Ada and I have a successful breastfeeding relationship (that…fingers crossed…will last until at least age 2). It was probably around 3 months when breastfeeding became more predictable and, as a result, awesome.
In the US, breastfeeding images, support, and articles focus on the mother and baby, and rightfully so — we ARE the main event. But for many of there is another player — a supportive husband, partner, etc — behind the scenes. There’s no way Ada and I would’ve made it through the BF’ing beginning, and still be at it, if it wasn’t for the role that Tom has played in the whole shebang. We are two lucky ladies.
Here’s how Tom supports our breastfeeding:
Nighttime — Those first few weeks/months of regularly breastfeeding throughout the night were a lot to handle. At that point, BF’ing took at least a 1/2 hour, so I’d feed Ada, and then Tom would hold her (often bounce her on the yoga ball) back to sleep, even though he was the one going into an office the next morning. He never saw it as my “job” to take care of Ada at night solely because I was the one with boobs.
Gung-ho-ness — As Ada has grown, I’ve become a breastfeeding information junkie. The immunoglobins, the bacteria, the fat content…oh my! Much of this information I’ve passed onto Tom, and he’s always interested to read it, making him more of a BF’ing advocate, too.
Total Comfort in Public — BF’ing in public has never, ever bothered my husband and he never expects Ada and me to cover up or go somewhere else (like the public restroom – yuck). And I know that if anyone ever questions my actions, my husband will be just as quick to cite state statute as I am.
Respect for the Rack — Tom has appreciation for the female form, specifically mine. However, he gets that breasts are not only for “more fun” purposes but nourishing our child, too. In fact, he refers to them as miracle workers for their ability to calm, satisfy, and comfort Ada. He understands that I dictate the “who, what, where, when, and why” of their existence.
His Own Bond With Ada — There’s no denying that breastfeeding creates a bond between mama and baby. Tom’s been really purposeful to carve out his own time with Ada. For instance, Tom gives Ada a bath every night, and I hear them giggling, shrieking, and splashing together in the bathroom. If I need to give Ada a bath because Tom’s gone for the evening, she’s totally not into it. It’s their thing, and she looks forward to it. They also have this patented goofiness whenever they’re together that is really special. Tom’s taken the time to create all of this with Ada.
I know not everyone is lucky enough to have such a great partner. In our situation, it really does take three of us to make breastfeeding work.