To breastfeed or not to breastfeed?

posted 2 years ago in TTC
  • poll: Who gets the final say?
    Mother - since it's her body and she usually is the primary caregiver : (42 votes)
    82 %
    Father - since he should also have a say in how his child is fed : (0 votes)
    Other- since you cant really compromise in this situation. Write your comments below! : (9 votes)
    18 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    2328 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I suppose in a way this is kind if similar to the whole “who gets to decide about abortion?” Is it purely the mother’s decision or does the father’s opinion carry any weight. Obviously it is also different because choosing to breastfeed or not does not have the same finality. It is an interesting question because when children are able to eat food, majority of the time that is a parental responsibility/opinion so shouldn’t all food given to children be a parental responsibility? It is kind of difficult when it would affect one of you more than the other.

    I suppose it would also depend why one of you was for it and why one of you was against it. 

    Post # 3
    Member
    5421 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2014

    TobeMrsD:  It’s totally down to the mother IMO, and while the father has a right to express his opinion, if she doesn’t want to, he should drop it.

    Some women would not feel comfortable breast-feeding in public, which can make it difficult and awkward, and make them feel uncomfortable. Some women simply do not like the idea. Some women suffer with PND and want to ‘reclaim’ their body after a traumatic birth experience, and so choose not to for that reason. Others might start and then stop due to physical issues like mastitis. Some would rather bottle feed as it means that the father can also participate in night feeds.

    The bottom line is that IMO all those reasons are equally valid; and no-one, not the father, the midwife, or other relatives, has a right to try to force someone to do something with their body that they do not wish to; it is that simple. I also feel that having a new baby can be a very difficult, emotional and stressful time for new mothers, and so again, that is yet another reasons I tend to feel that the father should but the hell out.

    I don’t want children but if I did, I and I alone would make the final decision when it came to anything that directly affected me, be that how and where I chose to give birth, and whether I chose to breastfeed. When and only when my partner develops the ability to carry and give birth to a child and breastfeed does he get the right to dictate what i do or don’t do. I would be fine with him expressing his opinions, and would take them on board. However, once I had made my decision I would expect him to fully support and respect it, and if he continued to bring it up I wouold see it as disresspectful and uncaring, and be concerned about the future of our relationship, in all honesty.

    Post # 4
    Member
    3119 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    At the end of the day, no one can physically force a woman to breastfeed so I guess in that sense it’s completely up to the woman. With that said, I’ve never really been able to understand these debates as I think in a marriage, and when raising a child together, I can’t comprehend why a couple wouldn’t want to or be able to discuss it and come to a decision together. Of course a father should have a say in how his child is fed (but given the wording in OP’s poll I think you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who seriously answers with the second choice), but it is equally important to consider the mother’s views. I can’t imagine a marriage/committed relationship where one person has all the decision-making power. Sure, there are some things that can’t have a “compromise” – they are either one way or the other, but isn’t that what marriage is? Finding a way to make decisions together?

    Post # 5
    Member
    7206 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    TobeMrsD: OK I’m probably biased because I breast fed and it was important to me that I did, but…

    I think this needs to be a compromise and decided together. A lot would depend on the mother’s reasons for not wanting to breast feed.

    Post # 6
    Member
    1676 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2015

    TobeMrsD:  I think it’s entirely up to the mother as to wether she breastfeeds or not.  Since it is HER body and she will have to do it.

    If you were asking me about weaning and feeding, or choosing a formula, or offering juice instead of water, then yes that is a joint decision. But breastfeeding?  That stops with the mother IMO

    Post # 7
    Member
    602 posts
    Busy bee

    Mothers body, mothers decision. If a woman chooses to breast feed, she takes on even more of the burden of raising that child than she would have anyway. No one should be forced to do something that they don’t want to do if there’s a perfectly healthy alternative available. I’d tell your husband to grow his own pair of tits if he feels so strongly about it. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    602 posts
    Busy bee

    kate02121:  It happens all the time. Thankfully my husband and I are very much equal but thats not the case for many. Take my BIL and SIL for example. Our niece was dairy intolerant with a slew of other annoying issues when she was a baby. Breast feeding was very difficult for my SIL but my BIL all but forced her to continue by making her feel like a terrible mother if she chose to give up. You can’t compromise with assholes. 

    Post # 10
    Member
    1817 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I think ultimately its up to the woman. Perhaps maybe you can compromise? Promise to try to breast feed for a few weeks so baby can get the colostrum but then ween to a bottle so dad can help with feedings. Or you can try pumping if the thought of actually breastfeeding is weird to you. BF is HARD! Even though its all natural doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its cons and issues. I would sit down with your husband and discuss the pros and cons to breast feeding and not breast feeding and then express why you don’t want to do it and that you wont be a terrible mother if you dont.

    Post # 11
    Member
    3119 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    ilovebacon:  no I understand that and that’s exactly my point – the issue is a heck of a lot bigger than the singular issue of breastfeeding (which is of course a big issue in and of itself) if one member of the relationship is completely unwilling to bend or discuss something. That’s a relationship issue versus a breastfeeding issue. At least how I see it. 

    Post # 14
    Member
    6747 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I breastfed both of my daughters while I was on maternity leave, but I really didn’t like it. My husband was fine with it when I weaned. I really think it should be up to the mom- it is incredibly personal and invasive and not easy!

    Post # 15
    Member
    856 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    TobeMrsD:  I think it should be up to the woman to make the final choice. I had trouble w bf at first w my daughter and my husband was very supportive to keep going or to stop. He made it clear it was up to me and would help either way with either choice that I made. It ended up working out for us. On the other hand I have a friend who’s husband pushed her to bf but her child had so many allergies and intolerances that my friend could eat or drink almost nothing bc it made her baby sick. She couldn’t have dairy, soy, sugar and the list went on. My poor friend went a year eating nothing but non gassy vegetables, boiled chicken and water. She was miserable and has decided not to have any more children bc of this experience (her hubby disagrees w that too!) She wanted desperately to stop but her husband made her feel like a bad mother if she did. He told her the only important thing was a happy healthy child. I totally disagree, mom needs to be happy and healthy too!

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