Your Husband and Breastfeeding

I’m breastfeeding our baby and I know my husband is 100 percent supportive. But sometimes I can tell that he’s feeling a little left out. Is there anything I can do to help him? How can he be involved in raising our child when so much of it depends on me and breastfeeding?

You know all about how great breastfeeding is, right? That it’s free, that it never runs out, and that breastfed babies’ diapers don’t stink are major advantages. But there’s a lot more. It gives you and your child a great opportunity to bond. It’s also the perfect blend of nutrients for the baby. Breastfed kids have a much lower chance than formula-fed kids of developing food allergies, respiratory- and gastrointestinal illnesses, or of becoming obese as adults. It may also transmit your immunity to certain diseases on to the baby. Pretty much everyone agrees that you should breastfeed for at least a year if you can.
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The hidden costs of breastfeeding

WASHINGTON, DC, April 26, 2012 — Pediatricians and other breastfeeding advocates often encourage
new mothers to breastfeed their babies for at least the first six months of their infants’ lives based on the purported health benefits to both mothers and children. Many breastfeeding proponents also argue that
breastfeeding has financial advantages over formula-feeding—breastfeeding is free, they say. But,
according to a new study, the notion that there’s no cost associated with breastfeeding for the
recommended amount of time is patently untrue.
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Midnight Wakeups

We have a newborn and my wife and I are both exhausted. Who do you think should take care of the baby when he wakes up at 3 a.m.? Do both of us have to suffer? Does our infant really need both of us there in the middle of the night?

If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night hungry, and your partner is breastfeeding, you might as well stay in bed and let her take care of things. Sounds pretty boorish, but really and truly, there’s not much you can do to help. In fact, your sleeping through the feeding may actually benefit your partner. That way you get a full night’s sleep and you’ll be fresh for the 7 a.m. child-care shift, and she’ll get to spend a few more precious hours in bed.
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Dads and Breastfeeding

Everyone says that new mothers should breastfeed their babies but I’ve never really known why. Isn’t formula just as good for our child? And, I know this sounds nuts, but is there anything I can to do to stay involved while my wife is nursing? I feel so left out.

Before their babies are born, just about any expectant father you’d ask would say that breastfeeding is the best way to feed a baby and that his partner should nurse their child for as long as possible. And why not, just consider some of these advantages:
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Overcoming Jealousy

I used to be the center of my wife’s universe. We had a great relationship, we did things as a couple, and we communicated all the time. Now that we’ve had a baby, I’m jealous of all the time mom and baby spend together and I feel left out. Not only am I jealous as a husband, but I’m also jealous as a father. Is this normal and how can I overcome my feelings?

First of all, it’s completely normal to be jealous of your wife’s relationship with your new baby–especially if she’s breastfeeding. But who’s really making you jealous? Your wife because of her close relationship with the baby and all that extra time they spend with each other? Or is it really the baby for coming between you and your wife, for taking up more than his "fair share" of her attention, and for having full access to her breasts when they may be too tender for you to touch? Probably both.
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Depressed pregnant moms much less likely to breastfeed

A study just published in the Journal of Human Lactation found that women who took certain antidepressants during pregnancy were significantly less likely to breastfeed their babies compared to women who didn’t. One might reasonably ask why I’m reading Journal of Human Lactation at all. Simple answer: It’s a magazine about breasts. Do I really need any other excuse? Sadly, unlike Playboy–another magazine about breasts that people also read for the articles–this one has no pictures. Or cartoons, for that matter.

The drugs in question are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs, which include Prozac, Zoloft, and many others. And the researchers found that women who took SSRIs at any point during the pregnancy were 60 percent less likely to begin breastfeeding than those who didn’t take any at all.

“While the benefits of breastfeeding an infant are very clear, this study suggests that women who are taking antidepressants in pregnancy are not engaging in this behavior as often as we would like to see,” said Christina Chambers PhD, MPH, professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego and co-author of the study. “Whether this is due to the mother’s fear of harming her baby by breastfeeding while taking the medication, or due to the mother’s depression itself is unclear.”