Fathers the Guru?
Are you a self-proclaimed “guru” in this area and don’t know it? Which of these two groups are you, those who don't know much and don't react, or those who know little and over react? If you are in the latter you could be Mr. “Guru”. Well, I was one until I became Mr. Understanding, those who really know and react correctly. Sounds wired? It really isn’t.
Those who don't react aren't so bad, and that was me. We didn't think much about breastfeeding because it is in the woman's department, it was part of nature, and breast feeding was to me a natural thing for the women folks.
Then we become a little more knowledgeable, hearing from friends, watching documentaries and reading baby articles. This is when we become Mr. “Guru”. We learn about how good and beneficial breast milk is for the baby and we become gurus overnight. We start expecting our wife to breastfeed; the more our wife gave our baby the better.
I remembered how much I wanted my wife to breastfeed our first child and why not? It is reported to be good for the baby and it is every father's responsibility to want the best for their child. However, I have learnt the truth about breast milk and breastfeeding and that was when I graduated into Mr. Understanding. What truths? Read on.
Breastfeeding doesn’t come easily or naturally for all mothers and there are many possible reasons for that. My wife wasn't successful breastfeeding our first child. She also wasn't able to produce as much breast milk as we had hoped. She even went on the breast pump and that did not produce much result. She suffered constant engorgement. Our first child was also unwilling to feed from her nipples as the milk flow was slow. She tried many things suggested by professionals, other mothers, books, any source she could gather information from but failed.
In fact, the more failed attempts and coupled with my expectation on her to breastfeed our child, the more frustrated she became. We eventually decided to give up. We also found out that we were not alone; there were other mothers with the same problem.
Another possible thing about breastfeeding is that it tires the mother. We have a friend who was a new mother, besides having to adjust to the baby she was tired out from all the breastfeeds. Her husband was ever insistent that she continues breastfeeding. A Mr. “Guru” he was. Even when she wasn't producing a lot, he would insist that she kept trying and that stressed her and she felt bad about herself. She too went on the breast pump and that tired her even more. Remember this fathers, a tired, depressed and stressed mother isn't good for your baby.
Breastfeeding isn't the only factor to having a strong, healthy and intelligent baby. There are other factors. My wife and I have gone through nursing three beautiful babies of our own. Our second child was breastfed for about 3 full months while our first child was only on it for about a month. The truth is our second child even though being breastfed for a longer period and received a larger supply of breast milk, he was more prone to falling ill. So much for the breast milk theory, it doesn’t apply to all babies.
I’m not saying that breast milk isn’t good for your baby or to abstain from it totally. Here's the thing, each baby is different, and the strength of their immune system also differs. Whether your baby is breastfed there is no guarantee that your baby will be healthier. So fathers, become Mr. Understanding, that's the best place to be. Go easy on your wife if breastfeeding isn't successful and if she is tired, give her a break from it.