Breastfeeding…Yes, you heard right… Breastfeeding! And no, I don’t have boobs full of milk! I am wanting to express (pardon the pun!) how I felt as a dad within a breastfeeding household.
Let me take you right to the start…
Before we had children, I can honestly say, I didn’t know or mind how my offspring were going to be fed. Breastfeeding didn’t even register on my radar. All I knew was bottle feeding and that was cool with me – that’s until Stacey fell pregnant with Eleni.
Breastfeeding was the only option for Stacey, and I mean literally the only one. I was always saying to her that I could get some spare milk in the cupboard just in case she struggled or couldn’t, because I knew that that does happen to mums. The answer was always ‘no’. I did at times find that hard, because I didn’t want my little baby to not have anything in reserve just in case. Don’t get me wrong, I always had faith in Stacey and trusted her judgment, but I just wanted a backup plan. I think everyone in our parenting group thought we were bonkers not to have one!
Along came the birth, and we fully became that breastfeeding household. It wasn’t plain sailing though! Eleni’s suction was as powerful as a water pump, and the first few weeks were really difficult. Stacey’s nipples literally had to re-grow (they were that sore). There were definitely some difficult nights, and Stacey really struggled. It was made even worse by the fact that she couldn’t express much either, but her determination to give our daughter the best paid off and after 3 weeks it eventually got easier.
My admiration for Stacey was through the roof, but I also had this feeling of uselessness running through me. I wanted to feed my daughter and wanted to be the one to watch her feed to sleep. I was bonding in every way possible but felt quite excluded from the feeding, and let’s face it, newborns feed constantly! Whenever she woke up I wanted to be the one to settle her down and give Stacey a rest. but I couldn’t… As minor as that sounds it really did eat away at me. Stacey and I have always been talkers though, and she could see that I was struggling. After a very therapeutic conversation, we decided that after every feed Stacey would hand her over so I could wind her – that way we would both be involved in the process. Peace was once again restored :)
Then our little Noah came along at the beginning of this year… and this time round Stacey was able to express so I could feed him. I was able to say ‘let me do the night shift’, or ‘go for a nap’. Having said that, Stacey forgot to wake up to express in the night and woke up the next morning with boobs ready to explode :) !!
For me as, a dad, being able to feed Noah was amazing. I was finally able to give him the sustenance he needed – there really is nothing more satisfying than seeing your children eating and enjoying it!
I have to give credit to Stacey, her persistence and determination through the dark and painful nights (with both children) right at the start, her breastfeeding journey has really paid off. Her ‘Gold Top’ works a treat though, and our little chunky boy is proof that it’s working wonders!
Written by Mat Kelly
I just LOVED this post, I found it so honest and endearing! Thank you to Mat Kelly for giving us the inside view of a dad’s experience with regards to Breastfeeding!
Aw it’s lovely to hear a Dad’s perspective on this – my husband was very supportive either way but he had to step in with our first when my milk still hadn’t come in by the end of day 4. He had to insist that we gave some formula as my boy was so hungry with just colostrum still. The relief as overwhelming for me. Stacey sounds amazing for persevering because it is so so hard! #bigpinklink
Isn’t this the greatest post! We tend to forget sometimes that our husbands yearn for that one on one time too!
Very nice post! Full of admiration, but also honesty about wanting to be a part of it all.
Isn’t it just !!
What a lovely post. It really helps me see things through my own hubby’s eyes, (although we’re long past the bf-ing days now!), and understand how he must have felt. it’s great to get a Dad’s view to things. Thanks for linking up with us! #bigpinklink
Us moms often get so wrapped up in motherhood that we tend to forget about dads feelings. Loved having a fathers perspective, it opened my eyes as well! X
Your little people are so cute! It’s really nice to read a Daddy’s take on breastfeeding. I know your thoughts and feelings will be shared by my husband! My hubby has been able to settle our baby boy a bit more recently, which is great :) I need to express again to get him more involved too x