Frustrated with husband's mixed feelings about breastfeeding - need to vent - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 09-09-2012, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our daughter is nearly 7 months old, was EBF from 2-6 months after a rocky start, and continues to nurse enthusiastically since starting solids (has actually started refusing bottles when I'm at work). It's been very rough at times, but it's one of the best things I've ever done and it's super rewarding to see how my baby is thriving.

 

My husband knows BFing is the best thing for the baby and has been supportive in many ways, but has always seemed to have mixed feelings about it--thinks it can be a hassle somehow, once said that he would prefer our next child to be "more of a hybrid" of breast & formula-fed, etc.

 

This morning I was nursing the baby while the three of us were still in bed. DH said, "When she turns one I want to have a wean party." I asked him why he felt that way (and was  upset, so I think my reaction may have partially escalated the rest of the convo). He said she should be weaned after 1 or 1 1/2. Then he pretended to be half asleep and started mumbling a bunch of things like, "so we can have more flexibility in our lives..." "after one they can have whole milk," and "you'll have more time on your hands." I asked him what he meant by that, pointing out he wasn't breastfeeding himself, and he said "but I'm the one who has to deal with the consequences." I asked him what he meant by "the consequences" and he pretty much shut down, but not before the kicker: "after one [BFing] is more of a thrill for the mother."

 

That made me SO ANGRY and the rest of the conversation was really not constructive.

I've shared lots of info on BFing with him and I think once we actually get to a year it won't seem like as much of an issue anymore. But it makes me sad and upset that he feels this way.

 

Just venting and wondering if anyone else has dealt with this.

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#2 of 17 Old 09-09-2012, 07:28 AM
 
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I'm sorry that he isn't supportive of your breastfeeding decisions.  Regardless of the area of contention--it always makes thing feel more unsettled.  I think it would be a good idea to have a non-defensive heart-to-heart at a time when you are both awake and non-hungry.  Find out more about what his concerns are regarding breastfeeding.  What you do DOES affect him.  Good luck!

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#3 of 17 Old 09-09-2012, 08:31 AM
 
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My husband wants me to wean at one. He has also pulled the 'consequences " thing out.

He does it often. He is upset that she is more attached to me, and that i cannot leave her alone with him for very long at all without her needed me and flipping her lid.

I have no advice, only to tell you im here with ya. He has went as far as to say we cannot have any more children or that he wouldnt go this route again. Its so sad. If there ever is a next time, i would just make sure that when i know baby isnt hungry to let him comfort then from the beginning. I dont know if our relationship (baby and i) will suffer, but i know that it would have made a world of difference.

No one evert tells you before baby the things like this or how to do with them and avoid them all together... I wish someone wouldve said sometng to me.
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#4 of 17 Old 09-09-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry that he's not as supportive as he could be. I think the suggestion to wait to have a very heartfelt discussion when you're both feeling better would be the best thing to do. Ask him what his specific concerns are, and where they are coming from, and then you can address them calmly from there. I know many men have a hard time with breastfeeding after the first year because babies don't seem as much like "babies" once they turn a year. Fathers view this time a lot differently than mothers. I agree that what you do does affect him, and so you should have a conversation about it, but don't let him trample your opinions either. What you do also affects your daughter, and the conversation should center around what's best for her, not what is most convenient for one or either party.

 

And also, I just have to say this, and I'm sorry if it comes of snarky, but I am really shocked about what he said about breastfeeding after a year, that it's only because the mother still gets a "thrill" from it. That just couldn't be farther from the truth. Breastfeeding has so many benefits and those don't go away once a baby turns a year old. That's like saying broccoli and carrots aren't good for you once you turn eighteen. Sigh.

 

Also, it might be helpful to have some resources for your conversation, not so you can show him, "Ha! I'm right!" but so you can educate him. Have research and science to back you up, to show him that breastfeeding past a year is not just because you want to get your kicks. The WHO actually recommends breastfeeding past TWO years of age. Anyway, try the WHO website and kellymom.com for some more good information.

