Breastfeeding

Willy and I argued a lot about breastfeeding when Hooper was an infant. He fed my fears that Hooper wasn’t getting enough and instead of patting me on the back for the commitment I made, he often aired on the side of ease and suggested formula. It hurt my feelings and made me feel that despite all of the time and energy I was putting toward breastfeeding, my efforts alone were not enough. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want the best for our child.
With Van, weight is not an issue. He’s perfectly plump. But still, the dreaded formula was brought up again. And it wasn’t until then that I started to look at breastfeeding from a husband’s perspective. As soon as I put myself in his shoes, I wanted to tell my milk ducts to put the show on hold. Close the curtain. Offer refunds. I wanted to quit. And here’s why: breastfeeding sucks for fathers of breastfeeding mothers. Here’s what brought me to this conclusion:
-We’re out to eat. Van starts screaming. Willy picks him up. Willy bounces him around. Willy takes him outside. Last resort: Willy gives him to me, I put him on the breast, and Van’s quiet. Mom one, Papa zero. Ah, the humbling feeling of defeat.
-Bottle training. With both of our boys, I delegated the task of getting them to take a bottle to those who would be giving them a bottle. Have you tried giving a baby who is not familiar with drinking a bottle a bottle? It sucks. Willy’s said it’s one of the most frustrating things he’s ever had to do. As a front row cheerleading witness, I agree. It sucked.
-Want to get away from the kids? How about a romantic date night? Sure would be nice to tell the babysitter how to warm up a nice bottle of formula. Instead, Willy has to put up with my neurotic behavior and forgo extended periods of alone time away from our little members because I’m a lunatic about missing a feeding and/or pump session. I’m always worried my supply is going to diminish.
-Going back to work as a breastfeeding mom is not fun. The workplace, in general, is not breastfeeding friendly. So this time, I’ve gone back part time until I’m done breastfeeding. In this sense, breastfeeding means less money coming in. Oh gosh, I suddenly got that worrisome feeling that I’m taking all the thoughts out of my husband’s head and compiling them in one neat little post for him to in turn throw in my face. So, for the record, breastfeeding alone is not the reason I decided to go back part time.
-Good thing my husband’s not a “boob guy”, cuz there is no way I’m letting him honk these honkers. They may be larger than ever, but they not made to fondle. Watching as your wife squirts milk from her nipple and finds it funny isn’t exactly a turn on either. I guess I have myself to blame for that one, but I can’t help myself from a good squirt.
-Returning from the grocery store and throwing some frozen peas into the freezer isn’t as easy as it used to be. Our freezer is filled to the absolute max with breast milk. You can’t even open the damn door without one of those little mommy’s milk bags falling on the floor. If it’s annoying for  me, I imagine it’s like nails on a chalkboard for Willy. All the extra milk led to be becoming a milk donor, which you can read about here.
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18 Responses

  • It’s so funny you should post this. I absolutely love that I’m able to breastfeed my son… HOWEVER it has definitely been a challenge in so many ways. I had to stop pumping entirely bc I had an oversupply that was causing us both problems. Now that he’s older and I want to leave him occasionally it would be nice to have a bottle! I can’t even leave him to go to the store by myself when my husband comes home from work. It makes it a little complicated to do anything and I spend a lot of time nursing him wherever we go. Then there is the issue that I’ve had to cut out dairy, eggs, and beef from my diet which would honestly be ok if my husband would stop eating cheese in front of me. Ahh, cheese! 😉 Lastly, we’re newly married (unconventional, much, I know).. as in two weeks. You know all the challenges that comes with trying to have a modicum of an intimate life while breastfeeding. And the hormones. Oy.

    • It’s so hard when you have to change your diet… I can’t imagine the added complication! I am quite envious of your oversupply, though I know that comes with it’s own hassles!

  • Strangely enough, breastfeeding doesn’t seem to affect Colt in the slightest. Me, on the other hand, I get exhausted by being the only one who can calm Lane down or put him to bed (yes he nurses down). The only issue we’ve had is the moment when Lane get’s passed back to me to feed with the “he’s hungry” defeat from Colt, I start rolling my eyes thinking, “no way- i just fed him”. but breast is best I guess. nutrition and constant calmer….

