A dads guide to having a baby & breastfeeding

A place for anyone who is supporting a breastfeeding mother - partners, siblings, friends, in laws, parents, etc.

A dads guide to having a baby & breastfeeding

Postby Bandit » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:23 pm

After browsing through this forum i noticed the last post in this section was over a year ago. WOW us dads must be doing such a great job supporting our partners that we have nothing to talk about. Well incase thats not correct i thought some of you may be interested in an article i wrote recently about my experience with birth and breatfeeding. If nothing else sit down next to your partner and read it together. Us blokes tend to be a bit shy when it comes to BF


A dads guide to having a baby & Breastfeeding

So here I am, a 42 year old male with 6 kids and 5 3/4 grandkids. I love kids and I have always been fascinated with the ins and outs of Birth & Breastfeeding. I always wanted it to be a great experience, something that was enjoyable and not a journey to hell and back. I always thought there must be something I'm doing wrong. Wouldn't you think after all those children I would have got it sorted. Well I have, so worry not Fella's, I've cracked it. There aren't enough pieces of paper in the world to cover it all but here I have listed what I consider the biggies.

Us blokes speak a different language to woman, we tend to hear what's been said but we aren't really listening. You know it, I know it and I think woman know it. The latter I can't confirm as when I asked my partner this question I wasn't really listening, but I'm sure she would agree. So whether it's your first child or your 10th it doesn't really matter, until you learn the language you'll never get it. I feel I owe it to the male species to share what I have learnt and let you start experiencing how joyful having a new child can be every time, guaranteed . Not that I can give you your money back if you don't but hay I'll give it a good go. So let's get started.

Because blokes see things very differently, it's important to understand what the differences are. When I was 17 I thought I knew everything. I certainly knew how to make babies, that is something I didn't struggle to work out. But everything else associated with babies has been a bit of a blur, don't get me wrong I love my kids but it was only the last 2 that clinched the deal, lucky it did because I think 6 is probably enough.

I had a big gap between my first 4 kids and my last 2, 13 years to be exact. so when number 5 came along I thought this will be a piece of cake. I've had 4 right? Er, um, NO. I didn't have a clue, so much had changed since my first 4 that I was devastated. I felt anxious, became depressed and to be honest I struggled to cope. Mr smartie pants was falling apart. What was wrong with me? I think part of it was I watched problems come up and Mr fix it sprung into action but I wasn't fixing anything. Then it hit me so hard it blew my socks off, Literally I still can't find my socks . It wasn't that I was useless or doing anything wrong I just didn't know how to speak the language.

So let s get started.
Baby's growing happily in mum to be, your working you butt off to try and stockpile for the drop in income soon and everything seems rosy.

Pre Baby
Teach yourself how to cook. No, black sausages every night of the week from the barbecue does not count. Try your best to get home from work ASAP and help her prepare the meals. Pay attention guys with some basic pointers from her you can pull together enough to do the cooking when she returns home after having bub.

My tip: Don't cook your favourite meal she cooks for you and sit there and tell her how much better yours is.

Start doing a few more things around the house.
I liked to do such a bad job of the washing that I will never be asked to do it EVER again. but then I found that it was quite a relaxing thing to stand at the clothes line in the morning and peg out the washing. a bit like reading the paper on the loo.

My tip: you are doing 1 load of washing every now and then. Your partner does it day in and day out so keep those relaxing thoughts to yourself.

I was once told by a very knowledgeable woman.
That packing and unpacking the dishwasher was the new foreplay. I now take sole responsibility for all dishwasher duties, but I haven't noticed any change if you know what I mean....So i think this woman is sitting somewhere laughing about what she told me.

My tip: Don't wash the pattern of the plates guys I think this one may be a furphy

Post Baby (No guys, don't head to the post office)

Get yourself a birthing shirt
A birthing shirt is a loose fitting shirt that can be opened really easily & fast, not too thick and it needs to be really soft. This shirt is going to help you create a lifelong bond between your new baby and you. Like breastfeeding and the bond a mother has with her child this will give you the experience of a lifetime and trust me you will spend the rest of your life with a smile on your face once you do this. Every man about to go through a birth must get one of these NOW.

Instructions for use: Skin to skin contact is the most important thing a dad can do for their child. Immediately after birth if all goes to plan and baby is brought to mums chest you're going to have to wait your turn, but once mum is done or if the delivery is a caesarean then here is what to do . Make sure before the birth you make it clear to the staff at your preferred establishment (hospital not your local boozer) that you want as much skin to skin as possible. The moment all immediate medical things have been taken care of open your birthing shirt, get your baby and place that wonderful little being onto your chest. Baby should only have a nappy on so it's heart should be lined up with your heart. take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and that's it. I don't need to say any more on this. If you do it right then there is absolutely no words to describe this.

My tip: At the birth make sure you make your intentions known, speak up and don't be shy. You can't turn back time Most things can wait but this can't. I can still hold my little boy to my heart and he will settle almost immediately.

What in the world is Colostrum?
Who thinks up the names for this stuff. That sounds like some crazy thing that should be put in the cupboard and forgotten about. But straight after baby is born this is a word you will hear a lot. Normally in the same sentence as "my milk hasn't come in yet". So let me break it down for you, the baby is only getting colostrum. HUH, no milk. My baby will starve. NO, colostrum is like a super food. Your baby will survive perfectly on this until the milk comes in.

My tip: Don't panic and don't be Mr fix it. Trust your partner and support her in her decisions during this time, your support is critical and your baby is doing fine.

Every second you can, hold your baby
The mother will teach your child an incredible amount of stuff without even needing to talk to them. They somehow work out what baby wants and when. What's the problem with that? Well if us guys don't step in here we would have a superior race of little kids. Our job is to pick them up make stupid sounds, pull the most ridicules faces and overall suck large amounts of intelligence out of them. I call this dumbing them down. Without us society would be unbalanced.

