I wrote this letter when my first son was about 8 months old. My baby boy didn’t stop breastfeeding until I weaned him at 23.5 months old. This is a real letter that I wrote one night when I was feeding my son. It may seem crazy but I wrote it when I was upset with him about some silly issue.
My husband had a far better understanding with our second baby, but I don’t think men will ever truly understand what mothers experience in pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
I also want you to know that while this letter is blunt and easy, I wrote it with a light-weight hearted tone. My husband has an awesome persona, and he was super helpful when I was breastfeeding the baby boys. Now that our boys are done with breastfeeding, we’ve moved on to the next phase of life. I will always cherish the years I spent nursing my babies, as hard as some days were. I couldn’t have made it through if it weren’t for the help and support of my husband
Dear Husband of a Breastfeeding Mom
Do you know what your wife does all day? She feeds your child and her BODY. This little creature who grew for nine months inside her depends on her/his mother for six months from the time of birth for nourishment. It takes a lot of energy and patience to nurture a baby through breastfeeding.
You might have heard that newborn babies need to be fed every 2-3 hours. This is often a really loose statistic. actually, your baby might want to nurse even more frequently for the entire first year of life. That’s right, our baby might nurse every 2-3 hours for a whole year or more. This means your wife spends over 4,000 HOURS nursing your baby in the first year!
Consider This Scenario
This 2-3 hour breastfeeding schedule isn’t accurate. Babies feed for 30-45 minutes usually and they may want some more milk sooner than 2 hours. The baby might soon wake up with a dirty bum and start crying, now mama has to change the baby’s diapers and clean the baby.
Now the mama needs to breastfeed the baby again in the hopes that the baby will go to sleep. If the baby sleeps, baby’s mother feeds herself as she needs nourishment as well.
In a Perfect World
In an ideal world, a mama should be able to do the house chores like washing the clothes, cooking etc., while the child is asleep. I hate to break it to you, but you don’t live in an ideal world. Mama will be woken by the baby in minutes after she fell asleep. It’s a miracle if the mother gets a consistent 3 hour nap in real life.
Your wife is tired. She burns many calories each day making the milk that feeds your baby. The energy she uses to worry for the baby’s other needs drain the remaining calories. She is lucky to sleep 2-4 consecutive hours each night. Some nights she gets only 2-4 hours of sleep overall!
What you can do to help
Now that you simply have some understanding of what your wife’s day is like, here is what you should do to help:
Offer to carry the baby if she didn’t have an opportunity to shower or must catch abreast of sleep. Make dinner or eat something on the way home. Do your own chores. Sit with your wife and ask her if she needs any help with anything. It might be easier once the baby grows older or it might not.
Remember always that your wife is trying her best to nourish the child. Give her a hug and kiss often, she probably needs it. Tell her you love her. The first couple of years with a baby exhaust women physically, and this is often a burden that men just don’t understand.
She knows you’re working hard outside the house to support her and the baby, but all she needs is a lil’ appreciation of her efforts!
Sincerely, A Mom Who Breastfed