Today we are speaking to a Dad in a breastfeeding family. In Peter’s words “as a dad watching your child that you have helped bring into this world grow and bond with their mother is one of the most special feelings
As my wife and I sat watching TV last night with the kids asleep upstairs, she mentioned she had asked a friend who is a fellow breastfeeder if their partner would write a few words on what breastfeeding meant to him from the male perspective, then I thought to myself, “I'm one of them, why don’t I write something?” And here we are.
Tracey breastfed our son Billy for 2 years, I knew nothing about it back then. If I’m totally honest I wasn’t really pushed either way if he was bottle or breastfed. At first, he struggled to latch properly and it was hard for me to see both him in distress as he grew more and more frustrated with each feed and Tracey who was visibly upset too. But she persisted and persisted and eventually with the help of a lactation consultant and nipple shields it just clicked.
And what an amazing journey they went on. You see, as a dad watching your child that you have helped bring into this world grow and bond with their mother is one of the most special feelings I have ever felt. We often joked of the “magic boob” as no matter how distressed Billy ever got, whether teething or falling over and grazing his knee a feed would always (and I mean always) do the trick. Knowing that the milk he got from mammy was enough for him to thrive, grow and develop soon made me realise that this is a special gift women can share with their children.
Tracey was soon a pro and I was proud when she fed in public. Billy still found comfort from feeding up until the day he decided he was done. Tracey won’t admit it but she was devastated! It was like closing a chapter but the little man was growing up and making his own decisions. In May this year, we were blessed with our beautiful little girl Willow and Tracey couldn’t wait to feed her. She was born in quite dramatic circumstances with the help of the Dublin Fire Brigade but the second she came into the world Tracey knew exactly what to do and latched her on.
That’s another thing, isn’t it amazing how babies know how to latch on even when they’re only minutes old? She was warm, wrapped up in a blanket and had her mammy to mind her. She had her breastmilk to feed on and she was safe, content, perfect and totally oblivious to what was going on around her. She is just over 10 weeks old now and is a brilliant feeder (she gets her appetite from her dad!) She had her vaccination injections last week and was hysterical but the “magic boob” saved the day once more.
Whenever she is in distress a feed will sort her out. It’s the comfort of feeding, the bond and closeness with her mammy. It is both fascinating and amazing to watch. Whenever a friend tells me their good news that they’re expecting I now find myself asking them if their partner will breastfeed. Now if someone told me that 10 years ago I would have laughed!
I do have a joke with my mates because there are definitely some advantages to being the daddy in the game in a breastfeeding home. It’s a bit like asking the taxi driver “been on long?”. There are some “go- to” questions that you’re going to be asked. “Are they a good sleeper?” to which I’ll respond “Yes I think so, sure I can’t feed them so I’m sleeping fine! I’ll ask Tracey and get back to you!”
Anyway, jokes aside, I am a massive fan of breastfeeding, I couldn’t be prouder of Tracey and I know our children have the best of the best.