Grandbaby #6 has arrived. Little Isabelle was born at home earlier this month to a mom who is a die-hard breastfeeder and a dad (Son #2) who adores his children and his wife. It’s such a delight to see this little family blossoming. Isabelle is their fourth baby.
Isabelle’s mom faced some pretty huge challenges when their first baby was born. It took sheer determination to keep breastfeeding for more than the first week. And she did such a great job. They breastfed for over four months while taking massive amounts of herbs to counteract her hormones that only wanted to dry up her milk. Finally, even the herbs weren’t enough.
Most die-hard, natural-type people would not say four months is long enough. Technically it might not be, but when a mom gives it all she has until she has no more and her milk literally disappears all I can do is say “Well done! You did all you could!” No one can ask for more than that!
The story repeated itself with Baby #2. While breastfeeding was a little easier, the hormones fought against the milk production again for an encore performance. The scene played out again with their third baby, and it may play out again for Isabelle. The fact of the matter is – there can be no negative judgment when a mom does everything within her power to make breastfeeding work.
Years ago, when I studied to be a prenatal educator, we were taught that the number one reason for moms quitting breastfeeding was because of a lack of partner support, and I have seen women quit who were doing a great job of breastfeeding because their husbands wanted them to. Some men do not want to share their wives even with their own babies. I think this is a crime, and I’ve never understood this perspective. Guys, if you want to do what’s best for your babies then encourage your women to breastfeed. Do your level best to help make it happen. You can’t force her, of course, but you can encourage her and help out in a multitude of creative ways to make sure she has the time and the energy to breastfeed. Compliment her on her efforts. She’s doing a job that you can’t do.
Son #2 is all over helping his wife breastfeed successfully. In spite of being in school full-time and working part-time, his at-home time is all about family and home and making everything that is there worth having. It warms my heart, makes me smile, and makes me proud to see the family and home (note I did not say house!) Son #2 and his lovely wife have created. (And I note, that our other son who has a beautiful wife, also, and two lovely boys of their own, was exactly the same way when it came to supporting his wife in her desires to breastfeed.)
Christmas is almost upon us. I have a client whose religion does not celebrate Christmas. It warmed my heart one year when I wished him a Merry Christmas – and then I said “I hope I didn’t offend you.” He smiled and replied, “Not even a bit. I hope you have a Merry Christmas, too.” He knew my wish for him was heartfelt – and it is for you, too.
May you all have a joyful Christmas, full of love and all that is good.