Breastfeeding is not a type of parenting. Breastfeeding is the natural way to raise your baby, the first 6 months exclusively, from there with other foods.
What does this mean?
It means that, although the breasts are the mother’s and the sucking belongs to the baby, breastfeeding must be 100% supported by the couple, the family and society as a whole. Why? Because it is a question of humanity. Because that is what human biology wants, because breastfeeding in the 21st century is an odyssey and it is because of the lack of resources, the lack of contact, support, conciliation and redundancy, because of the lack of humanity.
In the 21st century more than ever, breastfeeding is GOLD, and if you look at it we never talk about the benefits of breastfeeding for not hurting sensitivities to all those people who by condition or decision can not do it, but you need to be aware that Breastfeeding occupies a significant role in global public health.
We know that making society co-responsible for breastfeeding is not easy nor is it a matter of days, but above all it is like starting the house from the roof. How can we make society co-responsible then?
Let’s start from the beginning: you.
You are a PILAR for the breastfeeding of your partner and your baby, so much so, that without your support, the odyssey of breastfeeding can become a torture, and no, supporting breastfeeding is not a matter of 3 months, but it is long term, because after all “it’s easy” for you, because your breasts are not sucked constantly, your body does not change or pass through roller coasters, your hormones are not altering your emotions, your look and smells, your body is not bruised by bad postures, your arms are not all day holding a body that weighs more every day, your mind should not channel criticism and free advice on your breasts and your decisions …
You get the “daddy’s pride” part, of holding a baby who cries little in your arms because when he cries you put him to breastfeed, of sleeping a few hours in a row and of breathing and continuing to perform as a professional when you return to work.
How easy it is to say “I support my wife” in her breastfeeding, in the first few months, when the baby can calm down relatively easily, but no, that’s not supporting. To support is to feel like an essential part of that sacred dyad, to support is to hold that baby in your arms when the mother seems tired, and it doesn’t matter if she cries in your arms too, because it is necessary for the mother to rest. To support is to look for resources to make her life easier: to read, to inform you or to buy a baby carrier for you if you don’t feel comfortable with the wrap.
It doesn’t matter if you wake up at 6 o’clock to go to work, because the mother also gets up at 6 o’clock and her workday is 24 exhausting hours with no interscholastic holidays or vacations… And don’t think that while you work the mother sleeps peacefully with her baby or takes long showers while your child rests in that modern baby rocket… nothing could be further from the truth.
It is essential to delete from our vocabulary “I help her”, “I support her”, it is that you neither help nor support, it is your responsibility to be there, 100%, physically, emotionally and logistically.
There are no excuses. You have to take care of the mother while she takes care of the baby.
Breastfeeding is not a unilateral decision. Breastfeeding is THE WAY in which parenting has been designed from the beginning.
There are no excuses.
The mother does not put the child in bed for national sport. But because it is normal, because otherwise one can not rest, either by multiple awakenings, or by instinct …
And when the baby grows up and is two years old and an explosive time passes, don’t say “I warned you, it’s your fault”.
Rest while the baby relaxes in the breast of his mother, but do not lose the north, nor your responsibility, be alert and offer your help ALWAYS, because if you stop offering it to the passage of weeks, when the mother can still do it and still does not feel exhausted, there will come a time when you will forget, when you will come out of that dyad and you will think wrongly that this is not your concern. Yes, it is your responsibility and much, as much or more than the mother’s, because the family must be supported by all its members.
It is not enough to say “it is that she pushes me away”. Then make yourself a space, claim your place and put yourself in active listening mode. Find your way of relating to your baby and your partner. Everything is new, it’s not easy but you have to want it.