Breastfeeding: A Family Affair
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Sweet Peas, Pods & Papas: All About Birth, B@@bs & Babies

Breastfeeding: A Family Affair

We are 100 months into our breastfeeding journey – as a family. I say family because Coach Bruss has been an integral part of my success at breastfeeding.  He was there encouraging me and thanking me for my commitment to breastfeed in the first weeks when it hurt so much that I cried every time Puma nursed.  He supported my choice to try and breastfeed through a pregnancy – the first time it didn’t work out; the second time it did.  He was 100% behind my choice to tandem nurse a toddler and a newborn, and then two toddlers when weaning didn’t happen as we expected.  Now we are down to one nursling, and his unwavering support is the same today as it was when we started this journey on January 25, 2005.  I’ve shared this before HERE; sharing it again today on the kick off of World Breastfeeding Week 2014 because our family believes in BREASTFEEDING: A Winning Goal - For Life! 

A Father’s perspective on breastfeeding:
Bruss Bowman, AAHC
There are countless choices that you and your partner are faced with when deciding to start a family.  Like a lot of fathers I was excited to start a family and like most fathers I had a minimal understanding of what was required in the process of pregnancy, labor, delivery and caring for baby in the first years of life.
Throughout the process of all our children’s pregnancies, labor/delivery and first years I have been open to most ideas with the overarching goal of doing what is best for the health and well being of Krystyna and our children.
During our first pregnancy Krystyna and I attended Bradley Method® birth classes.  In addition to a comprehensive pregnancy/birth education, Bradley™ also has teaching curriculum for breastfeeding.  Furthermore, Bradley™ encourages its students to get involved in their local chapter of the La Leche League breastfeeding groups.
Bradley™ was my first real exposure to an in-depth knowledge of the countless benefits of breast-feeding for Mom and baby.  I strongly encourage the Dads reading this to spend some time on the Internet researching the many benefits.  You don’t have to spend much time reading to become an advocate for breastfeeding.
The benefits that stood out for me were:
1. Health of Mom:
Less breast cancer
Less ovarian cancer
Helps in repair of uterus
Helps Mom bond with baby
2. Health of baby
Better digestive health
Less allergies
Babies tend to reach their IQ potential
Feedback loop between Mom and baby creates food tailored for baby’s needs at that moment.
Helps baby bond with Mom
I made a conscious decision to do everything I could to support her in her strong desire to breastfeed our children while attending the Bradley™ classes for our first child and learning about the benefits.
What does support of the Dad mean?  Come to find out this support came in many ways, some obvious and some not so obvious.  
The obvious support is taking care of all the little details around the house and making sure Mom has everything she needs so that she can give her full attention to baby.  Especially in those first days and weeks Mom will be recovering from labor and delivery and the new baby will consume most of her waking time.  Dads you need to make sure that the home environment is running as smooth as possible and that you are making sure that Mom is hydrated and well fed, 24 X 7.  
Some joke that breast-feeding is great for Dads, especially in the middle of the night, that Dads get to sleep.  Well, supporting Mom means making sure that if there’s something that Mom needs done whether food/drink, something that Mom needs for comfort or taking care of anything in the household, even if it’s in the middle of the night, then you need to get up and do those things with *enthusiasm*.  
The not so obvious support of Dad means understanding (or learning) that breastfeeding for first time Moms is new, it might be scary, it might hurt (a lot), it might be very difficult or not work at all.  So your spouse may need your support if any or all of those things happen.  You need to be there for her as she progresses through the learning curve.  Support her if she wants to attend La Leche League meetings or talk to lactation consultants or other Mom’s groups.  The more you actively support Mom during these initial days and weeks the more likely that Mom will stick with breastfeeding to her great benefit and the baby’s.   
The last area of Dad’s providing support that I found was breastfeeding in public.  This process is something else that has its own learning curve and Mom may also have varying degrees of modesty issues.  Helping Mom through the learning curve, staying close to her as she feeds your child will help give her the support she needs to overcome any issues she may have with public breastfeeding.

In short my Dad’s perspective based on our experience and learning is that breastfeeding is VERY beneficial to Mom and baby.  As such it’s my role as father to do everything I can to support Mom as she breastfeeds our children.  This is *especially* important for the first baby as Mom is learning this new skill.

How has breastfeeding been a family affair for you?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 

More posts about Breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival

Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Black Breastfeeding Week

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

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