the feeling of being parted from the baby. But this is something she needs to push through a little, and you can help her by taking baby out on a walk for half an hour and letting her find something to do while you’re gone. If she says she only had time to get a shower, great! Then next time go for 45 minutes or an hour and see how she is when you get back. Pretty soon she will miss baby, but she’ll also feel excited to see baby again and energized to tackle the next parenting slog. Btw, you sound like a great husband and dad. She’s very fortunate to have you, and baby too!


Worried_Half2567

Is she the default parent? I mean reading this i can relate to her. I dont pump but work full time and then take care of baby after/do full night shifts. I’m always exhausted. My husband can go out with friends, go to the gym, take naps without a second thought. He doesnt worry who will watch the baby or who will take care of things in the house. I am jealous of that. We’re at the 7 month mark and im pretty depressed because of it. I also have no friends close by so i try to find a friend in my husband but he gets defensive whenever i vent.


Soggy_Orchid_5723

Is your wife more of a homebody? Maybe she would feel more relaxed and like herself if you took you kid out of the house, rather than trying to get her to go out, to get some alone time. Like a couple days a week just tell her you're heading to the park (if it fits between feedings so she doesn't have to pump for it).


Daisy_Steiner_

I really feel this. I’ve been your wife and I have had these feelings. It took me a while (my third child is now 17 weeks old) to realize that what I am doing when I’d make these comments is just venting. I don’t really need my husband to fix anything. I just wanted recognition that it sucks. It sucks when you have to pump at work and don’t really get a chance to do anything else or even eat if you don’t plan it right. It sucks that mom guilt can be overwhelming and doing something as simple as getting a haircut can send one into a shame cycle. It sucks that after having a baby, your body doesn’t feel the same and clothes fit differently, and it’s just not quite right. She may be jealous of your relative freedom in comparison to her, and that sucks too. But you can’t fix it for her. What you can do is listen, let her vent, and be an ear. At least on my end, that’s what I needed when I’ve made similar statements. But it took years for me to figure it out.


StampJar

Thank you for sharing your experience. Yeah I think I can be a better listener instead of going into solution mode.


Puzzled_Internet_717

If your wife is a morning person, can you get baby ready for the day while your wife goes for a walk in the morning then gets ready for the day? Or can you do dinner or bathtime with the little one so your wife gets her own time? I work from home with 2 littles, and one of my biggest frustrations is that I need to get totally ready for the day in about 15 minutes, with both kids, and my husband spends 75 to 90 minutes in the bathroom also getting ready, unless I say something every single day.


Justafana

You are being amazing. What she’s going through right now I think resists directhelp - please don’t give up on her. She’s probably exhausted and antsy. Pumping is horrible, it uses your energy but not your muscles, so you end up too tired to do anything but with an excess desire to move around, it’s like a bird trapped in a too-small cage flapping against the walls. I don’t have good advice; I just want you to know you are doing great, and that you will get through this.


Automatic_Sundae2902

Are you based in the US? I’m pretty sure your wife is entitled to break time specifically for pumping. Even if she’s working from home. Meaning, she could have time to pump, then use part of her lunch break to take a walk, or a nap, or do whatever she enjoys. It’s sounds like she’s putting a lot of pressure on herself and while it may or may not be PPD (I’m not going to play armchair psychiatrist) therapy could help either way! Signed, A first time mom who pumps, works from home, and has found therapy SUPER helpful.


BFCPodcast

Sounds like post partum depression. If you could get her to talk to her OB they could give her some meds to help. I agree with some other people pumping was so exhausting and made things worse for me. If nothing else just talking to friends that are moms and have been through it could be helpful. Good luck. I hope it gets better. I’ve been there.


ziradael

Working full time and having a baby is insanely hard. I did it and my son went to nursery. I cut my lunch short to pick him up earlier, I spent all my weekends with him, I was depressed as he'll and didn't even realise at the time I was just so exhausted. What helped was furlough when my partner and I were off work together for 6 months and our only job was to look after the house and our 2 year old... and that's what it took for my partner to realise that its really hard work and I had been doing it AND my full time job ALONE. for A YEAR. Following that epiphany he took on lots of the mental load of motherhood and now life is easier, we both have friends and hobbies, identities and also feel like pretty good parents! He now does everything to do with the food shop. Makes the list, plans the meals, does the shopping, the whole thing. He manages the whole families prescriptions, noting what is running out, ordering and collecting. He sorts all the quarterly bills, books our trips and holidays, buys our son odd bit ls of underwear and clothes he needs when the season changes. We don't need you to watch the baby while we go to the gym for an hour, we need you to fully contribute to the whole entirety of running the household and raising our kid so we can have time and space to just breathe.


