Before we begin, a bit of a disclaimer; we don’t have boobs (well Chubba does but they are of the man variety) and this post will contain some bad language, we promise not to use the T word, well not that often anyway.
First things first, most blokes don’t judge their partner if she decides to breastfeed or not. In fact we always seem to be happy with the mum’s choice. We will let you in on a secret, they are your boobs and yours do with what you will. This being said I hope I am not hunted down by the breastfeeding contingency. Can I clarify this by saying, yes we understand the benefits of breast milk and we understand the bonding powers for a mum with bub, but we can’t be judgemental when we aint got no boobs and we are not able to do it ourselves.
A bloke’s role we reckon is to play the support crew. Especially in the first week to first month, when most mums give the boob shake a fair dinkum crack. Things don’t seem to go easily for mums (from our experience and discussion with other dads) during this initial period, nipples crack, boobs leak, mastitis can show its ugly head and times generally get tough. Feeds can take a couple of hours and can become really frequent and a frustrating and exhausting experience.
We need to encourage and support mums as much as we can. In many ways what we can’t do physically we have a chance to make up for emotionally. We need to encourage our partners to carry on and keep calm (only joking), well to carry on and let them know it’s nothing they are doing wrong and it’s normal.
We both like to get up and contribute in the small hours of the morning with nappy changes and gathering of supplies (a glass or water, cushion etc). I have heard that this does help, it gives our partners the feeling that they are not alone.
Blokes, please don’t just roll over and go back to sleep. Nothing infuriates a nursing mother more than the dulcet tones of a snoring elephant next to them while they feed your offspring.
Then there is the next big issue - is it ok to get your boobs out in public. We have no worries with this at all, even if you are not breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is an amazing part of the circle of life (cheesy huh) and this is something I have felt since I saw my wife breastfeed for the first time (even more cheesy).
However we have to say that it can still be difficult for us blokes to hold a conversation with a breastfeeding mother. The problem is not really knowing where to look. However, it’s something we all get used to eventually.
Does it affect us out in public, say at a restaurant, well not us here at Tacklenappy. We simply mind our own business, after all babies have to be fed and they are demanding little creatures.