 

God luck!!

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#5 of 17 Old 09-09-2012, 08:41 AM
 
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My DH said things like this when DD (18m) was younger. She is still nursing. I just never stopped. When she started eating a lot of food and nursing less, DH got more connected to her. He can be with her for long periods and she doesn't ask to nurse. She doesn't prefer me over him anymore. I don't think he resents nursing now, as it's just something we do a few times a day at home (he didn't like me nursing in public). Hopefully your DH will adjust his thinking as his relationship with your DC changes.


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#6 of 17 Old 09-10-2012, 04:54 AM
 
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esinedeggplant - breastfeeding failed for us around 3 weeks, i've been EPing since and will continue to do so until DD is 6 months, this was my BFding goal unless it went really well then I would continue (of course now I know that I can't I want to breastfeed for years, typical huh?).  What i've noticed along the way is that men (most men) just DO NOT GET IT!  They have no idea how amazing it is to be able to feed and nurture your baby using your own body.  Similarly the whole pregnancy experience just isn't that intense for them, they can never know what it's like to be considering the little babe in you before everything else and to feel every tiny movement.  I feel kind of bad for them but that's just how it is.  Depending on the generation I think some men still view boobs as something sexual and that's it.

 

My DH just doesn't really have any opinion on what is best, breast/formula, 1 month/6 months, just doesn't interest him but I know he will be sooo glad when I stop EPing because there have been times when i've moaned about it and his answer is just simply 'why don't you stop then?' aagh!  I'm really not an emotional person but I have cried three times recently, when BFding failed and when some kind friend asked if I wasn't sick of EPing because it's not 'really' BFding is it!  At these times I just needed a hug and someone to tell me I was doing the best I can but he just didn't get it.

 

I don't have much advice and i'm sorry for hijacking your thread a bit but I just wanted to say that 'most' men just DO NOT GET IT!  pfff feel better for that! grouphug.gif to you x


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#7 of 17 Old 09-10-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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Hugs to all you mamas struggling with DP attitudes about about BFing. I just want to draw your attention to something to share with your men: weaning is not a magical cure-all for issues related to attachment/sleep/tantrums, etc. Often a young toddler/older baby who is weaned before they are ready can become a lot more clingy to mom and moody/difficult because they are stressed by weaning. They need more comfort that is harder to come by because they can't nurse for comfort. Be sure your partner is aware that weaning may make nights more difficult, since baby may wake more and be harder to settle. Also since the immunological benefits will cease, baby has a greater chance to be sick more often and for longer times.

I think the illusion of having more time by weaning is common but it's quite false. Take a spin through the toddler message boards and see how many threads there are on weaned toddlers taking 2 to 3 hours to fall asleep at night. Nursing my 17 month old is a lot different than nursing my 7 month old was. She eats lots, drinks tons of water and is happy away from me for hours at a time. Nursing means I get to count on a solid bedtime and naptime routine and usually she's down in half an hour. It also means that when she's too sick for everything but laying on top of me and nursing all day, at least I know she's getting some fluid and calories. I had to educate DH on nursing past infancy too but he sees how she thrives on it and thinks its sweet the way she curls up on my lap one minute and then starts chasing him around the next. We wouldn't have it any other way. I'm the one that gets up with her at night and he has no leg to stand on if he was going to take away the best weapon in my arsenal for getting sleep. Good luck! I hope you two can talk it out.
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#8 of 17 Old 09-10-2012, 08:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esinedeggplant View Post

Our daughter is nearly 7 months old, was EBF from 2-6 months after a rocky start, and continues to nurse enthusiastically since starting solids (has actually started refusing bottles when I'm at work). It's been very rough at times, but it's one of the best things I've ever done and it's super rewarding to see how my baby is thriving.

My husband knows BFing is the best thing for the baby and has been supportive in many ways, but has always seemed to have mixed feelings about it--thinks it can be a hassle somehow, once said that he would prefer our next child to be "more of a hybrid" of breast & formula-fed, etc.