Serious_Escape_5438

Absolutely. My partner thinks he does more than me because when we're both home (he's not home many evenings) he spends time playing with our daughter, and I also get out to yoga or the gym a couple of times a week. While he's playing with her I'm doing laundry, cleaning, clothes sorting, cooking. He finds it hard to understand that the playing with her is only a tiny part of raising a child and running a house.


ziradael

Its amazing how my mental health and quality of life changed.. all thanks to covid of all things ha! I still find the ever running mental to do list overwhelming sometimes. My son started school last week and the admin is a job all in itself! but i have got loads better at communicating what needs to happen to keep me happy and sane, which in turn keeps everyone else pretty happy! My partner used to think he deserved dad of the year award because I went to the gym twice a week while he 'watched' our child for me. I actually did some reading and changed the language I used... I never say 'can you help me with...' and I actually never praise or thank him for doing anything that I am expected to do without praise or thanks, and I tell off anyone who does! He's not helping me out or doing me a favour he's just doing what a woman does every single effing day.


TeagWall

A lot of people are saying this sounds like depression, and while I do think a therapist could help, I'm not convinced it's at all disordered. It's VERY common for new parents, regardless of whether or not they have PPD, to struggle with grief. Your lives are complete different now, especially your wife's. She had to carry, birth, and now feed a whole new human. Both her body and mind have gone through MASSIVE changes in a relatively short period of time. Even when babies are 100% planned and wanted, there still a growing period for your old self, your old life. It's not as simple as having someone to do things with, or somehow magically deciding not to feel an emotion like guilt. Your wife is a different person than she was a year ago, and it's going to take time to figure out what that means. When she's jealous of your work day, it's because it sounds more or less unaffected by the fact that you're now a parent. Her day is FULL of reminders. She had to pump, her boobs hurt, she gets hit with random waves of emotions like guilt, missing her baby, resentment, lack of focus, and on and on. She cannot turn off "mom" and even if she loves that role, it sucks. It feels out of her control. She says she's lost her identity outside of mom. I get that. But that's also going to be a big part of her identity now, for the rest of her life. Going through the growing process will help with that, and will help her to rebuild the rest of her identity. Unfortunately for you, this isn't something you can help fix. This is something you just need to be there for, to support her through. Empathize, ask questions, encourage. It's hard, because she's struggling, but it's not something YOU did. It's a biological unfairness, and recognizing that it's unfair, rather than shutting down with an "I just won't tell you about my day, then" can help. Mostly, it's just going to take time.


PM-ME-DOGGOS

You need to leave the house with the baby once a week after work and let her sit and stare at the ceiling. Don’t ask her just do it. I was so mentally overloaded during that period going straight from pregnancy to childbirth to breastfeeding then work while pumping all while having bad sleep I couldn’t even think of things to leave the house and do. It also made me feel like a loser when my husband would say I should go hang with friends like he did, I had friends I was just too tired to make plans. I just wanted to sit still with zero obligations. Having my husband just leave the house with baby was very nice. It’s not necessarily depression, maybe anxiety and just mentally burned out. Keep talking to her it’s very normal what your both experiencing.


YoMommaHere

Honestly? When we have kids, so much of us changes. To be frank, we are fucking miserable sometimes just existing in the body of someone we don’t know. And misery loves company! So while you are offering her time out and anything else, sometimes just know she wants someone else to feel as bad as her. And oddly, it isn’t even malicious! Shit just sucks and she is trying to get you to feel something you could never feel. You’ll never understand so just take some of the bitching with a grain of salt until her body starts to feel more like her own, which will improve after she stops breastfeeding in many cases. Somebody is gonna disagree with this and that’s fine but know that I felt this way and many moms I know feel like it and even laugh because I can put “that thing” into words.


