With the arrival of my sone I have decided to start a blog about being a father. You can find that blog here.
Monthly Archives: August 2006
One of the things that my wife and I have found very frustrating is the lack of information about feeding breast milk using the pump and bottle method. There is clear evidence that there is a great deal of benefit to breast milk (see here) both in the early month as well as long term (up to a year).
But what about the baby doesn’t like to or has trouble nursing at the breast? If you look in the parenting book, they all talk about breast feeding and assume that you are nursing. Some of them will have a small section about expressing milk and feeding with a bottle, but usually its talked about in terms of being able to give mom a break from nursing. There isn’t any real discussion about breast milk via the bottle as a standard feeding method. Most of the time the only thing they do mention is not to use the bottle too much because the baby gets confused about the nipple and may stop nursing. But what if you aren’t nursing…
I posed this dilema to our pediatrician, and her answer was very direct. “It’s ok”. Well, how hard was that? Why couldn’t one of these great minds behind the books that all us new parents use include that information?
In the end, if it feels right, it probably is right. Its clear that breast milk has many benefits over formula. And how you get it into your child is less important. If you can nurse, then do it, but if it just doens’t work out (and trust me, it is a lot harder than you might think) and you can pump and feed by the bottle, do it. Its good for you, its good for the baby and that’s all that really matters.
I have a bone to pick with all the parenting books out there, or at least all the ones that I have seen. Where is the dad’s point of view. Even the book for being a father by a well known breast feed advocacy group was so full of platitudes and assumptions that I threw it out. I had the reciept and the book was less than a few days old and I still threw it out.
That’s really why I have decided to start this blog, for me to have a place to tell things the way I see them and to try to start developing some father centric advice for once. Sure, we don’t have the babies, so what. Our children are as important to us as they are to our spouses, plus once you add in the importance of our spuse and us guys have a pretty good load of important things. But, just to set the record straight right now, I am not suggesting that anyone is a better parent, male or female, that any one has more or less invested in the health and well being of their child, I am just saying that since there is so much more that women have to do in terms of giving birth, most of the attention and support is focused on them. All I want to do is try to add a little more to the mix.
So, continuing my book rant. One book which I bought because it had a section on how to maintain and improve your marriage after childbirth had the helpful advice that my sex life was going to change. Obvviuosly the authors of that book (the aforementioned breatfeeding group) thinks that sex is the only thing that I am thinking about and that changing my attitudes about sex is going to improve my marriage now that we have a baby. Sure, that are of our life is going to change, but come one are you going to tell me that that is the only advice they can offer. Another book, which has been full of great advice so far, has a section on fathers and breastfeeding. This section said that even though I can’t offer nutritional value to the baby I can help by doing extra work around the house, those things which I might normally call “women’s work”. Who uses that word “women’s work”. The idea that less sex and extra housework are the key contribuations that I can make is crazy. What is crazier is that these authors and organizations think that that is all father’s want to hear is even worse.
So, plan on hearing more about this, and hearing my contributions to a real set of advice and tools for a modern father.