    • Oh yes, I get the “he’s hungry” thing often and it almost always comes right after I fed him… Then again, it always feels like I JUST fed him.

  • What a great honest post. I actually bottle feed due to a medical condition, and I’ve always been a bit sad that I couldn’t breastfeed. Bottle feeding is definitely convenient though, and my husband loves being able to help out. I guess there are always pros and cons with anything!

    By the way, I included your blog in my “Blogs I’m loving lately” post today. :)

    Happy Friday!

    • Aw, thanks for the blog shout out. So sweet!

      Not everyone can breastfeed and I try to remind myself that I’m lucky I’m able to. I donate, as well, to a local mom who also has a medical issue that doesn’t allow her to breastfeed so I know (secondhand) how difficult that can be. We can only do what we can do. Pros and cons with anything, fo sho.

  • this post is great! you make some good points!

    i seriously laughed out loud about not letting your husband touch your boobs. yea, totally off limits. that went on forever for me…my son has been weaned for like a year and i just feel differently about my boobs even now. it’s not as big of a deal now but still not the same!

    i had a similar experience with my husband when i was so committed to breastfeeding. i remember nights of just crying and being miserable and mean because i was so tired and our son was still hungry. then my husband would suggest formula and it made me even more furious. all i wanted too was just a high-five and some comfort. i don’t think he really got that. i felt like he never really got the commitment part, he just thought, if a quick-fix is formula, then why not? i finally got my high-five after getting past the 12-month point though (with formula supplementing)…it took some time but was appreciated when it happened! and now he talks about how awesome it is that our son got breast milk for a good part of his life.

    • Oh yes, I too get mean when I’m tired and exhausted. And I too get furious about the formula suggestion… and I too am looking for a high five more than anything. So, I’m throwing you a high five from afar.

  • It’s good you can see it from his perspective. I really don’t think I could stick with breastfeeding like you have. It’s quite a commitment and I gotta hand it to you. You never used to be a patient one, but you are now. You really should have your ta-tas party when you’re done.

  • Thank you. I needed a reminder that, as jealous as I am that the husband gets to just pass baby off to me when she’s too fussy, it probably doesn’t feel too great for him.

  • I commend you for not giving up. I was urged with both my daughters to supplement with formula as I was not and am not producing enough milk and both lost allot of weight in the first few weeks. Frankie is only 7 weeks old and I am still breast feeding 8-10 times a day,but she still gets the bulk of her feed(3-4 oz) from the bottle. My husband is on the fence with regards to breast feeding and just wants to ensure his girls are not starving. He unfortunately is a breast man, but will not come in spitting distance of them whilst they are full of mik!

    • Ya, I know my supply isn’t the best. I still feed Van about 10x/day! It’s exhausting. A full time job, on it’s own, really. Congrats on your second!

  • Such a good post! With me, my husband more just always deflected the baby to me because I was nursing and the boob always shut up the baby. At times, that left me wanting to throw something at him when he suggested I nurse a crying baby that I had just finished feeding 10 minutes prior. On the flip side, when I was night weaning, I made the hubby get up and be with my daughter when she would cry. That made him get way less sleep. And, I remember those days of not being able to be gone from baby for an extended period of time…engorged boobs never feel good and leaking all over yourself while out for a date just isn’t cool (I speak from experience on that one).

    • Leaking, from anywhere and at anytime -in general- is never a good thing. And yes, being unable to have extended periods to do as you wish is so difficult…

  • to put this in perspective, me telling you to give formula and your reaction is the same as you telling me to not spend 10 minutes on the toilet playing phone games and me not understanding why you don’t do as I do

  • i don’t know if i have ever read a post that addressed the father and the breastfeeding thing, YES!! with tova especially we have had a lot of moments of frustration, poor ev!! he just feels like shit because he can’t comfort her! it was really hard for a LONG time because i couldn’t leave the house for more than an hour without her because she would possibly lose it! we didn’t have this with the boys as much as they took bottles! tova refuses.

    • Ya, no one else exisits in Van’s world if I’m in the room. That kid is glued to me. He will take a bottle in my absence, but that only happens when I work. Tova is quite the champion breastfeeder 😉

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