This morning I was nursing the baby while the three of us were still in bed. DH said, "When she turns one I want to have a wean party." I asked him why he felt that way (and was  upset, so I think my reaction may have partially escalated the rest of the convo). He said she should be weaned after 1 or 1 1/2. Then he pretended to be half asleep and started mumbling a bunch of things like, "so we can have more flexibility in our lives..." "after one they can have whole milk," and "you'll have more time on your hands." I asked him what he meant by that, pointing out he wasn't breastfeeding himself, and he said "but I'm the one who has to deal with the consequences." I asked him what he meant by "the consequences" and he pretty much shut down, but not before the kicker: "after one [BFing] is more of a thrill for the mother."

That made me SO ANGRY and the rest of the conversation was really not constructive.
I've shared lots of info on BFing with him and I think once we actually get to a year it won't seem like as much of an issue anymore. But it makes me sad and upset that he feels this way.

Just venting and wondering if anyone else has dealt with this.

I'm tired because I haven't gotten much sleep lately, but what jumped out at me was SEX. Don't know what anyone else said. Maybe I'll read this later
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#9 of 17 Old 10-17-2012, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just coming back here to say thanks for all the input. To the previous poster, I don't think you're totally off-base with that. But BFing is still going strong. I think sometimes we both say things when we're tired or frustrated that we doesn't always mean. Or sometimes he says things just to push my buttons. Anyway, this is our first baby and we're both still learning. My hub and I have totally different impulses when it comes to health and eating. Even so, he's acknowledged how good breastfeeding has been for our baby. Anticipating every new stage has brought about disagreements over things that turned out to be totally not a big deal once we got there. Hopefully this will be like that.
 

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#10 of 17 Old 10-17-2012, 10:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BellaAmore View Post

d. If there ever is a next time, i would just make sure that when i know baby isnt hungry to let him comfort then from the beginning. I dont know if our relationship (baby and i) will suffer, but i know that it would have made a world of difference.

No one evert tells you before baby the things like this or how to do with them and avoid them all together... I wish someone wouldve said sometng to me.

We did this with our first baby. Not because DH is not 100% supportive of BFing but to give me a break and because sometimes she just didn't want milk. He would settle her in a carrier, bouncing on a fitball or laying her face down on his lap and patting her back. She loved all those things at various times. He also starting spending alone time with her from as soon as she wasn't just feeding and going straight back to sleep. At first it was just taking her to the lounge room so I could sleep in a bit in the mornings. Then, as she was able to go a bit longer without feeds he started taking her for walks ( think this was about 4 months old).

I think they have a bond which is a close as hers and mine and she has gone through stages when I'm sure she only preferred me because I had the milk :-)

Do we have a different relationship to the one we would have had if she and DH weren't so close? Maybe. It's impossible to know of course. But I would not change a thing. She is incredibly close to both of us and I think it's wonderful.

And, in case anyone's DH is wondering, she has never had a bottle from him or anyone else, I am still breatfeeding at 2 years, 5 months and it is certainly not a thrill for me. I am 37 weeks pregnant and it has been painful, sometimes excruciatingly so for most of that time. And I'm not being a martyr either, it's still easier to feed than wean despite the pain.

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#11 of 17 Old 10-23-2012, 03:50 AM
 
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Your husband is really unreasonable, so imho there is no reasoning with him. If I was in your shoes I would ignore him and nurse on. He doesn't "really" have a say in this.

