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Why My Wife & I Chose to Co-Breastfeed Our Son

Glenis Liz-Decuir via Baby Chick

Telling my story and sharing my family’s journey to co-breastfeeding was important to me because when I started down this path, I really did not have many places to turn for advice and support. And the more I talked to others, the more I realized that my wife and my experience was not unusual, but could, in fact, give hope to other same-sex couples that may be starting their own co-breastfeeding journey.

What is co-breastfeeding?

Co-breastfeeding is exactly what it sounds like. Both my wife and I wanted to share in the experience of breastfeeding our baby. While I had carried and breastfed our two previous children, this baby would be carried by my wife Tiffany, and we couldn’t stop thinking about the possibility of us both experiencing the bonding that comes with breastfeeding, as well as the responsibility. So we started to ask some questions: What had others done? What was even possible? What was successful and what were the challenges? When we both became aware of induced lactation, it was a no-brainer for us. We knew right away that it was the right direction to go.

The benefits of co-breastfeeding

While my experience breastfeeding showed me how rewarding it can be, I was also a bit shocked by the unique challenges involved. Breastfeeding takes time and energy. You’re waking up multiple times a night and/or taking multiple pumping breaks during the day. By sharing this responsibility, my wife and I were able to more easily return to work and maintain our breastfeeding goals, especially since we didn’t have to pump as often. Because we are both blessed with a plentiful supply of breastmilk, we were actually able to store over 1,000 oz. of milk fairly quickly. Co-breastfeeding allowed us to relieve the pressure of providing enough milk for our baby.

But most importantly, co-breastfeeding gave both my wife and me the gift of bonding with our new infant son. Not just any bonding, but the strengthened intimacy and trust that is unique to breastfeeding. Tiffany bravely carried and gave birth to our son, and I needed to induce lactation to make co-breastfeeding possible.

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He is perfect guys 🙂 Orion was born at 8:26am 8lbs 3oz 9/2 19.5 inches long. He nursed with both his mommies like a champ. 💕 We appreciate all your love support and loving words. We thank you so much for being part of this ride with us. #inducing #inducinglacation #inducinglactation #relactation #relactating #relactationjourney #breastfeeding #breastfeedinglife #breastfeedingmommy #breastfeedinglicious #pumpingmom #pumpingmilk #liquidgold #twomommies #twomommiesarebetterthanone #pride🌈 #newmangoldfarbprotocol #fourboobsarebetterthantwo #freezerstash #breastmilk #breastmilkstorage #breastmilkbag #normalizebreastfeeding #latinasbreastfeedtoo #followme #followmypage #lesbiancouple @lgbtqnation

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The path to co-breastfeeding

After making the decision, we needed to know where to go for guidance. Unfortunately, I received the most pushback from doctors, many of whom didn’t even know that inducing lactation was possible. I had to see four different doctors before I could find one willing to work with me. Being under the care of a doctor was very important for me, because I had never done this before and I knew I would be taking medications. After exploring several options, we chose the Newman Goldfarb Protocol as our method of induced lactation.

First, it’s important to note that the Newman Goldfarb Protocol isn’t the only way to induce lactation. But after doing extensive research, I found that it seemed to be the most popular and most effective technique. It starts by “tricking your body into thinking it’s pregnant” by taking a combination of birth control (active only pills) and increasing your prolactin levels by taking a medication called Domperidone. The hormones each have a role preparing your breasts to make milk.

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I am so honored to have been chosen as the Atlanta Mombassador for @teatandcosset !!!! @teatandcosset is a collection of high-quality, stylish and functional clothing that is breastfeeding friendly.  From dresses, tops, and even pajamas, their line is functional, stylish, and will make you want to keep it in your closet long after you’re finished breastfeeding. I LOVE supporting women owned businesses. I also believe that your cloths should be beautiful, versatile, and make you feel like a million bucks. @teatandcosset is just that! What I love most about their clothing line is that they have discreet nursing/pumping access and are machine washable. The entire collection is made so that you can wear it while pregnant, breastfeeding/pumping, and way beyond. USE CODE ATLMOMS20 for 20% off your order! **I’m wearing the Carlotta ruffle dress** #mombassador #teatandcosset #atlanta #georgia #breastfeedingclothes #breastfeedingclothing #maternityclothes #maternity #breastfeedingmama #discountcodes #dress #inducedlactation

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The protocol suggests having at least 22 to 24 weeks in preparation time. It’s very important that if you decide to go with the protocol that you start as early as possible for best results. For the most up to date information, I recommend visiting Dr. Jack Newman’s website and reading his resources for inducing lactation.

Welcoming baby Orion — and co-breastfeeding logistics

After so much preparation and anticipation, we were thrilled to welcome baby Orion to the world on September 2, 2018. The first month we basically were home and just perfected breastfeeding. But now that Orion is a little older, we are able to get out of the house and do things together as a family.

Part of our original goal was to take turns breastfeeding for the first two months, and I’m happy to say it’s going according to plan! We have not encountered any surprises. Orion came out the womb nursing like a champ on both of us; he has the perfect latch!

Nine weeks before Orion was born, I was pumping every three hours from 5 AM to 11 PM to induce lactation and build up my supply. I was pumping in every location imaginable: at my desk, in the car, the movie theater, Six Flags, and more. Now I’m pumping four times a day at 6:30 AM, 10 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM, which is during my commute and two times at work. My wife and I alternate with nursing during the early mornings, evenings, and weekends.

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#Repost @nursing_from_the_heart_rnibclc with @get_repost ・・・ This was me at @biglatchon last year in West GA 🙂 We are only 1 week away from the West Georgia Annual BIG Latch On! Come join us and find the breastfeeding support you have been looking for in West Georgia! Breastfeeding comes in many different forms. Whether you are #nursing, #pumping, #chestfeeding, #combo-feeding, #weaning, #co-feeding, and/or #supplementing we invite you to join us as we celebrate the superhero in you! 🤱🏻 🤰🏽🤱🏽🤰🏼 Check in starts at 9am, 2nd Floor at City Station in Carrollton. We will have music, kids’ activities and door prizes. For. more information and to register #biglatchon2019 #breastfeeding #breastfeedingsupport #breastfeedingresources #peertopeersupport #westgabreastfeeds #westgabreastfeeding #nursingfromtheheart #westgabreastfeedingtaskforce #dphdistrict4wic @idaho_jones

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Bringing up the topic of breastfeeding at work was a bit more difficult for me, as the non-gestational mom. My male boss may have been a bit shocked about my need to breastfeed, but it worked out in my favor. He didn’t ask me any questions or fight the issue. I’m very relieved to have the time and space needed to breast pump after starting this conversation, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

Tiffany’s return to work was a bit easier as the gestational mom; she was prepared to fight for her right to breastfeed at work and has not experienced any issues.

So far, we’ve been able to easily cover for each other if something pops up. It’s fine if one of us gets too busy or needs to leave — because we’re both able to step in to nurse or breastfeed when necessary. Being able to co-breastfeed has relieved so much stress from providing Orion with enough milk. We are incredibly thankful that all of the hard work that went into making this decision and inducing lactation is paying off — so we can both have the ultimate bonding experience with our baby.

This story was originally published on Baby Chick. You can read more about Glenis and her family’s full story here.

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