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dads role in bf should be included?

(40 Posts)
milward Fri 04-Feb-05 12:45:21

I have just finished a training course to be a bf counsellor. I enjoy this and with my fellow bf counsellors in my area are updating the bf booklet we give to expectant mums & their partners after a bf class.

I have been really shocked that my fellow counsellors don't want to have a section on dads support in bf. To me this is so important as dads are in the front line if probs occur, can support their family choice to bf and also that dads can do so much for their baby to create a special bond such as the bath with skin to skin contact. My fellow bf counsellors think this is all a waste of time & that dads can just get on & read the leaflet without it having a section for them. I ahd one comment from a fellow bf counsellor sying that the booklet wasn't the place for my own opinions. In my bf classes I always have a section on dads role in bf and give have a handout for dads - all really well received. I've had lots of good comments from dads. The other counsellors don't do this. What does everyone think on this? - should a bf booklet have a section for dads or not?

Pagan Fri 04-Feb-05 12:48:46

Why on earth not!!!! Dad's are included in all other literature and emphasis is always on how important it is to make them feel included as well as their role in supporting the mothers.

I think it's a great idea. FWIW, my DH thinks bf is great and loves to see DS looking content and happy like there is nothing more natural. Since there are many campaigns to promote bf I think any positive efforts should be applauded.

IlanaK Fri 04-Feb-05 12:51:41

Without a doubt! I am a trainee bf counsellor and run a support group. Our leaflet for our group specifically points out that dads are welcome to come for information on how to support the bf mother in their lives. In my own personal experience, if my husband had not been knowledgable and supported me, bf would have been so much harder and may have even stopped. In fact, I was speaking to a mum at the support group this week whose husband was less supportive and somewhat ill informed. Just think if he had attended a bf class or read a leaflet.

Marina Fri 04-Feb-05 12:55:14

YES. Good for you for persevering on this one milward. I think partner support (or usually the reverse) is enormously important in getting b/f established.
Even the otherwise kindest and most loving new dads can exert covert pressure (or just withhold informed support) on mums to give up b/f. I've seen it happen
Your reasons for wanting to do this are spot-on from what I have seen. I know how lucky I am that through the difficult and the easy times (extended b/f two babies after a difficult start) dh was totally supportive all along.
I am honestly surprised that other counsellors disagree with you given how inclusive the NCT aims to be with partners in general...

pinkmama Fri 04-Feb-05 12:55:45

God yes. My dh gets quite upset at how little he feels included in lots of the ante/post natal info. So much childcare still falls to women, because so many men feel so inadequate/ill informed (and cos some men just like it that way , but the more inclusive the better. Really surprised by the others attitude. Good for you for standing up for it.

LipstickMum Fri 04-Feb-05 12:57:14

Dads should definitely be included, how unfair!! It was my dp, who works in healthcare who enlightened me about how fabulous breastfeeding is, for many years before we'd had children. Without his knowledge and motivation and unstinting support when I was learning to feed dd I probably would have failed. He was just as much a part of it as me, going off and looking at websites to help us with problems etc etc.

A definite 'yes' to your question.

Blu Fri 04-Feb-05 12:59:35

I went to a brilliant all-day b/f workshop at our local hospital - and one woman turned up with her DP, partly because she spoke v little english and needed him to translate. The teacher made him wait outside while she asked 'special permission' from those of us in the group if he could stay! We all said 'of course' and wished our DPs were there too.

I had to laugh recently - in a scene in Holby City a woman was shown really struggling with b/f. "oh no, the baby isn't latched on properly' said DP in an authoritative voice.

milward Fri 04-Feb-05 13:02:36

Thanks everyone - I agree with you all on the importance of dads. I'm really up against with the other bf counsellors. I find it a strange attitude for the others to have.

motherearth Fri 04-Feb-05 13:10:25

I run local breastfeeding classes and one of the sessions i do is too split the boys and they right a list of how they think they could support and help their bf`ing partners !!!
Always goes down really well-one lady actually took the list home to pin up !!!! (just in case he forgot )

motherearth Fri 04-Feb-05 13:11:37

sorry i meant write not "right " ooops

milward Fri 04-Feb-05 13:24:58

I feel so much better to hear that others think dads are important enough to go into a bf booklet. I'll use all your reasons to back this up - but still feel really troubled about why this group of bf counsellors has this opinion and that I have to make a fuss just to get helpful info put in.

