Posted by: Admin | June 18, 2011

The Week-End Post – For Fathers

Men often express mixed feelings about breastfeeding, as many feel it hinders their relationship with their baby. Strangely, nature made humans’ bodies in such a way that the mother needs to be physically with her baby in the beginning, while the father does not. Fathers usually have a little bit of trouble putting their relationship with their baby on the back burner until the baby grows up and turns his attention away from the breast, and towards the rest of the world around him. A pregnant couple waiting for their baby’s birth understand they are equally important in their child’s life, but they are rarely ready for the fact that babies do not need their parents in the same way. In the beginning, a baby does little more than breastfeed and sleep. The father’s role is mainly that of a “protector” and “provider”. He needs to be fully supportive of his wife and to give her attention and affection. A mother needs a lot of love to give herself so completely and selflessly to her child! The father can take over the household tasks and the other children’s care for awhile.

Many of us think that taking on the role of nurturer means “feeding food” to bond with the baby, but nurturing is mainly the amount of care, touch and contact that can develop a bond. A father can change the diapers, give the bath, dress the baby, and comfort the baby. But first, it takes some reflection for the man to understand what is needed from him and a lot of patience and maturity for him to fully grasp that he will have to wait a little while before taking his complete place near his child.

On this special Father’s Day, I find it important to let some fathers tell us in their own words a little bit about how they feel towards being the father of a breastfed baby.

First, let’s read what Patrick has to say about his new role as the father of a breastfed baby:

I love the fact that our baby is being breastfed. She seems so happy and calm at her mother’s breast that I feel she is getting a good secure start in life. And I participate in this by trying to help out her mom, bringing her drinks, her iPad and the telephone, and wrapping her knee in ice (she has a sore knee, & is in physio a couple of times a week). So I feel somewhat useful.

The challenging parts are that I can’t do much to help our baby when she is hungry. Normally her mother is here anyway, so i just pass the baby off to her. On the odd occasion when her mother isn’t immediately available (such as when she is in physio), I’m left with the frustrating job of trying to calm the baby down until her mother’s return. This hasn’t happened much, as her mother usually has our baby with her or arranges to be away when the baby is sleeping, but it has happened a bit, and it’s pretty challenging trying to get a hungry baby to calm down. Usually I just walk around with her a lot, rocking her until she calms a bit…. I’ve been able to feed her expressed milk on some occasions, too, which I’ve enjoyed – it’s nice being able to provide a bit of the food, and Anne seemed quite pleasantly surprised to learn that her father could also give her milk, under some circumstances. Of course, she has no idea what those circumstances are. 

So the best part of our baby being breast fed is that I get to see her being happy and comfortable at her mom’s breast. The frustrating part is that I can’t really provide any of that myself, except on the rare occasions when we give her expressed milk.” 

Now, let me introduce you to my husband, Richard. I always thought my father was the best father in the world…but that was until I saw Richard being a father to our daughter! Here is what he had to say about his experience as a breastfed baby’s father:

It was always a given for me that my wife, whoever she would be,  would breastfeed our children.  Fate had me fall in love with a lactation consultant !   : -))))

When our daughter was born through an unexpected C-section, I was amazed to see  how determined my wife was to have our child in her arms as soon as the numbness dissipated and put her to the breast.  When our daughter did take the breast surprisingly  quickly once back from the operating room, I was relieved.  I knew everything was right again.  I especially remember how much more I loved my wife at that very moment !

As I sat there the first few days watching my wife relentlessly teaching our daughter how to take the breast correctly, I thought how lucky our daughter was.  A great closeness developed between mother and daughter during the following four breastfeeding years. 

Was I involved in the breasfeeding process ? Completely ! My part was to make sure they both had what they needed most : words of encouragement and knowing that I wholeheartedly believed in my wife’s motherly instincts.  That also meant that wherever we were, I was proud to see my wife breastfeed.

I have seen first hand all that happens around breastfeeding: feeding, a great sense of security, consistency, stimulation and language development. My wife always made me part of these moments. Most of the time, I was in awe, but sometimes, I must admit, I did doze off.”

Happy Father’s Day to all!!! This is one day when no one will say anything if you doze off… lol

Here is a cute video for Father’s Day:

And on a more serious note, listen to this song Keith Urban wrote about his father:

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