Thank you to our guest blogger, Anna Kuechler for this touching post…
Moms and babies usually get all the credit when it comes to breastfeeding. And any mom who has gotten up several times a night for months to feed her baby and/or pump knows that she deserves that credit. However, there is often a dad in the background giving moms the support they need to nurse their babies successfully. Here are some of the ways dads support their breastfeeding moms and babies:
- making a healthy snack to share and not getting upset when you eat it all
- setting up your pump when you are too exhausted to move
- running upstairs to get your nursing pillow for the umpteenth time (and then running back downstairs to retrieve it later)
- chatting up the ladies at work about which bottles are best when breastfeeding
- driving you to a BRC support group and lugging in the carseat
- bringing you a glass of water and another and another
- draping a nursing cover over you at the mall as you struggle with a crying baby while unhooking your bra
- sampling your breast milk so he can know if the pumped milk has gone bad
- bragging about your baby’s weight gain now that she has mastered latching
- making footstools magically appear when you are at a friend’s house
Then there is that day when you think you just cannot do it anymore and he simply holds your hand and tells you that you can and if you can’t that’s okay too.
Maybe it isn’t your own baby’s dad that gives you a boost when you need it. I remember one of the first times I brought our baby out to dinner. I was pretty nervous about nursing in public. As my baby’s hunger cries grew louder, I confidently grabbed the bottle I had packed, so proud of myself for being prepared. I quickly became flustered when I realized I had forgotten to pack a nipple for the bottle. My brother-in-law said, “relax, your baby needs to eat and so feed her.” So, in a crowded restaurant, I did just that and was never again hesitant to attend to my baby in public.
My own dad commended me for taking care of my baby and myself so well and marveled at the fact that all my little newborn needed to survive was her mom. He also said it must be really nice not to have to heat up bottles in the middle of the night. For my dad to be understanding of my choice to breastfeed and to be proud of it was really special.
So in honor of Father’s Day, maybe it is time to share some of the credit with dads. It’s with their support that we are able reach our breastfeeding goals.