Breastfeeding from a blokes perspective

I was asked recently to do a post for Medela about breastfeeding (not lying, promise... here is the link ) and I thought why not share the love and post it on my site too. Enjoy...

I can do a lot as a stay at home dad but one thing I can’t do, no matter how hard I try, is breastfeed.

I’m in the pro-breastfeeding camp, but it wasn’t always like that and I hasten to add that I have nothing against bottle feeding. Before Max (my son) was born we really hadn’t decided how he was going to be fed and quite frankly I wasn’t that bothered. I was, and still am, in favour of a child getting the best care possible from their parents. If Nikki (my wife) wasn’t happy breastfeeding why should I force her to? Breastfeeding is scientifically more nutritious for the baby but there are other factors that need to be considered and it wasn’t until Max was born that Nikki really took to the idea of feeding him herself.

As Max was premature he was whisked away to special care and immediately formula fed without an option to breastfeed. This is something that has really stuck with me and it is amazing how often this happens. It was only after a breastfeeding support group member told us that we could still breastfeed Max that we raised it with the doctors. Over the next few days we were introduced to expressing and tube feeding Max with Nikki’s breastmilk. The NHS staff were amazing but one thing I have come to realise is that breastfeeding is not the norm in the UK. I actually find this sad having seen the journey Nikki has been through and the amazing connection she has had with Max that more people aren’t encouraged to find this.

If I could go back in time I wouldn’t change a lot but we would certainly have both benefitted from more knowledge around expressing and bottle use as breastfeeding parents. We never really cracked the bottle (with expressed milk) and there wasn’t that much support out there to help so Nikki would often feel trapped. It certainly wasn’t enough to make her stop feeding Max as at nearly 14 months they are still going strong with no immediate intention of stopping.

There are ups and downs with breastfeeding and I’ve experienced it all as the supportive side act. Breastfeeding can be frustrating, it can be hard but most of all it is very rewarding. I am shocked about the amount of pressure there is for women to stop feeding after a certain length of time and move onto formula or full-fat cows milk. It is so strange to me that society approves feeding a baby or toddler cows milk yet often frowns upon the natural solution.

So here I stand, writing a blog post about breastfeeding, 14 months on from not giving a damn how Max was fed. I couldn’t be a bigger advocate of the boob and this is all because of watching the most amazing journey from the passenger seat. Nikki and Max have taken me on a ride of pure joy that is truly magical. The only thing I am sad about now is how society didn’t want to tell me how amazing it was beforehand.

Why are we so ashamed of our bodies? Why can’t we promote the natural way to feed our babies? Why are we so afraid?

Power to the boob I say!


Simon WheeldonComment