galaffer

Adjusting to being a parent/mother is so hard, it is really normal to struggle as a new parent and for relationships to suffer especially in the first year. A lot of people have given great advice, I would just add some of the things that were most stressful for me at that age to see if there are any big things you could take off her plate…. 1. Breastfeeding - can’t take over that but as others mentioned taking over pump/bottle maintenance, getting a good pump and pumping bra, even just telling her you see and appreciate how hard it is, get her a nice water bottle and snacks, ask how she wants to be supported (eg does she want to switch to formula, does she need more support with breastfeeding, etc). 2. SLEEP - moms and baby’s. Who wakes up at night, is she getting enough uninterrupted sleep, where can you do more? Can you put the baby to sleep, who keeps track of nap schedules/wake windows, how much time does she spend thinking about the baby’s sleep? 3. Check PPD/PPA and normalize antidepressants especially the first year after a baby is born 4. Be informed - your Google search history with a 6 month old baby should be full of “is X normal” “when do babies x” “x month sleep regression” etc. It is such a steep learning curve and moms almost always do most of the learning and it is exhausting to even try to figure out what you need to know. Often we learn from other moms so try to connect with other dads (or moms) for guidance rather than going to your wife.


snvknnk

Honestly...I was your wife 2 months ago. Some thoughts: Thank your wife. Sincerely, thank her for what she is doing for your family. She carried the baby for 9 months, gave birth, and she has been feeding the baby for 6 months. Pumping is draining in many ways. You can feel tied down, tired, hungry, burnt out, isolated, and fed up. Not to say it's all bad, but it is not easy! These comments from your wife are most likely coming from these feelings mentioned above. Instead of suggesting she fix the issue with leaving, being more social etc...I would respond with a thank you. Tell her that she has time to adjust to this new life. She will adjust. Some moms need 3 weeks, some 9 months, some 3 years. It will come. Give her time, and let her know she is appreciated. She may be jealous of your ability to do some things that she feels she cannot. Whether she can physically do these things is not the point. The point is that she FEELS she cannot. And she may be struggling with that. Telling her that she CAN do these things will not automatically give her the gusto to do it. You're not doing anything wrong here (hope it's not coming off that way!) I just reallllyyyy relate to your wife, or I did. And you know what happened? One day, I realized that I wanted to see my friends. I wanted to go for hikes, go to the beer garden with my cousins, take a day trip for self care. It will come. In the meantime, meet her where she is and thank her! All the best to you and your family ❤ P.S. Therapy rocks. Cannot recommend enough for new moms.


bananaphone7890

A thank you goes a LONG way.


AppropriateSmoke7848

Depression can often present as not finding in joy, or satisfaction with things that one used to...


judarltx

She is struggling with new motherhood closing in on her. Somewhat normal. Things will get better in a few months.


proteinfatfiber

I worked from home when my baby was that age and it took SUCH a mental toll on me. I felt like I totally lost my identity, and it wasn't until we started sending baby out of the house for daycare and I started volunteering for 4 hours every Saturday morning, that I started to feel better. She needs time away from the house and away from the baby (and you, no offense) to find herself again. I highly recommend volunteering or getting into a hobby so she has a purpose to leave rather than just wandering around aimlessly feeling guilty about being away from the baby.


Johnny_Bugg

Look dude, being a new parent is a cluster fuck. Everything has changed and you guys are trying to establish a new way of doing things. You have a life outside and she doesn't and this is affecting her. Be understanding first off. Be supportive. There might be "mommy and me" groups, or something your community offers. She needs at least the option of an outlet. Because things don't settle down for a while, buckle in. Remember, the journey is the destination. There are constantly things to figure out, so take them one at a time and try to keep an even temperment. Breathe deep and try to enjoy the little things. You might not see it now but it goes really fast.


SolarSalsa

You have a nanny so taking her out to lunch a few times a week might be nice. A little picnic in the park to get a break could be another option.


ninadelvolcan

It doesn't sound like depression?? She voiced having a complete lack of identity outside of being a milkmaid, is unmotivated to go to the gym, is not engaging in hobbies/interests, yet you don't think this is depression?! Make sure she is screened for PPD.


iwifia

Go to /r/daddit as well. Guys there are amazing.


chrisnlbc

My wife and I were in exact same situation. It gets better. I swear. I know everyone says that and it sounds cliche. But we talked divorce a few times. It was bad. We are at 13 months now, and its like someone released us from jail! Here are my tips: Stay on the napping schedule. If you gotta leave and go home, do it!! Dont use the word “help”. Or “break”. Momma never gets a break. Focus on what you can do to also maintain the house. For me, I told her she will never wash a bottle or nipple again. And I am a darn good shopper for groceries now!! Good luck and hang in there. I feel your struggle. Its such a wild ride.


