What Dads Really Think About Breastfeeding

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  1. Alan aka omgitsagirl2015

    I wrote a post on the subject of public breaatfeeding.

    I basically stated that due to my Catholic upbringing I felt uncomfortable with it. But that was MY problem and not the breastfeeding mother.

    Neither of my children were breastfed. The first by the mothers choice, the second for medical reasons.

    With all aspects of parenting there are too many people sticking their nose into other peoples business. What some parents choose to do is different than others. That’s their choice.

    I prefer Mercedes cars to BMW’s do I go up to every BMW owner or post about them on social media NO.

    Let’s all get on with raisinf our kids to be happy, well adjusted people be that breast or bottle fed.

  2. Ben

    And no one ever brought up for her to pump and bottle feed?! That would have been the best solution. She would have produced way more milk as well from a pump with great suction. Her nipples would’ve been saved as well as both your sanity.

  3. Raegon Guest

    What an amazing article! We struggled with breastfeeding at the start, partly due to our son having a tongue tie, partly because just how hard it is totally took us by surprise! I went to the breastfeeding workshops before the birth and was reassured that it is the easiest thing in the world. Combine this message with the fact that I have always wanted to breastfeed, I headed into motherhood reassured that of all the tough readjustments that were about to come, feeding my child would be a doddle. I was heartbroken when it wasn’t and distraught when I was made to feel like it was because I was doing it wrong. I spoke to every helpline, buddy and support group going and without fail, their message was clear:if the latch is right, it won’t hurt. The message I heard: you can’t be latching properly because it is agony! My husband was so distressed to see me in such a state! We were so lucky to have a supportive and realistic health visitor and I couldn’t have done it without my husband! There absolutely needs to be more information out there from a realistic point of view and the vital part dads play in breastfeeding should be widely talked about! Well done and thank you Alex for being brilliant and talking about this!

  4. Chris G

    The best advice I received – after a drawn out, painful and emotional experience – was “feed the baby”. Nothing else matters.

    If it’s clear that the breastfeeding isn’t working, then switch to a bottle.

    We went through a traumatic experience with our son – breastfeeding seemed so easy at first, but then he had jaundice and it was clear he needed more milk and wasn’t getting enough, but top up feeds and stress impacted how much milk my wife produced, then she got mastitis, the hospital was crap, it got worse, no milk would come out at all etc. It was hell and we had to switch to the bottle. Similarly with our daughter, all was great but the baby’s technique meant my wife’s nipples were sore to the point of dropping off and the poor baby was feeding on blood sometimes. This time we knew to switch. OK, that had issues with her getting reflux, but at least she fed.

    So my advice, having a baby is tough, go easy on yourself and don’t put you, your partner or baby under unreasonable pressure to live up to the standards set by people that haven’t had it so tough. If switching to a bottle makes the baby happy and healthy and then means you/your family are happy and healthy too then that’s all you need.

  5. hannyle

    What “dads” think about breastfeeding or your personal experience with breastfeeding?
    Generalization : a basic principle that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct.

  6. Paul

    Overall I enjoyed your article. My first wife struggled breast feeding our first two children and couldn’t not handle the intense pain after a couple of days, even trying creams and vegetables and with a lot of advice from the midwife and health visitor she gave up.

    My second partner (fiancee) overcame the pain and has breast fed our 4 children, including twins, without an issue and produced so much milk we tried to find someone to take it off our hands.

    The male in me struggled with the advice ‘breast is best’ and the pain they both went through. I tried to help but felt as useful as I did during labour. Once the mother had decided on what she wanted that was all I could do to support her.

    There are some things men should just keep out of and the breast feeding debate is one of them.

