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.