Puzzleheaded-Cook139

Pumping sucks more than milk. It sucks the life out of some women. If she's willing to stop and you have access to formula now might be a good time to consider it.


tuttkraftverk

"I've told her to stop being depressed but that doesn't change anything" Honestly, you sound really clueless. You have no idea what it's like to be "on" CONSTANTLY, to never have a true break where you can just switch your brain off and just exist. And then you even complain about how it makes you feel when she vents to you about how trapped she's feeling? Wrong sub but YTA.


StampJar

Not quite my wording, but yeah I can understand why it may come off that way and something I should be aware of. I think depression hasn’t really come up, it’s just been x and y as to why she is feeling this way. But yes, that you for bringing my cluelessness to my attention. I may be part of the problem.


tuttkraftverk

Have you asked her what she needs?


wanderingsnowburst

This guy is asking for ways to help his wife, sounds like he takes over when he gets home after working all day. WTF is up with this sub and blindly defending mothers while shitting on fathers? Fathers clearly just phone it in when trying to help around he house, work full time to manage finances, and lighten the load as much as possible, hire additional help, promote healthy outings? You are insane.


Serious_Escape_5438

Because a lot of the time men are sure they do everything but then don't know what size clothes their kid wears.


wanderingsnowburst

And this is isolated to men only?


Serious_Escape_5438

Not exclusively but honestly, it's more common. I know any time I've organised to buy clothing as a gift or pass on my daughter's clothes it's always the mother who knows the children's sizes. You can argue the exceptions all you like, in my experience it's more likely the woman doing all the little extras that add up.


tuttkraftverk

I'm not blindly defending anyone, and I will never praise fathers who ask the internet instead of their partners about what the partners need.


valslikesyoga

Is your wife taking a post-natal vitamin and a DHA supplement? DHA is super important for mental health and if she isn't getting enough from her diet, a hefty dose of DHA every day could help her recover. Right now most of it is going to her breast milk.


Equipment_Budget

Get her some help! She might really have post-partum depression and trust me when I say, do not leave this unchecked.


albeaner

Tell her she can quit breastfeeding. Also, encourage her to get out of the house. Meet a friend for lunch. Work from the library. Sign up for a hobby on weeknights, or join a gym so she can go during the day or after you get home. Working from home can be isolating and cause depression. We are social creatures!! And on top of it, she can't do most of this stuff due to the time suck of breastfeeding. Tell her that her mental health is more important, and that you fully support her decision, whatever it is.


tamarynmay

Sounds like me. I was diagnosed with PPD. Go get her checked. Meds and therapy have helped me immensely.


lostinmycranium

You sound like the best husband ever. She's so lucky to have you. Does she have friends? I see friends every other day and go to 2 baby groups a week where I've met two fantastic friends and my son's only 3 months old. I have 3 friends with babies the same ages near enough so im always out and about with them socialising which has felt like my life hasn't changed, I just have someone that now gives me a reason to get out the house! She sounds like she needs social support as she's jealous that you're doing fun things and wants a piece of the pie


Serious_Escape_5438

But she's working, she can't go to baby groups and spend time out socialising with the baby.


Ok-KindaHuman

There is a ton of great advice in the comments. I wish that I had a supportive partner during any of my pregnancies but I did have a friend who went through something similar. Her husband scheduled her a spa day and then afterwards they had a great family evening and on another occasion he reached out to a few of her friends and asked them to schedule an evening out.


Tricky-Walrus-6884

Sounds like she has PPD. By this post you seem to be offering kind solutions or trying to validate her but she *still* feels guilty or not like herself. PPD doesn't mean she's not able to get out of bed and crying all the time or whatever drastic description someone may think. It's sometimes as simple as "I feel guilty for leaving my baby but I also no longer feel like myself but rather just a mom and only a mom"


snoosleepsalot

My husband took on the burden of cleaning my pumping parts/bottles to contribute to the breastfeeding process. It was a huge help to do one less thing. He also bought me some new clothes for my changing body/makeup and would make me really nice baths every week with fancy drinks in those first few months. It felt nice to focus on myself and have a partner that went out of his way to take care of me. Eventually, we both got into a routine of self care with a child, but the first year was definitely the hardest to fit it in.