I am planning on child led weaning, which means my son could be weaning around 2-6. It may sound crazy, but the longer I breastfeed, the easier it gets. After a year kids often nurse much less frequent, quicker and efficient. It will take a minimum amount of time out of your day. You won't even notice.
My husband is supportive about me breastfeeding for long, but he said that 2 years sounds like plenty. But he will not decide that wink1.gif

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#12 of 17 Old 11-13-2012, 07:22 PM
 
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I know this thread is a bit old but I wanted to agree that babies don't necessarily need their moms less when they wean. My daughter has always been very attached to me- a real mama's girl- and that didn't change one iota when she weaned. She is almost 4 now, and still gets upset when I'm not there at bedtime, even though she loves her daddy too. Weaning is not a magic cure-all for mama-baby attachment- and mama-baby attachment is not a disease that needs curing, either! Dads are often so eager for the babies to grow up and be able to "do stuff." They do grow up, so much faster than anyone can believe, and the early days of cuddling and nursing are so precious. Stick to your guns mama. But listen to your partner too- there may be things besides nursing that you can do differently as a couple or as a family that will make him feel better about whatever's really bothering him.
 


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#13 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A belated thank you for all of your replies and input! I've been meaning to come back with a nice update. Often during the past several months my husband has come to snuggle up next to us on the bed while I nurse our daughter to sleep. One night he said something like, "I think she should breastfeed until she's two. I think that will help keep her on an even keel." (Our baby has a great disposition, but also has a very, um, strong temper. Like me.) Surprised, I asked him if he felt any different about breastfeeding a future child--if he still had the same feelings about wanting a "hybrid" BF/FF approach.

 

He said that he did feel differently. He said, more or less, that he'd come to realize it had been a really good thing for our daughter. That it helped keep her healthy and happy. And then he snuggled her a little bit and said, "It's twenty minutes of bliss."

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#14 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 03:55 PM
 
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EDIT: just realized how old this thread is, and saw your previous post. Never mind, carry on...haha.

 

I'm sorry that he isn't being supportive. I'm wondering why he thinks formula would be easier. You would still have to feed the baby, and you would then also have to purchase formula, prepare bottles, find someway to heat it when out and about, sanitize the bottles...

 

Does he know that the current recommendation is to BF until at least 2 years old?

 

Honestly, what it sounds like to me is that it has nothing to do with the breastfeeding and everything to do with just wanting some time with you, in which case, it would be possible to leave expressed milk and a bottle with a family member or a friend so you two could go out to dinner or something. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by esinedeggplant View Post
My husband knows BFing is the best thing for the baby and has been supportive in many ways, but has always seemed to have mixed feelings about it--thinks it can be a hassle somehow, once said that he would prefer our next child to be "more of a hybrid" of breast & formula-fed, etc.

 

This morning I was nursing the baby while the three of us were still in bed. DH said, "When she turns one I want to have a wean party." I asked him why he felt that way (and was  upset, so I think my reaction may have partially escalated the rest of the convo). He said she should be weaned after 1 or 1 1/2. Then he pretended to be half asleep and started mumbling a bunch of things like, "so we can have more flexibility in our lives..." "after one they can have whole milk," and "you'll have more time on your hands." I asked him what he meant by that, pointing out he wasn't breastfeeding himself, and he said "but I'm the one who has to deal with the consequences." I asked him what he meant by "the consequences" and he pretty much shut down, but not before the kicker: "after one [BFing] is more of a thrill for the mother."

 


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#15 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 05:21 PM
 
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To me it doesn't sound like he's pushing formula so much as he feels he's missing out on the experience of bottle feeding. If I were a man and every time my child had to eat the other parent got to sit or lay down and bond with the baby while I got stuck doing some kind of work I would be annoyed over it. Maybe instead of bottle/formula feeding offer to both breastfeed and give bottles of expressed milk after the first couple months?

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#16 of 17 Old 01-20-2013, 03:58 PM
 
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There are lots of things dad can do with the baby other than bottle feeding. He can bathe the baby, wear the baby, go on walks, feed baby food when she starts solids...


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#17 of 17 Old 01-24-2013, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yup, he does most of those things. It's working out so far. DD is 11 mo old now and still loves nursing (but also loves eating). DH is more appreciative of how important it is for her and how it actually makes his life a lot easier...tho we're both getting a little concerned that it's hard to console her any other way if she wakes up at night.
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