Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Breastfeeding in a Joint Custody Situation

Posted by on Jun. 9, 2013 at 2:01 PM
  • 8 Replies

This is my first time being in a breastfeeding support group, so I did not know a lot about other people's experiences.  I would like to share my experience on here.

I am a single mother of a 6 month old child and I have managed to continue to breastfeed despite working full time and my baby going to his dad's for visitation.  My ex husband did not want to continue being with me (and I'm glad because I can't stand him).  But he does still want to be with my son. 

From reading other threads, many of you on here don't seem to think it's possible for a judge to order a newborn to have overnights with the NCP.  That is not true. It is not recommended, but it happens.  Judges can easily order a breastfeeding mom to pump for dad's visits.  Yes, it is a woman's choice to breastfeed.  But breastfeeding should not interfere with a father's right to parent their child (that's how judges think).  My ex gets one overnight per week outside the home, plus intermittent visits during the week to my home.

From the time my baby was 6 weeks old, I started working full time again.  I worked 37 hours per week, and pumped during that time.  Then I pumped during his dad's visitation.  I was attached to my breastpump. 

When my baby turned 4 months old, something wonderful happened!  I found a job that allowed me weekend work hours!  I thought this was the perfect situation.  So I stay home with the baby during the week.  My ex has him on the weekends while I work.  If you have to have a split situation, that ain't bad.

My ex did try to fight me for primary custody in the beginning, but he lost (because the baby already lived with me and why disturb the only environment an infant knows).  We have joint legal custody with me as the primary custodian.

My child is very well adjusted to the visitation.  He is a very healthy baby.

I thought it was important to share my experience to give hope to other mothers in split situations that
1) Babies can adjust well to visitation with NCP's.
2) You can still breastfeed despite Dad's vistiation.
3) Yes, judges can order overnights for newborns.  And during that one night per week, I sleep like the dead.
4) The good thing about being in a split situation is that you get time to yourself when child is with the NCP.


by on Jun. 9, 2013 at 2:01 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-8):
by mel on Jun. 9, 2013 at 4:04 PM
1 mom liked this


by on Jun. 9, 2013 at 4:08 PM
1 mom liked this
Thank you. I'm sure this will help a lot of women who are intimidated about breastfeeding with custody or working issues.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by Group Admin - Stacy on Jun. 9, 2013 at 4:10 PM
1 mom liked this
Welcome. Good to hear you've got an arrangement that is working for everyone. :-)
by Sarah on Jun. 9, 2013 at 5:14 PM
This is good to hear. I know many feel that joint custody is a death sentence for their breastfeeding relationship but it is good to know it can be done.
by Silver Member on Jun. 9, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Not every baby will adjust to taking a bottle, and not every mom can pump as successfully as you. I am soooo glad it worked out well for you and I hope that others read this who are in your sitaution can make it work as well as you did.

But, i know judges will take bottles into consideration and depending on the state, mothers will be primary custodian with out over nights as an infant in the first year.

If you were already pumping/doing bottles for work - that's probably why the judge felt it was okay. Not all judges will feel that disrupting an otherwise normal healthy nursing schedule is a good idea though if the baby doesn't take bottles or the mom can't pump enough.

I had doctors notes stating I had family history of allergies to formula and my son wouldn't take a bottle - but I also was getting restraining orders against my ex and he wasn't on the birth certificate.

by Group Admin -Tabitha on Jun. 9, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Thank you for sharing the story.  I think the main problem is if a mom has not been working or puping regularly then she may not have response to the pump and thus baby misses out on BM and has to deal with teh issues and risks of formula, which is unfair to the child inmy opinion.

by on Jun. 9, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Whenever the overnight was court ordered, I had NEVER used a pump before, actually.  I was ordered to pump before I even bought a pump.  Ex had to pay for the pump though since he was the one that requested an overnight.  Luckily, I had a very adaptable child.  Our family court judge is very pro-breastfeeding, luckily, and is open about it.  She was just trying to be fair to both of us. I offered my ex a schedule where he would have short time periods broken up throughout the week, but he prefered to take the time all at once for an overnight. 

Another reason he got as much as he got early on is because we were married, so he was automatically on the BC as legal dad.  He got rights instantly, just like I did.  Our divorced got legalized 10 days after the birth. We got our first CO 14 days after the birth.  It all happened fast.

by Amanda on Jun. 9, 2013 at 8:18 PM

 Thank you for sharing your story.  And welcome to the group.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)