A Father’s Take on Breastfeeding Perception Versus Reality

It’s breastfeeding carnival time again and in honor of Father’s Day we’ve got some fathers added into the mix of contributors (see the complete list at the bottom of this post). My own husband shares how he became such a passionate advocate for breastfeeding:

“With Father’s Day approaching, I pondered how breastfeeding has influenced my life, and I keep coming back to so many instances where the general perceptions diverge from reality. Here are a few of my favorites.

#1 F*rmula (word changed to protect innocent blogs from ads by the evil empire :) ): I was breastfed until 2 ½, and my younger brother until 5. I even remember my aunt tandem nursing my then 2-year-old brother with his same age cousin one time when my parents were away on a trip. I knew about La Leche League by the time I was 5. Despite all that great modeling, flash forward to the birth of our first daughter. My wife and I agreed that she would breastfeed, and I fully expected that this meant breastfeeding no more than a few months and then starting f*rmula until our baby could eat baby food from a jar. After all, that’s why it was called baby f*rmula and baby food.

Looking back, I cringe at the thought! How could I be so blind? The human race got along just fine for thousands of years without f*rmula or baby food jars, and so did our kids! I chalk up my mental lapse to years of brainwashing media created in typical Hollywood fashion by people who either don’t have kids or shouldn’t.

#2 Convenience: For some reason, I thought that having kids was all about digestive issues and being tethered to home like a ball and chain. I secretly dreaded the thought of giving up my independence. Woohoo, turns out that was just my friends who were f*rmula-feeding with all the required paraphernalia including shoulder-shaped towels for the constant spit-up, the 80 lb pack of supplies, and an unwillingness to leave home with kids in tow.

Breastfeeding = no indigestion, highly portable food supply, instant soothing, and no crying in public places. Our kids get to enjoy many of the same things we do thanks in no small part to breastfeeding.

#3 Outrage: I had no idea we lived in such a puritanical society. How is it possible that some people believe that a child should be denied nourishment and comfort just because they’re afraid God might frown on them catching a glimpse of a lactating mammary! For pete’s sake people, Jesus and all the prophets were nursed as kids. Get over it.

#4 Amazement: Breastfeeding and attachment parenting have formed such a strong bond for my wife, my daughters and myself. It never ceases to amaze me. Forging such a bond is one of the few truly human endeavors, and I’m so glad to have discovered it. Sharing this love makes me proud to be a father this Father’s Day.”

(He’s an excellent father, by the way! And an excellent husband for taking the time to contribute his thoughts on breastfeeding!)

Keep checking for more carnival contributions from the following bloggers as they are added throughout the day:

BreastfeedingMums: My Hubby, My Best Breastfeeding Buddy
Mama Knows Breast: My Husband, My Co-Author
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Proud to Be the Father of a Breastfed Baby
The Lactivist: The Importance of Seconds

And our guest bloggers:

Crunchy Domestic Goddess: My Hubby, the Lactivist
Down with the Kids: Mother’s Milk: A Dad’s Perspective
Hepatitis_epi: A Father’s Support
Nursing Your Kids: Partnership

Share This Post:
    • http://breastfeeding.blog.motherwear.com tanya@motherwearblog

      Oh, all dads should read this before their babies come!

      This is great, and your husband is awesome for writing it.


    • http://www.breastfeeding123.com Angela White, J.D., breastfeeding counselor

      Thanks Tanya! He will be so pleased you said so.

    • http://nursingyourkids.com kelli

      I’m totally stealing that line about Jesus! Seriously – puts new meaning to “WWJD?”

      I remember having sympathy for my F*rmula Friends when we would meet and they’d have to unpack loads of supplies. After my son left Newborn Status (aka Blowout Diapers), I even started just leaving the entire bag in the trunk of the car because I rarely needed the thing.

    • http://www.breastfeeding123.com Angela White, J.D., breastfeeding counselor

      I just gave away my diaper bag. I simply carry my purse with one diaper and a ziptop bag of wipes, and leave extras in the car too!

    • http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com amygeekgrl

      that’s awesome that he contributed his thoughts to your post. he sounds like a wonderful dad & husband. :)

      p.s. i’ll have to remember that trick about typing the word “f*rmula.” i had it spelled out on my blog a while back when discussing the N*stle boycott and all the ads on my blog were for f*rmula. arg.

    • http://breastfeedingmums.typepad.com Sinead@BreastFeedingMums

      What a great post, Angela! Your hubby sounds like a great guy.

    • http://hepatitis_epi.livejournal.com jessica

      i love the * in f*rmula. It makes it look like a swear word!

    • http://www.breastfeeding123.com Angela White, J.D., breastfeeding counselor

      Much easier to type f*rmula than “artificial baby milk”! I think he has the right idea!

    • http://www.downwiththekids.net Leisa

      So nice to read about a dad who feels breastfeeding has strengthened his bond with his child and the mother of his child. I get really tired of hearing about husbands not feeling “included” as a justification for f*ormula feeding!

    • Druid

      As a fellow breastfeeding advocate father, I have to say I completely and totally agree with everything the guy says.
      It’s absolutely ludicrous that in this day and age, anyone would hassle a mother and her child for partaking in this totally necesarry and completely natural activity, no matter WHERE or WHEN they decide to do it. Sometimes to the point of criminal prosecution.
      Retarded and uptight Americans need to GET OVER It.
      I notice that many times it’s dried up old hags causing a commotion. How many men see this as anything but natural? Zero to none. Most guys have nothing but respect and support for women who do this. At most we’re a little embarrassed when first exposed to it, like anything else new, curious and certainly female, but then we get over it and we grow comfortable with and even expectant of it.
      We daddies certainly do see and understand the benefits to natural parenthood. Breast feeding is the cornerstone of those traditions.
      The healing power and bonding influence of a loving and gentle pair of breasts provide a child with a healthy glow, and a happy disposition and shoud be touted and praised. Not shunned and scorned.
      Stop nursing before the kid goes off to college of course, but otherwise rock on, till the kid decides he’s done..
      Go granola girls!!!
      You have my, and many other men’s undying respect, admiration and support.
      Happy babies, happy mommies, and last but certainly not least, happy daddies.
      God bless you all

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