My tip: let yourself go and enjoy yourself, the intelligence you remove over an hour will be returned in 5 minutes when baby is returned to mum.

Feed the feeder
When mum comes home with bub all she will do is feed. Yes ALL she will do is feed. Breastfeeding is something that gets really really easy as time passes. But at the start it can be really really hard. I remember leaving for work at 7 one morning, getting home at 6 and my partner was still sitting exactly where she was when I left. Had she got up? had she eaten? Loo break????? The answer of course was yes. But I always used to make sure that before I left for work she had a few bottles of water next to her, a phone, something in the fridge that was really quick for her to get and easy to eat with one hand and a baby on her boob.

My tip: Your partner will start eating a lot more than normal and needs LARGE amounts of water. This is normal so make sure you have heaps of fresh healthy food in the house. Don't ask her if she wants a glass of water just go and get her one.

Super Mum
When you get home from work and your partner jumps out of the seat with super human powers, hands you baby and starts doing the washing, cleaning and wants to spring clean the house DON'T PANIC she is just balancing out the intelligence issue I raised earlier. Sure remind her that she doesn't need to be super mum (but tell her you think she is) They need some time to do other things. Don't stop her if she feels she needs to do it but always offer to do it for her.

My tip: Help her if she wants you to or just enjoy this time you have with bub.

Important Words.

Colostrum.
Male: WHAT! Are we going to starve baby for a few days
Female: I am giving our child a super food until my milk comes in.

Letdown.
Male: No this is not her description of you.
Massage her shoulders when she starts feeding it will help with her letdown, Yes guys this does work. I initially thought this was another form of the dishwasher statement I mentioned earlier but it's not

I don't have enough milk, our baby is underweight
Male: Come on Mr fix it, spring into action....... STOP read the next line first
Female: I'm sure I learnt it's all about supply and demand. If I don't have enough milk I will feed baby more often to build up my supply

Tired.

Male: well get some sleep when baby sleeps, what's the problem?
Female: I have not slept more than 1 hour straight in the last 48 hours

You know your partners personality, keep an eye out for any sudden changes
Male: DO NOT IGNORE THIS STATEMENT, your partner may be getting exhausted or struggling in some way. They need your support 200% during the early daze. DO NOT try to fix all her problems. Listen to her, support her. Run a bath for her. But always make sure you listen to her, remember guys, we fix they talk. So turn your listening ears on. I SAID TURN YOUR LISENTING EAR ON.

Now you have a child get in touch with your gentle side. Tell your partner you love them EVERY DAY. Cuddle them EVERY DAY. kiss them good night EVERY NIGHT and always let them know what a wonderful job they are doing.

Having children is a precious gift. Cherish every second you have with them. Go to the park with them, talk to them and love them so much that it oozes out of you.
Prepare yourself as much as you can, participate in a Breastfeeding education class in your local area. Breastfeeding is a dad thing too.

My final comment to make US guys feel important is:
Research shows that a male partner’s attitudes towards and willingness to assist with breastfeeding is the single biggest determinant of whether a woman will continue to exclusively breastfeed once she has left hospital.
A male partner’s attitudes towards and willigness to assist with breastfeeding is the single biggest determinant of whether a woman will continue to exclusively breastfeed once she has left hospital.
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Postby AbbeyCat » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:50 pm

Great post, thanks for sharing. :-D
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Postby mooki » Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:29 am

Hi! I just read your article in essence yesterday actually. I LOVE the birthing shirt idea and I think you really could be onto something there. Welcome to the forum :-D
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Postby bectonks » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:44 am

Fantastic, love your post. Refreshing coming from a male :)
10/03/2006 Hudson Noah, 10/11/2008 Imogen Ava, 19/11/2010 Oscar Bodhi, Baby due Aug 2014
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Postby trilbs » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:53 am

Great post :-D
Was storked by 2peacefeed :-D
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Postby s squirrel » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:10 am

:smt040
If you can't fly, then run,
if you can't run, then walk,
if you can't walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do you have to keep moving
forward.... – MLK
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Postby Andypandy » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:14 am

Brilliant! I am going to show this to all the dads to be that I know.
DS1: May 09 Breastfed 2y7m
DS2: Oct 2012 Breastfed 2y1m I am pretending he is weaned
DD: Feb 2015
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Postby pseudo » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:27 am

Wow, that's fantastic! The birthing shirt idea is just brilliant!
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Storked by the lovely Lu!
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Postby Bandit » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:55 pm

Hi everyone, reading through the replies I thought you might like to read the complete article i wrote about my birthing shirt experience.

http://www.lrc.asn.au/forum/viewtopic.p ... 06#1011406
A male partner’s attitudes towards and willigness to assist with breastfeeding is the single biggest determinant of whether a woman will continue to exclusively breastfeed once she has left hospital.
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Postby Jewel » Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:39 pm

I really enjoyed reading your post. Might have to print it out for the hubby!
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Postby Em's mum » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:38 pm

Thanks for the chuckles Bandit - particularly the one about dishwashers!
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Postby ClOuD_NiNe » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:32 pm

Love it! I got my DH a birthing shirt, he thought it was great and was able to do skin to skin with our DS after he had his first feed :-D
DS July 11 - bf for 10 months
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Postby snowie » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:36 pm

:smt023 Love your work! :-D
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Postby foggylog » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:21 pm

Great work, I enjoyed reading it. Like the super mum bit :)
I was storked by the lovely ESTHER :)
E = DD may 09 BF til 15.5mths
O = DS Dec 10, BFing
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