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Thursday
Dec082011

FODDER OF THE WEEK: WHEN IT'S JUST BETTER TO GO WITH THE FLOW- DADS IN SUPPORT OF BREAST FEEDING

 

There's war that's raging. It's being fought in bedrooms and restaurants, on public forums and at family gatherings. It's a war on the breast, and when and where it is acceptable to show one. I'm not talking about pornography. I'm not Hugh Hefner, and I'm certainly not Larry Flynt, but I support what they stand for, at least when it comes to defending a person's right to their opinions on what is and is not "art." And if you ask me, breastfeeding is an art form, as any woman who can feed their child, covering up just enough to ensure that no one sees anything they don't want them to see while feeding their child freely in public places (just as nature intended) is showing the world a thing of beauty. And I'm behind that 100%.

 

Madonna and Child

No. Breastfeeding is not a part of my daily life. Although I encouraged my wife to breastfeed (once I saw the cost of formula) when my daughter was born, it just wasn't in the cards. We tried, but due to medical complications (let's just say a surgery left most of her milk ducts severed), we were unable to produce a single drop of colostrum. And I say "we" because my wife had my full support. I was there with her for three days in the hospital as she tried to feed the baby, and it was a joint decision when "we" opted to stop trying- to save my wife's sanity. But I was mentally prepared to be that dad who supported breastfeeding then, and I'm still the dad who supports breastfeeding now.

I did the research; I know the benefits. Breastfeeding helps strengthen the baby's immune system; it promotes bonding between mother and child; it saves dad about $120 a month in formula; and it provides all the nutrients a child will ever need. True, I liked bottle feeding my baby. I liked being able to bond with my child that way. But breast feeding wouldn't have prevented me from doing that. So what's a dad really have to complain about? Why are people so up in arms over breast feeding?

 

Okay. I get it. You're uncomfortable with your wife "exposing" herself in public. But, what is she really exposing? Her breasts? Get real. Those things didn't look like that when you married her. And not they ever did, but they no longer belong to you (although, with the right music and some dinner you might get to borrow them on a Saturday night). They belong to your wife, and they belong to your child.

 

Function over form my friend. Evolution had a plan and you fell for it. Your wife lured you in with one set of breasts, then she convinced you to have a kid, switched to a new set of breasts and now uses them to feed your kid. And it's not like she's exposing anything: there's a baby's head blocking the best parts. If you really think about it, at a quick glance, seeing a baby latched to a breast is like seeing a baby pressing heads against another really, well, squishy baby with no facial features. And hey, if nature's been really kind to your wife during her pregnancy, there might even be some hair on that breast just for extra effect.

That's what you’re worried about people ogling? Dude, if your wife's okay with it, get over yourself.

And what about society: what makes people so indignant over a baby at the breast? People like babies. People (both men, and women) like breasts. What's the big deal with putting them together? It's a woman feeding her child, how is THAT offensive? Sure, it's distracting as you're trying to angle for a look at some nipple (kidding), but you're never going to see it, and if you do it's not going to be in slow motion. So in essence, seeing a woman breastfeed in a public place is about as interesting (or disgusting, in the opinion of some) as seeing a plumber's butt. It's distracting, sure. It's not something you necessarily want to see. Fine. But I don't see every one walking up to actual plumbers and asking them to pull up their pants, so what gives you the right to ask a mom breastfeeding her baby in the restaurant to take it to the bathroom?

Have we just become a culture of grown adolescents who can't be mature about anything? Will you actually deny a child the sustenance of life, the milk from his mother's breast simply so YOU don't have to feel awkward? Get over yourself. Read the fricken menu, order your food and stop staring at her breasts and try actually having a conversation with the person across from you about why you're so repressed that you can't be an adult and eat your meal without scoffing because you're the biggest f**king baby in the room.

Jerry Hall

What I'm saying is, breasts were designed to feed babies. Somewhere along the lines we as a society decided to objectify them for a different purpose. But whose fault is that. It's not natures'. It's not the fault of the mother who wants to simply feed her child. And it's not the fault of baby who wants to be fed every two hours without fail. The fault is the way we see the world. And I guess moms are the lucky ones, because after they have a child their blinders come off and the see the true beauty of the simple things in life, and they’re too busy feeding and raising a child to give a sh@# about other people's hang ups. Yes breasts have a dual purpose in nature, but to everything there is a season: A time to love, a time to hate, a time to reap, a time to sow, a time for peace, and a time to just f---ing grow up and let a mom feed her f---ing baby.

 

 

Personally, I choose to go with the flow. I support breastfeeding moms and their right to bare breast in public for the greater good of all mankind (or a least the hungry infants). But, hey, I also support any woman who decides to bare her breasts simply to make a buck (in the confines of a reputable establishment). What can I say: I'm a breast man, through and through. But I can separate their uses, and I'm hoping you can too.

 

RELATED LINKS:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/05/should-breastfeeding-be-a_n_890196.html
http://www.conscienceparenting.com/2011/12/05/confessions-of-a-patient-husband-breastfeeding-is-normal/
/2011/05/i-see-boobies-breastfeeding-and.html
http://www.blogher.com/got-milk-yeah-right-here-my-breasts
http://www.blogher.com/got-milk-yeah-right-here-my-breasts

 

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Reader Comments (3)

When DS was very new and I first ventured out to see friends at work they took us to lunch at our usual Japanese restaurant. Everyone was happy to see us, Sadako brought me a special meal that she said was good for milk production. After we ate, I needed to feed the little guy and I had never fed him in a restaurant before. The two friends I was with both helped me out tremendously, even the wait staff was helpful in moving the table and making sure I had extra napkins. I ran into issues and stares at other places and whenever it happened I reminded myself that there are places where we were welcomed and it was practically expected for me to breastfeed him. My friends and family are firm supporters of breastfeeding - mostly because I got militant when I needed to and they caught on quickly that it matters. Families need support in their decisions and choices, growing the little ones to the best of our abilities is all that matters. Seeing a mother breastfeeding, seeing a dad bottle feeding his baby- I see a baby being cared for, period.

February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyukhin

Breastfeeding in public always felt like a precarious situation to me. One time my husband was supposed to be holding up a blanket for me so I could get my firstborn to latch on without everyone in the waiting room at the doctor's office seeing a flash of nipple. My husband saw a squirrel or something and prematurely dropped the blanket, and I totally lost my sh*t and reprimanded him very loudly, somehow utilizing the f-word, though I can't remember exactly what I said. It was not one of my best moments. To this day I'm not sure if I was insecure because of societal expectations, or if I'm just an anxious, paranoid person in general.

One thing is for sure: I love to see a post like this from a man. We need more like it!

Hear hear!! I even had some old guy stare at me while I gave my son expressed milk in his bottle. If he would of preferred I would have struggled with the nipple shield and try to feed my son the only normal way he would until he cracked the shits with it and tore it off, all the while still screaming, waiting to be fed!! Hopefully next baby, a bunch of midwives will not think they know better an force me to express and bottle feed after 1 day!!

August 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRose

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