Thursday, August 5, 2010

Common Misconceptions

It's a common misconception that when you breastfeed Dad is left out. This is a far cry from reality. I've known Dads who feed babies breast milk with a bottle after Mom has established her milk supply. I've known Dads who get up when the baby wakes up at night to change the diaper and bring the baby over to Mom. And from my own personal story, my hubby is also one of those type of breastfeeding Dads.

In the hospital, HB and I had a heck of a time getting the latch on correct. We were fine shortly after he was born. I got him to latch on within the hour, but after they took him to get washed and checked, we had problems. It was so problematic that the baby nurse recommended that we get a lactation consultation. I tried latching him propped up in bed. I sat in a chair with a ton of pillows. Eventually we would get him to open his tiny mouth wide enough to get the nipple in for him to scream and get upset and have to start all over again.

Once we were released, I still had trouble. But there was Hubby by my side. He would chart when he ate, for how long he ate, if he pooped or peed. And of course he was my "lactation consultant." I still had trouble getting HB to latch on so Hubby would hold him and calm him down when HB got frustrated. He would help get him angled just so and then he would let me know when he thought that his mouth was wide enough. This went on for a couple of weeks.

He also would change the baby's diaper at night and help me rock HB to sleep. Thinking about it now, I got a whole lot less sleep and it was a lot harder to get HB to sleep than it is now. We got desperate about the whole sleep issue and eventually HB slept with us. This helped with the feedings at night. Before long I was able to nurse in bed and by that point Hubby had graciously taken the couch so that he could get enough sleep to go back to work.

The first time I nursed in public was at a restaurant. I heard that it was courteous to nurse in the bathroom or some other discreet location. Since we were at a table, I snuck off to the bathroom where I thought that they had a chair. I ended up nursing sitting on the floor. When I came back, Hubby asked why I didn't just nurse there. Yeah, Hubby is my lactavist. But don't get me wrong, he doesn't like it when I nurse at home with the blinds open. Like it really makes that much of a difference. I'm not naked in my house with the blinds open. But that's a man for you; they see something as being different than we women do.

So there you have it. Dads are nursing too.

Here are some posts covering other common breastfeeding misconceptions like a small breast size= no milk, you have to have a good diet, you'll never be able to be away from the baby, you can't take medications, adoptive moms can't breastfeed, you can't exercise, your milk will sour if you cry, etc. (All these are untrue although some medications can't be used but you should speak to your doctor first)

Also if you are considering breastfeeding and have concerns, call your local hospital or contact the international lactation consultant associations (there's a link under the for parents tab at the top of the blog). Ask to speak to a LC (lactation consultant) and they can help you with your questions. Don't be afraid to ask.


  1. I'm sorry yall had such a rough start. Dads are a big part of it though and I love how you showed that. My husband has been very pro BF from the start too, actually made a joke about it on our first date. He's always been a huge support and I know it would be a ton harder w/out him. I still laugh when I think about the first time we talked about NIP though... he was so against it at first. But by the time I was pg he'd completely changed his mind.

  2. I actually look at it as a learning curve. I realize that I'm not the only one which is why we have BSG. A number of new moms are so lost because we were formula fed babies. We have very little support or guide. Even my MIL who BFed my hubby said that I'm now in unchartered territory. I can't ask her about biting with teeth etc because she gave up BF after three months.

    I have sorta made it my mission to talk about BF publicly to people that I know. When women hide behind closed doors and don't let people see what they are doing, we lose the dialogue. When women don't say "Yeah, I BF." then we loose a resource. But if I go around saying that's what I do and actually show people, a mom-to-be or new mom can feel more comfortable to ask questions and for help. So that's why I do what I do. Experience helps. If BF was smooth sailing for me, I think I would have a heck of a time relating. I'm glad that it's been hard.


I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!