This is my first time participating in the monthly Carnival of Breastfeeding, where this month’s theme, in honor of Father’s Day, is “Dads and Breastfeeding.” Welcome! :)
When you hear the term “lactivist,” what kind of person comes to mind? How about a nearly 6 feet tall, 220 lb. dude with a shaved head? That dude would be my husband, Jody, and yes, he is a lactivist.
Jody has been supportive of my breastfeeding our children even before our first child, Ava was born. He attended a two-week breastfeeding class with me that concluded just days before her birth. Once she arrived, he was very helpful in making breastfeeding as easy as possible for me. He always made sure my mug of water was full whenever I’d sit down to nurse and that I had my Boppy, and even made me two graham crackers with peanut butter each night before bed for the first few months. I always woke up ravenous in the middle of the night.
He’s never been concerned with my nursing in public – a baby has a right to eat just like everybody else, right? And on occasion while hearing a baby crying, like in airplanes during take-off or landing, I’ve heard him mutter under his breath, “put a boob in that baby’s mouth.” ;) Not because he doesn’t want to hear a crying baby, but he knows the power of the boob and that our babies have found great comfort having a “boob in their mouth” especially in different situations than they are used to.
Once Ava turned a year old, he never once suggested I wean her. He’s very educated about the numerous health benefits she continued to receive by having mama milk.
Now that Ava is nearly three years old, she continues to nurse once per day, before bed. And our son Julian, at 6 months old, continues to nurse regularly. The fact that my husband gets why breastfeeding is so important has certainly helped make my experience these past three years a lot easier. I can’t imagine not having his support.
In addition, Jody tends to be quite vocal with his male friends at work, etc. who’s wives are expecting, about the benefits of breastfeeding (as well as other natural parenting choices). I never would’ve expected him to be as passionate about it as he is. I think it helps that he’s seen Ava grow up to be such a healthy, happy, well-adjusted kid, so he knows that breastfeeding is good – not just for her health, but for her emotional well-being as well.
I asked Jody if he’d write up some of his thoughts on breastfeeding for this post and here’s what he had to say.
I find it disturbingly common to talk to other dads who give me quizzical looks when I say that my nearly three-year-old daughter is still breastfeeding, so I get to talk up “na-na” (Ava’s word for mama’s milk from when she was younger) quite regularly. I’m always looking for a good debate so I can often be more direct in my responses than I need to be, hoping of getting an intelligent argument. The best anyone seems to come up with is “I wasn’t breast-fed at all and I turned out all right.” But I always think, since this is generally an indication that the conversation will go nowhere, “do you think you could be better?”
I’m proud to walk around with my daughter Ava in her “Li’l Lactivist” t-shirt that outlines the benefits of breast milk and I’m happy to detail what that shirt means. I always prep Ava for what exactly her shirt means in case she’s asked. – “I love mama’s milk.” Simply, from her side of things, that’s what the shirt is all about.
My son’s “boob man” onesie doesn’t speak to lactivism as directly so its not as fun to talk about, but it does make the point that we’re all a bunch of lactivists in this household.
Ava and Julian have their shirts and I have my “superpower” shirt, but we still need to get Jody one of his own. Which reminds me, he has said he likes the “my kid’s no weaner” shirt over at The Lactivist. A-ha! A Father’s Day present is born! :)
The other Carnival of Breastfeeding participants are listed below. Please check them out. Thanks! And thanks to all the daddies out there who support their breastfeeding wives/partners. You all really do make a world of difference! :)
Breastfeeding123: A Fatherâ€™s Take on Breastfeeding Perception Versus Reality
BreastfeedingMums: My Hubby, My Best Breastfeeding Buddy!
Mama Knows Breast: Dads and Breast Feeding– My Husband, My Co-Author
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Proud to Be the Father of a Breastfed Baby
The Lactivist: Fathers and Breastfeeding – The Importance of Seconds
Down with the Kids: Motherâ€™s Milk: A Dadâ€™s Perspective
Hepatitis_epi: Fathers and Breastfeeding
Nursing Your Kids: Partnership
Fine Whine: feeding on the outrage, or, where are all the boobs?