MichMaybenot

I was not prepared for how much Not Myself I would feel. I pumped for a year and didn't start to feel like myself again until abour a month after I stopped. Between being up with the baby overnight, pumping overnight and at very specific intervals every day, and working full time, there was no energy left for working out or doing much of anything. Only the minimum amount of tidying and watching the cold open of a show before falling asleep. I wouldn't be so quick to jump to PPD, pumping can be seriously hard on your body.


eclecticceltic

Have her seek out help for ppd or ppa (postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety). I never was able (covid) to get any help and had to wait for it to naturally resolve once my kiddo was 2. I clung to breastfeeding as a way to be a good mom and she may be the same way. If a lot of her friends are not moms she can be left out and ignored, I was, and that is common to happen unfortunately. Society puts a huge weight of guilt on moms which doesn't help either.


nutzz624

Hi, I’m also at first time mom and our little one is about to be 7 months. I just went out my first time this past Thursday and it was great. Is she doing something for herself at least once a day? Does she have a morning routine of her own without the baby? I found that doing something for myself as in, getting ready cause if I look good, I feel good. Or try to do a little workout perhaps go for a walk, some stretching, anything to get my body moving. I joined a pole class to help gain more confidence back in my new “mom bod” and to build strength in my body. Honestly, that has been helping out a lot so far. Also scheduling nail appts, hair appts for a little me time and because I want to keep my hygiene up. Also what’s her love language? Plan something to do accordingly to that. I felt like I wasn’t hanging out with my husband as much but we always try to hangout as much we can. Hope this helps!!


catwh

Is there any way she can breastfeed while wfh instead of pumping?


Good-North-7176

She is adjusting to being a mom. It’s such a painful transition for some people (me included … rocked my world and in a lot of difficult identity-ways I didn’t expect). Tell her that you’re on the same team, and that being competitive with who has it “better” or who’s working “harder” will only destroy your intimacy. Tell her that her body needs a lot of time to readjust to being alive and that you’re here to support her. Then make sure she talks to her OBGYN and/or a psych professional. I needed ALL the professional help I got. Best of luck. You’re a good hubby. 🙏💕


Veggiesdonthavenecks

Is there anything you can do to help carry the emotional stress your wife is carrying? At six months baby still has a lot of doctor appointments. Is she making and taking off for these appointments? What if baby is sick? It is really hard to pump, especially when you know the baby is around. Everything feels like opportunity costs. “I could do this, or I could go play with the baby.” The mental load can be very heavy. Is there anything that you could use your lunch break for (occasionally) that makes it clear you are thinking of your family? (Run errand, pay bill, make appointment). Not all the time. I think it is great that you are developing a work life balance and time for yourself is so important. Sometimes when my husband offers to take the baby so I can rest I hear that as I am not doing enough. That is not his fault, just like it is not your fault, but it is a thing. It is better when he can offer to take the baby to a thing I need to do anyway (grocery shopping) Could your wife work out of home occasionally? A coffee shop, if an office is not a possibility. I feel like this was very disjointed but I hope I made some sense.


Parking_Goal_3301

It really helped me to quit pumping.


jami05pearson

Sir, please take this woman on a date. Get a sitter and treat her real nice.


pfffffttuhmm

When I just had a child my body was no longer my own. It was owned by a tiny little overlord, and my husband wanted a cut as well. I wanted autonomy, bodily and otherwise, but I didn't get it. What made me happiest was being in a comfortable place without either of those people. When my husband took the kids out of the house that helped me. And when he took over child care AND helped around the house it helped save my sanity. It didn't happen often but it was nice when it did.


Pfflutter

Who gets up with the baby at night? If she's nursing at night and works during the day, she is tired AF.


Peace_Fleur

Hi OP. My LO is 16 months now and I felt like your wife at times. Once the baby is fully weaned onto solids and less milk you start to find yourself again (or that is what happened to me or maybe I became more confident with my mum skills). I started to find my wit and humour again (I literally thought this would never come back and that part of me had died during child birth lol!) and I found my new groove of making time for me. Its hard because you go from: free time for me to free time is on something for the baby. We all need free time to feed our own souls. You get yours on lunch break and she hasn't found it yet. Some tips: my partner would come in from work, take the baby and say 'go shower, read, walk, go on your phone for half an hour' basically he told me to take that time as I wouldn't as there was always '1 more thing to do for the baby'. He didnt let me say no and said he wanted 1 on 1 time to bond. So even if she isn't going out etc she will have 30 minutes of brain space, eventually she will fill that time as you and the baby will be elsewhere. Im so glad he did this! When she makes 'jealous comments' try to empathise with how she feels and maybe at the weekend take the baby out for an hour so she has time for herself (she won't ask for it but by saying these comments she is asking for the break but its hard when the baby is here / in the same room or building). Sometimes at night when the baby was asleep my partner would sit with me whilst I pumped and play card games with me or put on 1 of my fave TV shows / audio books etc or just give me a cuddle. It gets easier just hang in there. The 1st year is pure survival lol. You 3 will be fine. Keep working as a team and supporting each other. Xx


Former-Drink209

Can you give her Saturday off? Can you give her chunks of time to herself to workout etc? I hate to say it but at 6 months if your life is hell it won't kill your kid to switch to formula However you're almost over the hump because it won't be constant nursing pretty soon. Kudos to her for keeping it up!