Blu Fri 04-Feb-05 13:29:13

Dads are vital - in supporting mothers but also being supported themselves not to feel jealous or left out. Early on DP started giving DS his bath as their own special physical time.

motherinferior Fri 04-Feb-05 13:39:05

Hmmm, I'm not sure with ALL of that last point about 'dads needing support', Blu - dads IMO can roll their sleeves up and get stuck into the bathtime and nappychanging (like your DP and like mine ) and general parenting. If you see what I mean.

But on b/f - I do think that a bit of b/f education for partners (would you include female partners in there, btw?) would be important. As in halting the 'when are you going to stop breastfeeding' or 'I wish you'd stop expressing, it's clearly draining you so much' or similar 'helpful' bloody comments'...

Yurtgirl Fri 04-Feb-05 13:44:32

Message withdrawn

Yurtgirl Fri 04-Feb-05 13:47:31

Message withdrawn

wild Fri 04-Feb-05 13:50:19

Sorry but what can dad's actually do here? they lack equipment. It would make me feel ill if dp started bringing me drinks of water and tissues like an invalid.

motherinferior Fri 04-Feb-05 13:51:35

I do actually see your point, Wild, but I think b/feeding education - as in why it's important but also that it's bloody painful at the beginning - could be helpful.

wild Fri 04-Feb-05 13:56:59

Oh, I see, point taken.

open Fri 04-Feb-05 13:59:56

Just asked dh about this. We went to an NCT breastfeeding session before the birth of our first baby. Dh says it was helpful to him to know how he could support me and just to know what goes on, how milk supply could be improved etc.

And one other thing. Breastfeeding is easy and doesn't hurt. Obviously not true for everyone, but it is for me. I get sick of reading everywhere that breastfeeding hurts.

Hausfrau Fri 04-Feb-05 14:00:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

franch Fri 04-Feb-05 14:01:40

I'm with you, milward. I'd have had serious trouble persevering if DH hadn't given DD a bottle of EBM at bedtime every night - a lovely way to share the experience. Good luck to you.

Blu Fri 04-Feb-05 14:01:45

MI - but you're such an idealist! Loads of men seem to be obstructive through jealousy etc- but perhaps you're right - they need a bloody good kick, not 'support'!

moondog Fri 04-Feb-05 14:06:08

wild, you're cracking me up today! I think you can put in a bit on fathers (or same sex partners?) without going overboard.

My dh is very au fait with b/feeding being from a farming background. (However the constant comparisond drawn with goats and cows were a little wearing in the early days...)
Just don't overdo it. Call me old fashioned but I think there's something a bit creepy about blokes muscling in on women's territory.

One of my friends was mortified when a bloke came up to her as she was b/feeding, gushing about how marvellous it was and how much he liked it, all the while focussing on her tits.
New man or utter perv???? Hmmmmm.. In the end, I remebered my sister's words of wisdom
'If you think-even fleetingly-that someone may be perving...they are!!'

Reminds me of how irritating I found my visits to the obstetrician here in Turkey for check-ups when p/g. Blokes, blokes,blokes everywhere!! Smoking,chatting, cluttering up the doorway, sitting on seats intended for pregnant women, escorting their wives into the consulting room, speaking for them with the secretary and so on.
Felt like shouting 'F** off!! This is women's territory! You can't dominate everything!'

Another meandering diatribe from moondog, but hope you can capture the essence of what I'm trying to get at (although probably not.)

tiktok Fri 04-Feb-05 15:27:22

Don't know whose bf training you are undergoing, milward - someone assumed it was NCT, but it might not be! - and I suspect it is a peer counsellor or peer supporter course you have followed, yes?

There is an argument for not having a section for fathers. It is to ensure people do not think they have to be in a supportive partnership in order to bf.

Imagine if you were not in a supportive partership, or indeed any relationship at all. Would you want to read a booklet that assumed you were?

On the other hand, yes, dad's role is important and dads need to know how they can be involved - maybe they can have a separate booklet?

There are all sorts of options.

Not sure why you are 'shocked' at other people taking a different view from you on this - there are pros and cons on both sides

It's good to have a discussion with your fellow counsellors. It would be a dull world if everoine agreed - and actually your colleague who said the booklet was not the place for opinions may be right : )

aloha Fri 04-Feb-05 15:30:32

I think Tiktok makes a good point about women who aren't in relationships.
Moondog, when I was pg last time I was at a party when a complete stranger (male) ask me if I was planning to breastfeed. Totally creepy! Yuk. Made me feel extremely uncomfortable.

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