How to be a good husband

As a tribute to my incredible husband of five years (today!), I'm writing this post. He has been there for me through all of the crazy ups and downs on these two breastfeeding journeys, in ways that I never knew I needed. Here is what I have discovered that I need.
  1. Bring water. Anytime I feed my boy, my man is there offering me a glass of water (or coffee, or breastfeeding tea, or with a splash of elderberry juice or a sachet of magnesium). This may seem trivial, but it is truly fabulous from a practical standpoint, and can make the feeding experience feel like more of a partnership.
  2. Make sure she is eating, and eating well. Food, obviously, has a huge role when it comes to being at your physical and emotional best. When I am extremely stressed, I stop eating, and I can be a real bitch about it. Keep offering food, ask what she dreams of eating and make it happen (okay, within reason...)!
  3. Be the washer and steriliser, and take on that job with gusto! Whether it be bottles, teats, pumping equipment, SNS tubes or silver 'booby hats' (as my big boy calls them), get washing. And anticipate – There is nothing worse than a baby who is hungry before you expect it, and realising that your tubes aren't clean.
  4. Be in charge of supplements, if you need them. I love the fact that there is always warm water in the thermos, ready to go, and there is always the correct amount of formula measured out in the dispenser. This and doing the dishwasher are the two jobs that can change the course of my day.
  5. If you can, come to any lactation consultant appointments. Then you can understand more, you can learn new ways to be a support, and she then knows that this is important to you too, which can mean the world.
  6. Respect the boobs. No doubt, this is probably the hardest for all the men out there. Those boobs right now are not yours to touch; don't even think about getting within a couple of centimetres. It is time to accept their new role as (hopefully) life-giver to your new baby, and to accept the fact that your lady now has a very different relationship with them too! You'll get them back one day...
  7. Be there. Give cuddles. Know that there are deep, often primal emotions attached to breastfeeding a newborn baby. Knowing this means that all the massive emotional turmoil that surrounds this issue is justifiable, and that it is totally okay to feel that way. You are not there to advise or, dare I say it, even to suggest, you are there to hug. Hug well and hug often.

Thank you, my beautiful man, for being there and for giving me the strength and the support to navigate this in the only way I know how. Thank you for never telling me what to do, what to try or how to feel, and for just giving me hugs and water and chocolate. Though more hugs never go astray ;)




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