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Being a Breastfeeding Dad

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Dr. Wendy Walsh: Let me start by saying that if you are a woman and you're reading this -- I need you to do something. Stop reading this now. This is a message to men, and the boys' club is a closed room. This post is not for female eyes. This is a private appointment between a man and his doctor. OK, ya gone, ladies? Good.

tired dad with mother breastfeeding

Dudes. I'm about to break the girl code and tell you some things that are only whispered about in mom circles. If your wife or girlfriend or baby mama is pregnant, you need to know this. If all three are pregnant, you really need to know this. Seriously. Listen up guys, this may be your only chance to get the scoop on the dark and confusing playing field of nocturnal nursing and sunlight suckling that you are about to enter. It's a crazy world that you surely didn't sign up for. But you're here. So, man up.

Now, we all understand the primary job of your babaloos, I mean, that is, your wife's babaloos. Yes, God put those fabulous twins on earth entirely for your pleasure. Period. But God also gave them a stint of hard labor as punishment for all the naughtiness they have performed. It's called breastfeeding. And during this time of hard labor, you will be the holder of the keys -- the jail guard, if you will. You are about to oversee the work camp of a breastfeeding mother. And, lemme tell ya guys, this gig is not for the faint of heart.

Let's start with the answer to "why" you would ever consider taking on such a job. Here's the main reason: When those bombs reach their glory, producing and storing human milk in such seductive containers, well, let's just say the beauty of it all can bring a grown man to stinging tears. Oh, there are a couple other reasons why you might want to encourage her to enlist in breastfeeding boot camp. Like seven separate psychological studies that link breastfeeding with IQ points -- in your kid. Not the mom. She'll get smart again after she weans. Besides having a fighting chance at being on a path to an Ivy League school, your breastfed kid will also be drinking the most perfect human protein. Body builders and pro-athletes would covet the stuff. Yep, I'm talking about the ultimate muscle-building food not seen since Popeye's can of spinach. If only it were bottled. Wait. It is bottled. By those glories twin orbs that will be bursting with life in your bedroom.

Too bad you don't get to touch them. At least, not in the beginning. In the beginning, you have to have the stamina of an NFL coach. That lady will be in pain as she trains for the Super Bowl of her life. And, you've got to keep her from quitting. Yes, it'll hurt some when she nurses in the first couple of weeks. Remind her that Dick Butkus and Jack Lambert might have felt some pain too. But they made some hard hits and scored some points out there.

Have you ever sat in a pediatrician's office, dude? I mean really sat in that petri dish of a waiting room, where snot reigns supreme and the Muzak is obliterated by the screams of infected infants? Eye infections. Allergies. Green vomit. It's all there, man. Well, you won't be there much. Your kid will have the immune-boosting benefit of white blood cells that get manufactured on demand, on site, at the first sign of your baby's sniffle. The technology is right there in your girl's cantaloupes. For real. Who knew?

But here's the catch. If your babe is going to make your baby a candidate for Harvard and the NBA, while keeping you from catching the swine in a waiting room, there's a payback. You've gotta be cool for a bit. Maybe even keep it in your pants. Or, at least keep it in the shower. Breastfeeding boot camp often -- though not always -- lowers estrogen levels enough to impact a woman's sex drive. Oh, and there's one other problem. That dudette is so damn drained that when you get home from work, she'll most likely want to hand you a stinky bundle and take a long nap. It's all part of the game. You're on the team and she's just handed you the ball. Run with it. And pray she stocked the freezer with plenty of pumped supplies. How long will she behave like a sexual anorexic? Well, as long as it takes. And if the going gets really rough, buy her a steak, some new shoes, and remind her about the corkscrew motion.

Remind her politely. Because breastfeeding mamas may have the cha-chas of La Madonna, but they also have the heart of a mother bear. Tread carefully, brother. This is a woman wired to protect her little miracle above all. This is not the time to argue over the bills, the laundry, or the room service. She's focused on winning the game. She needs a trainer, a coach, a team physical therapist, and a paycheck.

So, what's in it for you? You've given back rubs, cooked too many dinners, and may even have gone so far as to change a toxic diaper. Why? Too many things to name, dude. Let's start with the kindergarten holiday concert. The first pee-wee soccer game when your "team" wins. The giant hug you get from such tiny arms. And, most of all, the screams of glee that you get when you walk in the door. You are Superman if you can support your gal enough to take you to this place of wonder; you'll be on the long haul toward marital bliss. And those milk bombs will be back in your possession before you know it. Back off, junior. There's a new sheriff in town. Daddy owns the boobs again.

