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NCT : Session 6 – Breast Feeding

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By Al Ferguson

Al Ferguson is the CEO and founder of The Dadsnet.

Published on 30/06/2014

Am I breast or bum kind of man? Well, fortunately for me I have the best of both worlds with my stunningly gorgeous wife. A better looking arse than J-Lo and an incredible rack. (Especially since being pregnant! Woohoo! Honk!) 

Oh, hang on, sorry! Got confused again. Not breast or bum; breast or bottle! That’s right. This session was all about breast feeding. And what a session! We had a 60 year old women caressing a fake boob and everything. Ok, so it was quite hard going from that point of view but they did cover some valuable things. Who knew that there was so much to breast feeding. We started off by talking about the benefits of breastfeeding – to which there are many. Obviously, breast milk is purpose built and therefore contains everything that your baby needs and in the perfect amounts. It has all the fats, proteins, vitamins, sugar and all that jazz ready to be sucked up: literally. Formula milk generally comes from cows and then adapted as best it can to replicate breast milk. But that’s exactly the issue; “the best it can.” In reality, it can’t fully replicate breast milk and so isn’t as good which is the reason that the law of this country says that no-one can advertise formula milk. Breast milk contains all kinds of goodies that help your baby’s immune system develop as well as help your baby’s general development. 

When a baby is born their stomach is the size of a small marble and can hold no more than 5ml of food. That means little and often comes to mind when feeding. You have very little choice with this as your baby can’t physically take in that much food. You start off by producing colostrum which is darker and less runny than normal breast milk. It’s what a baby needs in the first instance and is probably already slowly leaking out your breast. (Mums that is!) I also learnt that if you have gestational diabetes or your baby doesn’t feed at first you can hand express the colostrum into a 1ml syringe. This demo was rather amusing but being in an NCT group I felt I had to hold back the immature giggles. 

We then broke off into smaller groups and discussed what we already knew about breast feeding, the potential difficulties and where to find help. With regards to the difficulties, if you’re an expecting dad, you may be surprised to know that it’s quite the minefield: 

#1 Latching on – it’s not just a matter of aiming the babies mouth at the nipple and away he goes. The baby needs to take in a huge amount of breast and have the nipple near the back of the mouth in order for it to reduce pain and allow the baby to have maximum suck. 

#2 Positioning your baby – there are various ways to position your baby when feeding, but it’s worth looking up some of the easiest techniques. make sure you’re in a comfy position because you want your baby to have a good feed. 

#3 It’s normal for a baby to fall asleep on the breast

#4 Mastitus isn’t that common but can be painful and give you flu like symptoms. 

#5 How do you know your baby has had enough? – There are a few signs that indicate whether your baby has had a good feed: weight gain, contentment and regular excretion. She handed out a lovely sheet which I can only assume is the prerequisite to the Bristol Stool Chart. Apparently, green and yellow poo is good. Which means, I’m doing alright! 

Here’s a link if you require any further information on stool samples. (I bet so many of you click on this!)

#6 Breast feeding in public – What’s the big fuss? If a baby needs feeding, it needs feeding! What are mums supposed to do? Stay inside for the full recommended 6 months of breast feeding? Someone once said that it’s actually women who don’t like mums breast feeding in public because they don’t like their partners seeing another women’s boob! Maybe those women should start looking at their partners browser history if they’re that concerned! 

#7 How can a dad be involved with feeding? Well, it is tricky. There is no physiological way that a dad can breast feed. But not all is lost; we have express pumps. Electric or hand which both express milk/colostrum from the breast. Once expressed you can leave in the fridge for a few hours or freeze it for longer. That way daddy can give breast milk but from a bottle. There are few considerations about whether you want your baby to have a bottle because the sucking technique is slightly different from that of the nipple. 

This is a good place to draw this post to an end. It is important that dads get as involved as possible with breast feeding. You can use expressed milk in a bottle or it might just be a simple task of sitting with your partner and baby whilst feeding. The bonding that can occur is really important, so try not to miss out on it. Your partner will also need support and encouragement. My suggestion is using some generic “you can do it” slogans. Here’s a few for you to bank: 

“If you dream it, you can do it.” (Walter Disney said this!) 
“Go for it darling.”
“You’re the best.” 
“You can do it if you B&Q it.” 
“If in doubt, kick it out.” 

(There is a serious point in there somewhere). 

And lastly, there’s one question left to ask, well, 2 actually… 

1) Are you gonna try breast milk for yourself? 
2) Will you try it from a bottle or ‘direct?’ 

Leave a comment and let me know…

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  1. Anuj

    Oh yeah… Boobs…..Jokes apart. First of all thank you so much for writing this blog. I am going to be a Dad soon and your blog has come at the perfect time.
    Well long story short I have gone through so many things that you have with my partner that when i read your blog i felt connected, because for a moment i felt, hey i am not the only one who loves his wife and is going to be a Dad.
    Oh and coming to you above question…

    Direct …!!!

    • Al Ferguson

      Congratulations! As I’m sure you’re aware, you’re about to embark on the greatest and most challenging journey ever! Thanks for your feedback too.

      Have you signed up to our mailing list?

      Also, we have a private group, just for dads, on FB. Here’s the link:

      Thanks again

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