Blog-prompt: Extended breastfeeding bad for dads?

(58 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 20-Jul-12 10:50:06


In case you hadn't seen it, we thought we'd draw your attention to this <ahem> provocative piece in the New York Times, in which James Braly argues that attachment parenting - specifically extended breastfeeding - might be beneficial for children and mothers, but is Not A Good Thing for fathers. 

In the process he makes some <cough> interesting assumptions about men and women, with which Amanda Marcotte takes issue in Slate.  On this side of the pond, Jill Filipovic argues that, despite Braly's questionable attitude to women, there is an important discussion to be had about how to nurture the sexual side of a parental relationship.

What do you think of the New York Times piece - interesting, outrageous, irrelevant or misogynist? If it piques your interest enough to blog over the weekend, do let us know on the thread - we're keen to feature your posts.

Do also let us know here what you think of blog-prompts more generally, and any suggestions for future themes or topics - serious or silly!



OP’s posts: |
poppyseeds99 Fri 20-Jul-12 13:03:37

hmm I think James B has a point, in that it's a bit weird to be breastfeeding a four-year-old, but what a meanie for discussing his wife's choices with such a man-centric view in a national newspaper!!

I don't usually blog about parenting so thought I'd get my two pennies' worth in here grin

CMOTDibbler Fri 20-Jul-12 13:08:01

FWIW, my dh says that it is a load of bollocks, and that me nourishing our ds didn't make him see me as less sexy.

James Brady sounds like a whinging toddler who doesn't want to share <mine> <mine> and who has an odd view of his wife tbh

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 20-Jul-12 15:20:11

Blimey that was quick - ThingsToBakeAndDo has posted a thoughtful response to the blog-prompt here. She writes, "when you’re in a physical, sexual relationship with someone, effectively you are sharing each other’s bodies" (though do read the whole post for context).

OP’s posts: |
NoComet Sun 22-Jul-12 21:16:08

I'm not even part way into that article and I've had to stop before I throw my iPod across the Atlantic and through the authors skull.

Teeth, size of a foalangryangryangry

That man is your child, your flesh and blood enjoying something that is extremely special and important to HIM.

I have a DD who choose to BF until she was far older than 5.5. Yes I choose to let her, but it was her and her alone who worked out how to make feeding work as she grew.

DH wasn't bothered, if she fed early in a morning be snuggled up behind me. If she feed herself to sleep he sometimes stayed and chattered, sometimes went to compute, sometimes read to DD1 if she didn't want to sleep.

He didn't feel excluded, he hates junk TV he doesn't sit about in the evening. We do our talking and other things in bed later.

Far, far more amazing, in retrospect is how mature and unbothered DD1 was by her sisters fondness for Mum's boobs.

She's only 3 years older, but was never jealous of her sister. In fact I think she rather approved because I would chat, hug and read to her while feeding DD2.

If a child can respect her younger siblings needs then a grown man absolutely should.

StealthPolarBear Sun 22-Jul-12 21:42:12

I have. To admit I got as far as "what about for the father?" And closed it
If there was evidence that ebf increased the fathers risk of prostate cancer or mental health problems then he might have a point. But in the absence of such evidence he needs to grow the f up and get himself a blow up dolly to play with.

StealthPolarBear Sun 22-Jul-12 21:43:06

It may not be 'normal' in a western culture to feed a 4yo but I take offense to it being described as weird

tigercametotea Sun 22-Jul-12 22:01:52

A piece of self-serving drivel. I hope his wife sees him for what he is. Bitching about her choices and rationalising his jealousy of his own son for all to see in public. What a prick.

tutufluffles Sun 22-Jul-12 22:02:43

I think JB is missing out because of his negative view on bf. My DH found me very sexy whilst bf because I had beautiful big breasts and he made the most of them. He was also aware that my bbb were more senstive during this period in our lives and therefore gave me great pleasure which n turn gave him pleasure.

Biggem Sun 22-Jul-12 22:07:24 god.
Now, EBF isnt for me, BUT it's a personal choice FFS, if your own husband isnt behind you on it because he doesn't get laid enough what bloody hope is there?!
Utter knob head.
I can't actually articulate how much this 'article' (in a very loose sense, personally to me it sounds more like a grown man having a tantrum) has wound me up.

Biggem Sun 22-Jul-12 22:08:30

Back again.
Vaginal birth ain't exactly good for ones sex drive either yet here we are, SOLDIERING ON!!!!

swampster Sun 22-Jul-12 23:12:23

He sounds horrid.