Author's note: This piece of humorous truth was written in response to a disturbing statistic: The number-one factor in a woman's decision to nurse her child is her partner's attitude.




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15 comments so far | Post a comment now
Daryl September 22, 2009, 5:37 AM

cute :o)

littlepeapie September 22, 2009, 5:41 AM

Love it! Well said!

abbi September 22, 2009, 8:18 AM

so you’re a woman writing for ‘only men’?
what do you consider yourself, some sort of all-knowing oracle on the subject that only you can speak to the men?

dear god. get a life you self-obsessed loser.

Riley September 22, 2009, 10:27 AM

This is meant to be funny? It’s an insult to all women. You are objectifying women and telling men that they and their breasts exist solely for a man’s pleasure. You are saying that a woman is not a real person. A man doesn’t own a woman or her body as you state in your article on more than one occasion. There are a lot of sicko control freaks out there and they will look at this article as justification to their sick thoughts. You need to be careful about how you say things and what you write. There is nothing cute about this article at all. No wonder people hate breastfeeding and pregnant women and label them. You are a woman, you should know. By the way, there is no such thing as a “holiday” concert-it’s called a Christmas concert and if anyone gets offended about the word Christmas then they can go to hell. Let someone own you and your body, but leave everyone else out of it. It sounds like you are the one with the mental health problems. A HUGE step back for women because of you.

mom of 2 September 22, 2009, 12:16 PM

Wow u ladies need to take a chill pill…the article is meant to be funny i am pretty sure, not taken literally word for word. U obviously did not read the bold italicized type at the bottom of the article stating that “This piece of humorous truth was written in response to a disturbing statistic: The number-one factor in a woman’s decision to nurse her child is her partner’s attitude.” Maybe u should read the whole thing carefully before u mouth off and make your selves sound like self righteous feminist morons

ame i. September 22, 2009, 12:37 PM

HEY! You forgot to warn them that when Momma does feel like having sex again, they turn into twin fountains. Nothing says Yahoo! Sex again! like looking down at your ladies and seeing them spraying milk all over the place :)

smh September 22, 2009, 12:54 PM

Shouldn’t the advise in this article be applied to all mothers not just those breast feeding?

Bettina September 22, 2009, 2:07 PM

My husband really looked for my lead in whether I wanted to breast- or bottle-feed and would have supported me either way—mostly he didn’t want to see me suffer. But, he also didn’t know about the risks of formula, and it was not the norm in his family, or I think he would have given me a pep talk to succeed with breastfeeding, much as he has with many countless goals I have set for myself. I wasn’t sure I wanted to nurse or not. By some miracle, I stuck it out, and since then, my husband has thanked me profusely time and time again for giving our babies such a good start in life. I am very lucky to have a supportive guy. I think it is a human instinct, even an animal instinct, to want to protect our young and to see our young survive us and be better than we are. When men start to really understand the advantages that breastfeeding gives their offspring, they will be more supportive of their mates which means that they have to protect her when she is at her most vulnerable. I know a dad who practically had to bare his fangs to keep a nurse from insisting that his wife supplement with formula, even though she was doing fine with breastfeeding and the baby was healthy and full term. I applaud this doctor for tackling this issue, some guys need just this kind of approach!

deaddrift September 22, 2009, 3:13 PM

abbi, I have never seen a positive comment from you. Maybe you need to check yourself, sweetie.

Sara September 22, 2009, 5:53 PM

That’s great! Maybe if my husband had read that when I was pregnant I would have gotten a little support with nursing! Now you just need to get this article into a mens website instead of a mom one where we’re pretty much all women! :)

TweetDeckTV September 22, 2009, 8:51 PM

I get it…sort of a pep-talk in the locker room that is Fatherhood. I could have done without the “If all three are pregnant” joke, and the cha-chas nicknames for our mammaries tho.

dean September 23, 2009, 11:54 AM

Bettina, up on your high horse much?

Laughing girl November 15, 2009, 12:46 PM

When I was reading this (I didn’t check the author’s name before), I expected it to be written by a man. Then I was about a minute in when I realized that this was written by a women that thinks men are idiots. My god. I saw that comment about this being objectifying to women, but really, this is how this woman thinks men think. I mean, her general point was good, but her delivery made it seem like all new or soon to be fathers are 20 something frat boys. If I was a guy, I would be kind of insulted.

Betina January 27, 2010, 9:29 PM

I can’t believe you wrote this. I mean its bad enough. Women go through a lot of pain. All the things that happen to them

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 3:35 PM

Good info. Good to read. I have got one thing to submit about funny shirts.


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