What Guys Don't Know About Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can be a taboo subject for guys. It can be painful, tiresome, worrisome, rewarding, and beautiful. You can never predict which of these emotions your girl is feeling. It’s important to support her in her journey and be open to whatever direction she wants to take in her breastfeeding journey.
The truth is, feeding a human being from your own body kind of sucks in the beginning (pun intended). The baby won’t latch, the nipples burn, and she is constantly exhausted. Sometimes she feels like all she has done all day is try to breastfeed the baby. It’s maddening.
Breastfeeding also takes an emotional toll on many women. They birthed a human and it is their responsibility to feed him and keep him alive. It is not uncommon for women to feel like a failure if they are unable to successfully do so. Combine this with wild hormones and you have bouts of tears and crazy mood swings.
It’s your job to let her know that that the baby will not judge her based on how well she breastfed, and that everyone’s journey is different. Sometimes they need to be reminded what a good mother they are. It really goes a long way.
Here are some little-known facts about breastfeeding that may be helpful to you.
- Colostrum is the first milk she produces when the baby is born. This lasts about 2-4 days before it is replaced by regular milk. Colostrum contains special proteins that coat your baby’s intestinal tract to protect it from harmful bacteria right from the start. It provides a powerful, unique immunity that only it can provide. Because your baby only needs a little bit of colostrum, it also helps them learn to suck, swallow and breathe during feeding.
- Breastfeeding burns between 500-600 calories a day. That means some moms might end up losing weight without any additional exercise. Make sure you FEED HER!
- Breast milk is a living substance that contains live cells, including stem cells, which go on to become other body cell types like the brain, heart, kidney, or bone tissue.
- Breastfeeding is a supply/demand activity. The more the baby drinks the more she will produce. Don’t worry dad, if you taste a little she will just make more 🙂
- In The first 2 weeks she is regulating her milk supply and it will seem like the baby is ALWAYS hungry. Most of the time there is no need to supplement here since it will cause her to produce less milk. Be patient and it will get worked out.
- Breastfeeding is exhausting. Don’t underestimate the work she is putting in just because she is sitting. Wouldn’t you be tired if you just burned 600 calories??
- The baby is protected by the mother’s immunity during breastfeeding so no need to keep them isolated
- When the baby is weaned from breastfeeding they lose the mother’s immunity and will often get sick. This is normal. Their immune system will adjust
- There is no right or wrong on how long to breastfeed. Some women only last a few months, while others choose to do it for years. Yes, it is perfectly normal to breastfeed a 4-year-old, and it is NOT SEXUAL. Unfortunately due to the nature of physiology, this is not your decision.
- If you are concerned that your breastfed baby is more attached to your mom, you shouldn’t be. She is their source of food and this is very natural. Trust me, things change QUICKLY once they wean.
Breastfeeding is one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of being a mom. Love her for being able to provide nourishment to your little one, support her through all the challenges, and praise her for doing an amazing job.