How Visitation Works When Your Child is Breastfeeding
Being a new parent and breastfeeding your child is nearly always challenging. But if you and your child’s father aren’t together, the process is even more complicated. Despite these challenges, a child of this age can benefit from bonding with both of their parents. Those first six months are critical for your child to form a relationship with the important people in their life.
It’s easy for a child to spend significantly more time with Mom when they need to eat every couple of hours. But with these tips, your child will be able to more effectively bond with both parents even during this challenging time.
Rely on Pumping Breast Milk
If you’ve decided to breastfeed, your best option is to use a breast pump. Most of the time, your insurance company must cover the cost of a breast pump. This will allow you to provide breast milk for your child even when they are with their father. When the child is not with you, you can work on building up the supply even more. You can store breast milk in the freezer for up to 12 months to ensure your child has more than enough milk.
Consult Additional Resources to Maximize Your Supply
Breastfeeding takes a lot of work. But it’s going to take even more effort if you’re having to build up your milk stores for when the child has visitation with their father. Familiarize yourself with the pump your insurance provider has given you. It may take some time to get used to it. You can also join your local lactation club.
Feeding Decisions Should Be Made Together
One parent should never make a feeding decision for the child unilaterally. For example, if the child is refusing to take a bottle of pumped milk or has run out of breastmilk, the father shouldn’t choose formula without consulting the other parent. Even though they are not physically present, you should still be co-parenting with your feeding decisions. A wrong decision could lead to the child having an adverse reaction to a formula or at the very least even more tension in the parents’ relationship.
Your priority during this time should be giving your baby a chance to bond with both parents. That means you may have to be flexible with some things. For example, if you find you’re having a hard time pumping, reach out to a local lactation specialist or a pediatrician.
You may need to supplement your supply of breast milk with formula.
Some parents may even decide to both be present during visitation. The father remains inside with the child to get some alone time while the mother stays outside to breastfeed every couple of hours. This may be inconvenient, but if it’s for the good of the child, it’s worth it.
Feeding is a huge part of a young child’s life. It’s not fair for one parent to miss out on such a significant portion of time. If you want what’s best for the child, you’re going to have to make it work as co-parents.
Keep Following Our Blog
For helpful information on how to make life as co-parents work, keep following Cape Fear Family Law’s blog. If you have specific questions, reach out to us! We are always happy to help our clients adjust to this new phase of life.
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