It's pretty much second nature now for moms to expect their partners to help out with the baby. In fact, let's not even call it "helping out" — it's just called parenting, right? Your partner should be an active part of your baby's life in all things, even if you're breastfeeding. But can your partner help with pumping?
Um, absolutely. In fact, I don't think there's any part of being a parent that your partner can't support you in or offer some hardcore help. My ex and I separated when my daughter was 2 months old, so I never had any nighttime help. Even though I breastfed, I still was super jealous of moms who had partners get up in the middle of the night. Do you know how amazing it would've been if I had a partner who would pick up the baby in the middle of night, change her diaper, swaddle her, and bring her to me so I could feed her? And then they could take her back to bed with a full tummy while I didn't have to do too much moving around?
So, yes. Of course your partner can help with pumping breastmilk. It doesn't matter if you're pumping exclusively, if you're pumping at work, or if you're trying to build up your supply. Your partner can help with pumping in these nine ways.
1They Can Clean Your Pump
I only pumped when I wanted to build up a bit of a freezer stash and when I had to be away from my baby for more than three hours. Partially because cleaning the pump parts is the absolute worst part. It's a time consuming task that has to be done. Since you're the one hooked up the machine, I think your partner can handle cleaning the parts for you and getting it ready for the next time.
2They Can Make You Snacks
Breastfeeding can make you hungry, and when you're stuck at the breast pump, you cant jus get up and grab a bite. Let your partner be your own personal snack chef and whip up something for you to munch on while you're pumping. If you pump when you're away from your partner, they can prep snacks in tupperware so you can just grab one before you sit down to start.
3They Can Entertain The Baby
There were few things worse than trying to pump while my daughter asked me to read her a book. How was I supposed to pump, hold her, and read a book all at the same time? She used to get so mad and frustrated that I ended up putting the whole pumping thing to rest and just let my boobs leak into my shirt. Having your partner as the baby entertainer while you're pumping is perfect.
4They Can Pack Up Your Pumping Bag
At the end of the night, give your partner the task of packing up your pumping bag. After all, you're going to be at work the next day, alone, and pumping. The least they can do is get everything ready for you, including clean pump parts, bottles, storage bags, snacks and water, and even ice packs for your cooler. You'll appreciate this extra help, trust me.
5They Can Support Your Fight To Pump In Peace
When you come home and tell them that your office only gave you a tiny broom closet with a refrigerator full of your other employees' expired yogurts and lunches to store your breastmilk, they support your fight to get an adequate pumping area.
6They Store The Milk For You
I know it doesn't sound like a big deal, but when you have to turn off the machine, undo everything, and get your boobs back in place, having someone else grab the milk to store it is huge. Let them do the labeling, too, and it's one more thing off your plate.
7They Do All The Things You Need To Do While You're Pumping
Like washing the dishes, folding laundry, or cooking dinner. Pumping can take a lot of time and it's hard to multitask big chores while you're stuck to a breast pump. With your partner helping out, you can relax and stop stressing over all the things that need to be done.
8Listen To Your Ranting
And make sure they know that's really all you need. Because trust me, you're going to say things like, "I want to quit" and "Pumping isn't worth it" and "I'm over this." When you have a partner who simply listens and asks how they can help? You've got gold.
9They Can Tell You They're Proud Of You
And appreciative, grateful, and in awe of you. Breastfeeding is hard, but pumping can be even tougher. Having a partner who fully supports you and tells you often is one of the best ways they can make sure your pumping journey is a success.