If The Nightly Adventures of Poo, Wee and Tears hasn't already tipped us over the edge into the realisation that life as we knew it has disappeared forever, the breastfeeding most surely will. Relatively new to the world of fatherhood, Richie shares his insight from a Dad's perspective.
How painful can breastfeeding be?
It's painful? Really? Really! Fellow Men, that's why there are those things called Breastfeeding Workshops. But surely it's just a matter of getting the nipple in the mouth? Well, apparently not.
While most women get breastfeeding sussed quickly, for others it's a literal and ongoing pain. Some we've canvassed describe it as, "an industrial vacuum on the end of your nipple" while others say, "it's like stinging hot needles coming out of your nipples." Well, if women say they didn't know it was going to painful, we can assure you men didn't either.
Your wife/partner/GF will channel Pamela Anderson
Rightly or wrongly, most men think of their partner’s boobs as their own personal, exclusive domain. Well, all that goes out the window...
It's a time-stopping moment. You suddenly realise that your partner's boobs are sitting high, they're firmer than a berating from Judge Judy and they're, well... massive. With all that colostrum and breast milk flooding in, A-Cups turn to B-Cups, Bs to Cs, Cs to Ds, Ds to DDs. G-Cup anyone? You get the picture. The thing is... it's the white-hot speed that it happens. It's a freak overnight thing. No warning. Nothing in that blue instruction book they give you at the hospital. Nada. For some, it can be a little disconcerting. While many revel in the fact that their ladies look like they're sporting top-line implants, there are those who prefer slighter women (yep, they do exist)... who inevitably get stunned into silence.
Someone call the plumber. Though a cleaner will do.
When your partner says, "I heard that when a baby cries my boobs will start to leak..." you think it's a little far-fetched. Then, after the baby has arrived and it inevitably does happen, you still think it's amazing but accept it as par for the course. In more extreme cases, dads will even witness the seemingly gravity-defying phenomenon of milk jet-streaming across the room. The source, of course, is one of your partner's nipples. And if you have wooden floors, don't let it dry before you clean it up. Now, that's a word of warning!
She's breastfeeding... call the family!
Rightly or wrongly, most men think of their partner's boobs as their own personal, exclusive domain. Well, all that goes out the window in an instant, especially for those with partners feeding on demand. No matter whether it's Granddad, Nan, cousin Ben, Uncle Nick, buddy Andrew, sister Kate or neighbour Matt they'll all cop an eyeful sooner or later. What can you do about it? Well, pretty much nothing. It would've been nice if someone could have mentioned something though! Oh, and as an aside: while everyone seemingly gets to look, your touching privileges vanish. Your partner's boobs are the bab's now.
You're having a cuddle with Baby and for whatever reason (maybe you washed off just a little too much of your man smell in the shower that morning?) your baby suddenly and wrongly chomps down HARD on your nipple. Ouch. This is the rare - though very real physical pain of bonding. Even if you-ve been in a few punch-ups in your time, when your baby mistakes your nipples for your partner-s... it-s enough to make any man-s eyes water.
Time to watch a DVD (or throw some laundry on)
Breastfeeding takes a long time, especially in the early days. 15 minutes? You-re dreaming. Half an hour? Maybe if you-re lying! 45 minutes? Alright: if you-re one of the lucky ones. For new mums breastfeeding their newborns it can take upwards of an hour. Where was that in the manual?!
Double your grocery bill
So you've added nappies, wipes and maybe some formula to the weekly shop. Say, another $30, $40 per week? All good. But have you considered the fact that YOUR PARTNER WILL SOON START TO OUT EAT YOU?! When she wants a second steak you know you're in trouble. By design or by accident, breastfeeding mothers start to churn through INSANE AMOUNTS OF FOOD. Sure there are countless benefits to breastfeeding, but maybe that one about breastfeeding being cheaper than buying formula needs to be looked at again? Re-count!
Got anything to add? Discuss breastfeeding tips, questions and queries with Essential Baby members.