7 Things A Husband Should Know About A Breastfeeding Mama

February 16, 2016

Aren't there so many things you would like to go back in time to forewarn and prep your husband about when it comes to welcoming a baby into your family? You know, about how you'll feel post birth, the emotions you'll be experiencing (welcome to that rollercoaster), and the ways he can support you. It would be nice if he could read your mind, but truly that's just not going to happen no matter how much you will it. There will be things you'll need to share and explain to him, because after all women and men think differently, and successful communication is a key to a happy marriage and a happy mama too.

As we grow as moms our needs are growing too, and our thoughts on areas of parenting are becoming more defined. In the last 8 weeks breastfeeding has been that area for me. While it's largely a part of parenting that a husband can't partake in, there are also a handful of ways that he can be involved. As a first-time nursing mama who's pretty much always on the clock, I've had an ample amount of time to learn what works best and become fully aware of how breastfeeding makes me feel. I've also considered what I think husbands should know too. Some comical, some just common sense, and without needing much explanation, husbands should be well equipped with these tidbits to make breastfeeding for a mama a little smoother, a little easier, and a little more relaxed.

O N E. 
Where's the Meat?
My appetite has pretty much changed completely since becoming pregnant with our baby. I've gone through so many phases I can't count them any more. First there were the aversions, followed by very specific preferences. And now that our little cherub is here, my body is screaming for protein, specifically meat. This is new in our household; I'm typically more of a sides gal, but breastfeeding a baby has given me cravings for meat and lots of it. Husband, don't expect my food preferences to return to normal or even out anytime soon, if ever. You're probably not complaining about more meat, though.

T W O.
Midnight Diaper Duty
Since I'm feeding our sweet babe throughout the night, waking from deep sleep that's only been going on for about an hour, I welcome your help. Getting up to grab our crying baby and bringing her to me gives you major brownie points. Changing baby's diaper before handing her over is icing on the cake. So new dad, no you don't have to sit up with me while I'm nursing our baby, chances are I might even be dozing off too. But, having your help to take care of the other things is huge

T H R E E.
Dominant Squared
It's become clear to me that I have to be ready to adjust at all times with a new baby. I know by this point chances are there will be at least one meal a day where I will be holding our tiny babe. Typically I'm holding her in my dominant/stronger arm. Don't underestimate the skills I've now perfected with my less dominant, now almost equal, hand. That being said, I still need your help to make it a little easier on me. Be proactive, I appreciate it.

F O U R.
Not For You
Not only are we more sensitive emotionally, but so is our body. Specifically our breastfeeding boobs. Just because they're being pulled out numerous times a day, doesn't mean they are fair game. No, that boob is not for you. 

F I V E.
Open Bar
While I most certainly love that I can nourish our baby and sustain her through breastfeeding, know that I don't always enjoy being an open bar both day and night. It's true, it can get tiring. At times I even feel like a drive-thru window, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When the opportunity presents itself to give our baby a bottle at one of her feedings, jump at it. Not just to give me a little break, but to bond with her too. 

S I X.
Flaunt What You Got
Pregnancy does some wild things to your body. Breastfeeding helps make you a little bit more comfortable with those changes. I don't mean that it necessarily helps you embrace them, but it does make you care a little less when you've got a crying baby who just needs milk. So shirt up, stomach out, boob out, this new mama is not concerned with the leftover baby belly that is currently on display. And while there might be a lot of body now visible as I prepare to feed our baby, don't stare. Go about your business like there's nothing to see. And please don't try to compliment my post-baby figure at this time.

S E V E N.
"Moo"re Milk
While pumping I will be amazed at what my body can produce while simultaneously feeling like a cow. It's a conundrum and it's unlikely to go away.

photo credit: rachel wells photography