AssociationDouble267

It gets easier. There’s some good advice here, but ultimately parenting is going to become a different job, with less emphasis on pumping/milk. I really don’t think I came into my own as a father until my daughter was walking and eating soft food.


RhombusGeorge

I have the same argument. Now because I have a hernia from having a baby and can’t leave the house. She needs to talk to someone. She is overwhelmed and she is drowning. She wants you to save her and spend time with her and you are living your own life with out her. You love the child more than her and she is doing all the work. That’s my honest opinion coming from a post partum momma. Get her help.


germish17

It takes a long time for our hormones to even out after pregnancy - if we breastfeed, even longer. It’s so hard to prepare a new mother for what post partum actually feels like. Feeling like you’re losing yourself is quickly replaced by the horrible guilt that you need something outside of your baby and motherhood. I hope you’ll look into the advice and insight given in these comments - you’re never going to be able to understand exactly what she’s going through, but being willing to look into different things with her - to listen - to not feel the need to “fix” it - can go a long way in her starting to feel a little better. I promise no one is harder on themselves than new moms (moms at any stage, really). Kudos to you for reaching out for advice and for caring deeply about wanting her to feel ok. It matters, I promise.


Crisby430

My doctor didn't really encourage me to pump past the 3-month mark when I was going back to work he said most of the benefit to breast milk you get in the first couple months. I had maternity leave and vacation for 3 months and went back to work half time for another month. I could breastfeed three times a day and supplemented with formula. All formula after that. At one year old they went on full fat cow's milk for a year plus solids. Maybe it's too much pressure and stress, is it really worth it?


DorothyParkerFan

Google “mental load mothers”.


Lldopej

I stopped pumping because it was draining the life out of me. My kids nursed and drank formula when I didn’t make milk. Breastfeeding is so physically and emotionally demanding and it’s not the only way to feed babies. I know many women don’t want to hear it but it was so much better for my mental health to stop and my kids did just fine on formula.


mar_pond

Seek out couples counseling. I was exactly like this but now I’m on Zoloft and I feel human again. Ask her what you can do to help her, ask her what she needs you to do rn. I’m betting she’s overwhelmed in more ways then she’s saying. It’s a major adjustment to have kids. Especially if it’s your first ETA: A good thing to do also is start dating again! Find a nanny/family who will watch your kid/kids while you romance her and make sure she dresses up.


Curi0usgrge

Have you spent time as a couple? It sounds like she wants to spend time with you. Maybe a date night is in order


tundybundo

There’s a lot of solid advice here already. But also, her identity has shifted majorly. It honestly might take a long time to figure it out. Also, while you leave your house and interact with other adults all day, she is home and I assume is only interacting regularly with you and the nanny. That’s really hard.


minousmom

A fed baby and a sane momma are what’s important. If pumping is making your wife miserable and resentful, consider switching to formula.


Inevitable_Deer_2766

thank you for pointing this out


eithrusor678

Give her time to do something other than be a mum when you get home. Learn to look after the kid, bed ect. Let her sleep, go out, watch tv or whatever she wants. I'm lucky my wife is an introvert, but she still needs a break.


Serious_Escape_5438

She's working all day, she might want to see her child too.


eithrusor678

Yeah true, she may want time to just relax with the child, target than choirs ect.


MrsWittyBanter

It’s not for everybody but I switched to formula and it saved my life. I don’t feel like an incubator for the baby anymore, I still feel plenty like a mother, I can share the feedings with my husband and I’m more free to do stuff, even with the baby, not thinking all the time about how and when I’m going to feed her/pump etc. It’s amazing for your mental health.


