Focus on Fathers
A Father's Thoughts on Breastfeeding
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 19 No. 3, May-June 2002, p. 105
Before my wife became pregnant, I did not have an opinion about breastfeeding. It's one of those things men don't usually think about until they have to. Well, once Ileana's pregnancy was confirmed, my sister Kathy immediately inundated us with La Leche League information on the positive aspects of breastfeeding. Once I had read the material, it was obvious that breastfeeding was the correct choice for our child. I was a convert.
Of course, all the information was just information until Alex arrived in June of 2000. Happily, everything we had learned about breastfeeding was tremendously helpful during those first few intense weeks. I'm sure there is a primal urge that drives a parent to want their child to eat. I remember watching Ileana trying to get Alex to latch on the very first day. When he did it, a tremendous sense of relief came over me that suddenly turned to panic when he broke off and had to start over. Thankfully, Alex and Ileana figured things out quickly. Before long, Alex was comfortably nursing.
The thing that most impresses me about breastfeeding, aside from the nutritional and logistical benefits, is the sheer sense of pleasure I get from watching my son nurse. He looks so happy and peaceful in Ileana's arms. It makes me happy to know he's being loved in the best way possible. This makes me love my wife even more. It's this emotional element that breastfeeding encourages that I find so appealing. We really feel like a close-knit family. I give my full support to Ileana for breastfeeding so she can do so for Alex. In turn, he loves us back even more. It's really a team effort.
I find all the objections about breastfeeding just so absurd. It is amazing how ignorant modern society has become about this. In the end, I'm glad La Leche League found its way into my family. We're much better for it.