My friend Jerry agreed to answer some questions on breastfeeding from a husband/dad's perspective. Jerry and I grew up together and now he's a stay-at-home-dad of 2 little girls. He shares about that journey at House Dad.
TLB: How did breastfeeding come up?
House Dad: I’m not to sure how breastfeeding first came up. I just asked my wife and she said, “You had nothing to do with it… It wasn’t your decision.”
Even though she is correct I never had objections to it. Not sure if my objections would have been any good anyways. I remember her reading up on it and how I heard the benefits from our doctors and other people. It’s also something that both of us were use to from our family members. So it was kind of like an unconscious victim, applied consent.
TLB: What was your initial reaction?
House Dad: There was never any reaction. It’s such an obvious choice. If my wife was going to go run an errand and she told me she was going to put her seat belt on in the car, my reaction would be, “You are telling me this why?” So there was never a moment where she stated, “I’m going to breastfeed!”
TLB: Did it seem strange or normal?
House Dad: To not breastfeed is like going to the grocery store to buy oranges when you have an orange tree in your backyard. It was definitely normal. It really seems like the idea of not breastfeeding is strange. If your body is producing the nutrients for your child, why would you not use what your body is giving?
TLB: Did you have any concerns?
House Dad: None. That is till the day Pence was born and she couldn’t latch. Eventually the doctor hooked us up with a system to train Pence and the boobs. For the first week or two we used formula with a CT tube while trying to breastfeed. So while Pence was trying to latch and Sarah was waiting for the “let down”, our child was getting formula from the small tube. Eventually everyone got the memo and were on the same page.
TLB: What do you like about breastfeeding?
House Dad: It’s bonding and a process that is so organic you can’t help but respect it.
TLB: What don't you like about breastfeeding?
House Dad: This one may get me in trouble. I think there is a certain class required for a woman to do this appropriately in public. Some people find it offensive, like some people find cussing offensive. I find neither of them offensive. When I am out in public around people I don’t know I choose my words out of respect for my surroundings. I believe breastfeeding should be the same. Not that it shouldn’t be done, but that it should be discreet. An example of what I mean is the “Life and Times of Tim” video I posted on the Leaky B@@b’s Facebook page. That is indiscreet.
Also there is an age cut off. There is a point and not sure if it’s an age, or how the child acts, when it needs to be stopped. Obviously an 8 year old is too old (You Tube it.)
TLB: Were you jealous?
House Dad: What kind of question is this? Like literally that I wasn’t able to feed from my man boobs? (Note to readers, I don’t have man boobs.) Definitely not. There were times when I’d look over and it’s that precious moment of my wife shaping one of the girls heads while feeding… and then suddenly milk comes spitting out the side of my daughter’s mouth down my wife’s torso and rest in her lap. Overall it seems like way too much work for me.
TLB: Were you able to bond with the baby?
House Dad: Obviously not as much. A husband can’t bond as much if the wife is breastfeeding. There is a connection between a woman and her child. However, I was able to feed her what Sarah would pump. It’s definitely peaceful because since they can’t really talk it’s your bonding time, and since there mouth is stuffed with rubber nipple you don’t hear any screaming. Which results in me loving my child more.
TLB: How did you support your wife breastfeeding?
House Dad: No objections. Refer to the first question. I think the best support I could do was with our first daughter when there was trouble feeding. I set up the formula tube operation each time since dealing with a baby, tube, tape and bottle was a little too much to handle all at once.
TLB: How did breastfeeding effect your sex life?
House Dad: Now instead of planning our rumpus around TV shows we had the new obstacle of over loaded leakiness.
TLB: Did breastfeeding ruin your wife's breasts?
House Dad: My wife says “yes.” That’s all I have to say about that.