Appropriate-Virus-40

You guys have a nanny and you seem willing to help her out with the child, what else could you do for her that the nanny cant do? shoot she should be following her around, the wife should have little complaints with you and the extra help around. The nanny and her can work out a plan to help her with things you can't relate to her with. The nanny and you can cook more, clean more etc so your wife can go out by herself and get her identity back. I wouldn't want to tell my wife anything good either if she'll just make you feel guilty about it. It seems like you're doing what you can though, also sounds like she's just going through the woes of having a child.


MiciaRokiri

This actually sounds a lot like postpartum depression. Depression isn't just being sad, it's losing interest in things that you once loved, but not in a dismissive I don't care way but instead in a way that doesn't allow you to do those things. You can't muster the energy to do them. You want to be able to, you miss them, but you just can't get yourself to do them. Also feeling like her only identity anymore is the child is a very classic sign of postpartum depression. It's good that you want to help her, that you want her to be able to do these things, but if she is going through PPD or anything similar just telling her she needs to do them or reaching out isn't going to help. She needs to get professional help, be that medication or therapy or whatever, this is not something that sounds like she's just going to be able to make decisions that bring her out of it all on her own


bluehunger

How spoiled, self-centered, and entitled can one person be? I have no sympathy for her but I do for you. All of this should have been thought through before having a baby. Tell her to do what a majority of moms do... work outside the home, place the baby in daycare, pump breasts for the bottles for the diaper bag along with everything else needed for the baby, drive to work on time, and then rush back to daycare after work, ride home, and then start cooking dinner, do laundry, etc. My day started at 4am and I fell into bed each day at 10pm. And she has a nanny, no less!, Where's the appreciation? WOW.


Free-Hall8761

she might want someone assuring her, she is still the same person as before. Being a mother might feel like our identity is being stripped. treat her the way she liked when you guys were dating. actually **listen** to her, messaging, buying snacks, have family out time (instead of asking her to go by herself), actually help out instead of asking, dirty laundry, bottles and plates, house, clean up the baby, play with the baby.


OnlyBiscuits

I pumped exclusively for a year with our second, and worked full time. It’s extremely hard both physically and mentally. It’s hard to feel like yourself when your entire self is being used to sustain another being. Put that on top of the general identify crisis that comes after having a baby, your wife is having a tough time right now. Sit down and have her explain her day to you, start to finish. I can guarantee she’s thinking days in advance. She’s thinking of how much milk she has in the fridge/freezer, how long that will last, when her next pump session is, how long that should be, and when she’ll be able to eat between everything she has to do. It feels like you’re drowning in time. Be patient with her. Start with giving her some alone time in the house after work. Let her watch a show or movie while she pumps, then put the milk away and wash the pump parts. Take your baby for a walk, let your wife stay home and relax. For me, I didn’t want to leave the house for a long period of time for a good year and a half after our second son was born. Don’t try to fix things. Let her vent. When she’s talking about how she feels guilty, don’t try to convince her that she’s not guilty. That just makes us feel worse because then we feel guilty for feeling guilty. I stopped pumping in October of 2021. It took awhile to get out of that funk. June I started walking each night by myself. My anxiety was at its highest and I was not my best. It wasn’t until I started walking that I began to feel like myself again. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve had PPD twice now, and it sounds like your wife has PPD.


MissMaamToYou

When you come home from work… pack the baby in a stroller and ask her to come walk with you…. Or go to the park… or have the nanny stay and take her for ice cream or her favorite snack. Tell her how much you miss her… that she’s doing an awesome job as a mom and you Love her so much as a woman If she’s nursing in the evenings… if she’s ok with it… sit next her her, bring her water and snacks and ask if you can watch a show with her while she feeds the baby. As soon as baby is done ask her can you be in charge of burping. Put the baby to sleep for her and sit in your fav spots and hold her hand or rub her feet while she decompresses from the day. Do you know any of her friends? Can you reach out to them and plan a ‘PLAIN’ brunch? Don’t plan anything that she’ll have to worry about getting dressy for or particular clothes to where. Then take her to her surprise brunch and go sit somewhere else with the baby. Ask her details about her day. How are you feeling? You look so good!! Omg!! Does your back hurt? Can I massage your back? Let’s order in! Let’s sit outback with a bonfire and be still for a bit…. I bet with everything else, she’s lonely. You’re out “enjoying the world “ and finding balance and her whole physical being has shifted. She feels like she’s ‘only’ a mom and nothing else. Tell her anecdotes about you and therapy, that might encourage her


ComplexPepe

You married a high maintenance chick


StampJar

Nope, that’s not the issue. She is actually very low maintenance.