My DH loved my norks throughout my breastfeeding our sons (three boys continuously for more than six years when combined i.e. two-plus years each NOT six each). BUT I couldn't stand for him to go near them. It is only now that our youngest hasn't been using them for about a year that I can enjoy them with my DH again. Sad (for DH) but true.

hellymelly Sun 22-Jul-12 23:27:20

I don't quite understand why breasts can't be sexual and also feed a toddler? It seems such a non-issue. He sounds a bit strange that he feels in competition with his son for his wife's chest, like its a raffle prize or something.

aesopslabials Mon 23-Jul-12 01:02:05

awful article. sad

TanteRose Mon 23-Jul-12 05:06:07

what a vile article

the language is just so loaded...

what about for the father
full set of teeth, the size of a foal, suckling
dry heaving

FFS angry

NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown Mon 23-Jul-12 07:30:59

Poor fella, some new kid took his toys!

KristinaM Mon 23-Jul-12 07:39:07

What a selfish fool.

" I don't want my wife and child to benefit from the health benefits of Bf because personally I find bf unsexy. My hang ups are more imrptant than their welfare. I could just decide to...rem...get over it. I could even go for counselling /therapy. But no, I decide to publish in a newspaper "

Scarredbutnotbroken Mon 23-Jul-12 08:15:00

Sigh. Its do hard to get the message across that bf from birth to 6 months at least is so important for the baby in the first place without tools like this throwing in spanners about possible but rare eventualities.

cluelessnchaos Mon 23-Jul-12 08:24:02

He doesn't really say why breastfeeding stops him having sex. Is it that his wife publicly feeding gives him the bolk. As someone else said a lot of parenting is a turn off, vaginal birth, sore leaking boobs, sleepless nights. Why his wife is getting the blame for being unsexy I don't know. Sounds like he hasnt adapted to the new relationships. I'd be interested to hear his wife's take on things. And for gods sake no one tell him how hard it is to have sex with teenagers around.

MmeLindor Mon 23-Jul-12 08:26:26

I don't have time to blog about this, but just wanted to say that I love the idea of a blog prompt and would like to join in the future.

thanks and wine

SummerRain Mon 23-Jul-12 08:27:51

I'm not even going to read it, I'm not in the mood for rage right now.

Suffice to say dp does not agree with that tool of a man, he found me as sexy throughout the 7 years of breastfeeding our three children as he did before we had kids and he never saw them as competition for his affections. He supported cosleeping and breastfeeding until our children were ready to stop as it was best for them. And it certainly didn't damage our relationship one bit.

The fact that I got pregnant twice whilst breastfeeding and cosleeping is proof enough our relationship didn't suffer.

NoComet Mon 23-Jul-12 09:18:53

I don't know if DH would have been happy if I'd fed DD1 in public when she was older.

The last time I remember doing so was at at her sisters starting school meeting, so she was about 18 months.

She liked to stretch her legs out so feeding not on a bed or sofa got very awkward.

DH is much less of an exhibitionist than I am and a bit shy, so he might been vaguely embarrassed, but beyond about 2 DD2 never tried to feed in public.

She seemed instinctively to know it wasn't the done thing.

She is far more socially aware and far better at making friends than anyone else in the family. She is frequently embarrassed by her couldn't care less what people think mum and sister.

IHaveAFeatureWallAndILikeIt Mon 23-Jul-12 10:05:15

I've not read the article, but I bf ds until 13months and definitely found that my sexual relationship with Dh was killed by it. Not because he found me less attractive but because I found it impossible to reconcile the dual role of my body as mother and lover. I am only just beginning to be able to and ds is 2.4 months old. (But I will do the same for any more babies I have because I feel it is important - but will maybe look into books or counselling so that next time I might feel more comfortable doing both)

IHaveAFeatureWallAndILikeIt Mon 23-Jul-12 10:07:24

If any DH found them more attractive when I was breastfeeding because they were size of Jordan's!

KristinaM Mon 23-Jul-12 10:07:57

Whatever works for you star bunny. Personally I eat in public all the time, as does my DH, and I don't think I'm an " exhibitionist" . I'm in a cafe right now and there are people of all ages and both sexes eating and drinking quite brazenly wink. None of them seem to be worried that they might be offending others .

There even a man wearing shorts and I can see his legs above the knee shock

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