My decision to breastfeed seemed pretty natural to me. It just seemed like there were so many benefits to it and such a normal thing to do. Honestly, as I look back, I'm almost surprised at how natural it seemed to me since I didn't grow up witnessing it happening very often. (I was breastfed for about 4-6 weeks though.)
But, like all important decisions regarding our family, my husband and I talked about feeding options while I was pregnant. We agreed that planning to breastfeed was right for us and would benefit our daughter. I'm lucky to have such a supportive husband. It's unfortunate that not all father's are as supportive as he is.
You know how I know he didn't just agree for the sake of agreeing with me? He watched breastfeeding videos with me. He watched and was not immature about it. You have to admit that watching a video with exposed breasts leaves open an opportunity for sexualized remarks. Not that we sat there completely straight faced with a notepad or anything, but he was appropriate about it. When I signed us up for a breastfeeding class, he went – NO COMPLAINING.
Then, when Rissa and I struggled for a few days with latching, he never told me to forget it. He never suggested giving up. Formula was not the number one thought. He sought to find a way to help us get our breastfeeding relationship back on track. He did some searching and helped me call the pediatrician and lactation consultant. He even went along to the LC appointment.
I truly believe that Rissa and I were successful through all the beginning difficulties due to my husband's support. Certainly he was ready to support me with any decision I made – whether that was to breastfeed, pump and feed, or use formula – as long as it was the best for both mine and baby's sanity and health. Dad's often seem to want to find a way to “fix” problems, and in this instance, that's what I needed.
I also appreciate that he can separate between my breasts being functional and being sexual – they can be both at the appropriate times. He also is supportive of us breastfeeding in public. He doesn't insist I cover up. He will help shield me as I'm trying to get us situated if I ask.
Going a step further, when we struggled, it helped that my mother and father were also supportive in our continued effort to re-establish our breastfeeding relationship.
One of these days, I should have Brian write up some of his thoughts so you aren't just hearing them from me, don't you think?
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