  7. Nick Heath

    My personal feelings are that breast IS best. Its portable, its free, its doesn tinvolve sterilizing a dozen bottles every day etc etc etc but all of this we know. I think as Dads, ALL we need to focus on what is best for baby, and best for mum. Breastfeeding is something we can never, as you rightly said, fully understand or empathize with. So what do we do? Listen and support. Period. Our first daughter Maeve was in ICU for her first 12 days so she got donor milk but then never latched. Our 2nd, Rosa never latched, we were given NO support in the hospital and post natally either. My wife chose to express using a double pump. This she did, every 3 hours, for 6 months. So the very best I could do as a Dad and a husband is SUPPORT.
    As men I think we just need to be careful how we word things – if we want to avoid confrontation – or, if we want to invite confrontation, and be less apologetic about how we speak, just be ready with positive, constructive answers.

  8. Katya

    I wholeheartedly agree with a more balanced approach to breastfeeding and for parents to take stock and think carefully about whether it truly is the best decision in their circumstances.

    However, I find the tone of this article quite disturbing, particularly the manner in which you write about you making the decision to introduce formula without your partner, even going so far as to buy it and feed your child, apparently without her consent. As a parent, of course you should be able to participate in the decision-making around feeding, but so does your partner, and to over-ride her in such a way is worrying.

    Consider this statement “I could have very easily ducked my responsibility in this and let my partner make the decisions about how to proceed with breastfeeding.” Here you seem to glorify your decisive action, which could be seen as bullying or worse. This is a very dangerous precedent. What other decisions will you make completely autonomously because you consider her incapable? It appears likely that your partner is not upset by the outcome, since you have publicly written about it here, but you have a responsibility in writing about this in a public sphere to think about how others will receive such stories which encourage a man to over-ride his partner completely ‘for her welfare’.

    • Lordlala

      I just made a similar point (before I read your comment) but far less eloquently than you! I was uncomfortable with this article too!

  9. Sean

    You need to work on your biology bro, men CAN lactate. It’s not easy, but it is POSSIBLE.

    You also need to work on respecting your partner.

  10. Gav

    Breast feeding is normally the best option however I have to agree on the side of our dear blogger in that a line has to be drawn when the benefits of Breast are to the detriment of too many other important factors of family life that could potentially have a bigger impact on baby short and long term. Modern society has changed, mum and dad generally both work so the burden and choices to be made should be shared as seen in Scandinavia . The notion of mum knows best and Dad can only voice his opinion if asked should be retired to times gone by but unfortunately the cultural norm is not that seen in Scandinavia with terms such as “hands on dad” if a father is seen changing a nappy in public.

  11. Lordlala

    I don’t like “it’s my job to look after my wife so I made the decision.” I hope it was consensual and not another case of “man knows best”.

    Your wife went through a lot and you’ve expressed yourself well. But the title would be better if it was “What this dad thinks…”. You can’t really speak for all men any more than I can!

  12. Laura

    My husband and I both felt it was important to aim to breastfeed if we could. Our baby had a tongue tie which we were told was mild but after a month of really struggling we paid outside the NHS to have it corrected. The tongue tie practitioner said it was definitely on the more severe end and within 48 hours of correction our daughter was feeding well and I was a lot less sore. It was a tough month and I think it led to my daughter and I both finding breastfeeding stressful rather than peaceful and relaxing. At 8 months, as soon as she could eat enough to sustain herself, she fully rejected all breast milk. I was relieved. Throughout this my husband was unbelievably supportive. He looked online for different breastfeeding positions to show me. He took me to the local midwives and breastfeeding support groups and listened intently to advice. He also said he’d support a decision to bottle feed if that proved necessary – and made it clear he would think this was a failure of mother nature this time round, not my failing as a mother. He had an opinion because it is his child too – and I am his partner – our health (physical and mental) is important to him. Jamie Oliver was a bit silly for saying it is “easy”, he should have said that they were lucky enough to find it easy – which is probably what he meant really.

    P.S. I love your website. I am tired of a purely female perspective on parental issues, and also sick of the attitude that men are uninvolved and inferior parents. My husband is a wonderful person so it came as no surprise that he’s a wonderful father – his gender has nothing to do with it.

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