Nothing you read can prepare you for the enormous task of breastfeeding a newborn. It was nothing like I expected, or rather we. John and I both knew breastfeeding was the way we would go, and that was it.
I remember in the beginning with Maggie, I had a low milk supply. The doctors suggested supplementing and I was devastated. To go along with the roller coaster of emotions you experience after having a baby, I spent hours crying because Maggie was so beautiful. Then, i bawled over having to offer her formula. When I held that tiny amount of formula in my hand, I bawled so hard, my hands were shaking. That’s how much it meant to me. When I told John, he said, so what, do what the doctor’s say. Ummm, wrong answer. We had a long talk then and there about what I needed from him as far as being supportive. Never again did something like that happen. From then on, he was supportive of me most of the time.
From the dad’s perspective, they can often feel left out. Mom is constantly feeding baby and dad isn’t able to help. We really struggled with this because John was already out of state working for weeks at a time. Finding bonding time was crucial for him. Since Maggie didn’t sleep without being held much, he would hold her while she napped sometimes. Otherwise, he made sure to interact with her as much as possible when she was awake. He sang to her a lot.
Once we got past about that first year, he was pretty against me continuing to nurse, but simply said, I think she needs to be done by the time she’s 2. Well, she wasn’t. Now, she’s 28 months and still nurses every once in awhile. I only let her at bedtime and once in awhile at nap time. Today, she said, I want boobies. Me: Not right now, it’s not time. Maggie: But mom, those boobies upstairs are crazy!!! I don’t know where she gets this stuff, the other day, it was, I want boobies all day long! He has adjusted well to our extended breastfeeding and even said how he feels it makes a difference in our babies health and intelligence. Sometimes, I feel like we are not on the same side, but it’s nice to hear once in awhile that we are.
Daddies play an important role in breastfeeding whether they know it or not. From helping keep mom fed and hydrated to just being supportive, there are so many things dad can do.
What role do you think dads play in the breastfeeding relationship?
Be sure to visit the Breastfeeding Blog Hop page at Sisters n Cloth to hear what other’s are saying about Dad’s and Breastfeeding.
There are sooo many ways to help out as a “breastfeeding” dad. We have struggled with the whole “Well if you would just pump i could help you out.” I have had to remind him that if he could help out in other ways such as dinner or getting the kids ready for the day,that would mean so much to me.
So true. John was pretty great though, no matter where we were, he would just say, or yell if I wasn’t nearby, she needs the boob. Hehe.
My husband was AMAZING!! He found ways to help me, including getting bonding time when our daughter was awake at night, but not hungry. 🙂
That’s awesome that he got up with her at night too.
I have 4 boys, I nursed the last 3, the youngest two being twins. Nursing twins is something else!! Let me tell you!!! You feel like superwoman nursing one but two, at the same time, I could change the world!! Hahaha. My husband was a bit nervous about nursing since he couldn’t see how much milk they drank. Once my husband saw how much the babies and I enjoyed nursing and they were getting all the needed, he was very supportive! He would bring the baby(ies) to me, sit and chat with me while nursing or rub my neck, then take the baby for burping and changing. He didn’t let me being the food supply interfer with bonding.
I can’t imagine breastfeeding twins! Good for you. Glad he came around and hung out with you while you nursed them, that made great bonding for him and the babies too I’m sure.
My husband was very supportive of breastfeeding. It is so important that both mom and dad are on the same page.
Yes it is. If one is against it, it gets quite difficult.
How blessed you are!
Yes we are. Thanks!
Without my hubby’s support I don’t think I would have been successful in breastfeeding my first baby. She was born with gastroschisis and so she wasn’t given milk for several weeks. Long story short we took her home when she was 6 weeks old and there I began trying to nurse her. I was about ready to quit, both baby and I were crying and exhausted. My husband looked at me and said, “We can do this. You want to, right?” Then he called my mom who came and helped. One miserable day of sticking to it turned into 16 months of breastfeeding for my first baby. He has continued to support with the subsequent babies.
There are so many ways for Daddy to bond without feeding the baby. My 3 girls are majorly “daddy’s girls’.
That is such a great story! Thank you for sharing that. I love that he added, you want to, right? So glad your mom was able to help and it worked out for you.
Maggie is a big daddy’s girl as well.