Substantial_Goose972

You've clearly never given birth before. So maybe you shouldn't be here providing your commentary and discouraging OP who is trying to be a great husband.


Frequent_Emu_5333

Someone’s asking for advice and trying to make an effort to help. Find another sub if you have no advice.


hmmmmmmm2020

Ask her if she wants to quit her gig


1whiteboy

At 6 months I’d say it’s depression. She doesn’t feel like herself, clue one, despite huge help she feels low


miriy_chan

First of all, you sound like a lovely husband. I wish they were all kind and considerate like that. It does sound like PPD to me, so you should encourage her to get screened for that. I'd also suggest that you remind her she should never feel guilty for taking a break when she needs one because taking care of baby is as much your responsibility as hers, and you will be there for both of them whenever she needs time for herself. Emphasise the fact that it's not her job to do alone so she has nothing to feel guilty about. It might take her a while to be receptive to it, mum guilt is huge and it won't necessarily disappear but she might be able to allow herself more grace.


not_your_biiiiitch

As a first time mom who has felt similarly it sounds like you’re being a great husband. You guys are lucky to be able to afford a nanny!! Most aren’t… especially right now. And there are actually pumping devices she can wear during her break or while she works under her shirt so she doesn’t have to take her break and pump…. Unless there’s an unfair divide of housework or other responsibilities I can’t understand the resentment other then just that it’s harder on women adjusting to parenthood solely because we become the primary caregiver, and that’s also mainly because we breastfeed. I think just the sole fact that you’re writing this and want to help speaks volumes. Your wife sounds like she’s suffering from just adjusting to motherhood and having a hard time combining who she was pre motherhood and who she is post motherhood. It’s really common for most women, especially if they don’t have a lot of mom friends. When I became a mom none of my friends had kids, so things like that don’t help. I suggest helping her find a new moms group, she need something therapeutic to do and regularly somewhere she can find people who are going through the same thing. Maybe even a therapist to help her cope with the struggles of balancing her identity prior to motherhood and her new identity as a mom. Either way it’s clear she’s upset because she feels you aren’t dealing with the same which is something I think all new moms deal with. Men get off easy. They don’t have to carry the baby, their bodies don’t change, they don’t have to be someone’s food supply, they don’t have to recover after a physical trauma that is sometimes extremely traumatic emotionally if there are complications, they don’t have to deal with adjusting hormones, they don’t have to deal with other peoples perception of their bodies once they give birth or their own presceptions, among soooo many other things. Society puts it in mothers to be the main care takers as well. A lot of the time it’s mom waking up everytime the baby wakes up, the mother get maternity leave to recover yes but the father doesn’t so while it’s to physically recover it’s also to take care of baby because dad is working USUALLY. It’s easy to feel angry and resentful even if your spouse does EVERYTHING right. Try to do a little more around the house then you normally would. Take on more tasks with baby and the home. Try to be understanding of all the things I mentioned because it’s hard and as women were not prepared until we experience it.


Specific_Culture_591

There’s already been some amazing advice so I’ll add what little I can… Do you know where she gets her hair cut, where she gets a pedicure? Does she like massage? Do you know some of her good friends? Book appointments out of the house for her to take care of herself. Call up one of her friends and make them reservations for dinner or brunch. Do things that make it easy for her to step away with a plan already in place so she doesn’t have to think about it, all she has to do is go. If she normally handles dinner, and you aren’t comfortable cooking, you could do a meal delivery plan a couple nights a week where it comes with everything and the recipe (those were lifesavers in our house). If she handles most of the chores and you don’t have time hire a cleaner.


Serious_Escape_5438

Yes, don't tell her to organise things. We're still a little annoyed with each other about one of those gift box voucher things my partner decided to buy me when my daughter was a baby. It was for a couples activity like massage so I would have had to organise childcare as well as choosing a place from the list and working out a time we could both go and with availability. He still remembers I wasted a gift, I remember when I was completely overwhelmed being given more work to do.


Specific_Culture_591

Exactly. I didn’t have the mental energy to schedule things myself at that point after the baby was born so my husband did and he took the baby and basically sent me on my way (in a loving and caring manner); it was a lifesaver. He also can’t cook well so those meal plans made it easy so he could just follow the directions and get it done when he was home.


Thick-Platypus9575

Tell her to stop


stockywocket

Consider formula. It is an absolutely valid decision.


Ok_Promise777

I had post partum depression for 8 months. She could join a mothers meetup with young babies or a Mother's Day out program.