Dad Talk: Breastfeeding Your Baby


I’m going to try not to turn this site into all baby all the time (for that matter I’m hoping not to turn my life into all baby all the time). That said, here’s a post about babies.

So the doctors have started loading Emily up with all sorts of brochures and pamphlets about pregnancy, screening tests, birthing classes, all that fun stuff. In the latest batch there was a pamphlet just for me! It’s titled “Dad Talk: Breastfeeding your baby” and has a nice little photo of a very macho-looking tattooed guy holding a newborn. Which at first I thought was a great idea — all the pregnancy books are (understandably) aimed exclusively at the mom; I haven’t really seen anything yet that approached things from the future dad’s point of view (excepting the cartoon above, one of a very entertaining set of instructions my brother-in-law sent.)

So here are some of the tips in Dad Talk, Breastfeeding your baby:

  • Breastfeeding mothers lose their pregnancy weight quicker
  • Breastfeeding saves money
  • Expect a shift in who is doing what in the house — you may do more than your share at first
  • Support lower expectations for meals and a clean house
  • Dad is the first one to teach that love does not have to come with food attached

Which is to say, dad is a shallow appearance-driven skinflint who expects his wife to still cook and clean for him. Hm.

I was similarly thrown off by this, which in going through the pros and cons of various types of diaper keeps referring to specific types as “great for daddies!” Which I didn’t understand at all, until I got to one of the later entries which dropped the other shoe: one particular brand “can be hard for some to learn/use (daddies, daycare, grandparents).”

Which is to say in addition to being a shallow skinflint, dad doesn’t help with the diapers much either. Or else he has poor hand-eye coordination. Maybe both.

[sidebar: when I was complaining about this to Emily, I said “They don’t mean ‘daddies,’ they mean ‘assholes!’” To which she replied, “Well, they are talking about diapers after all.”]

Do guys like this still exist? Seriously, what is this, 1954? I mean, obviously there isn’t much I can do to help with the actual pregnancy part, other than by carrying things to Emily when she’s too exhausted to stand up anymore, which is often — but after that point it’s pretty much a team effort, isn’t it?

I know I’m going to pay for this attitude later on, but honestly the “baby” part of having a baby doesn’t worry me at all. Sleep deprivation? I’m not exactly a stranger to that. Diapers? Doesn’t sound like party time, but I’m pretty sure I can cope. Kid won’t stop screaming? Well that’s why they invented the ball gag, isn’t it?

Kidding, kidding.

But still. All that stuff seems about as difficult as training a new puppy; it’ll be messy and noisy and occasionally gross and there will be tooth marks all over everything, but it’s all temporary, and from here looks pretty manageable. (You may want to bookmark this page now, so you’ll be able to mock me with it next October.)

The stuff that really worries me all won’t start until about five or six years from now. What if the Savoy school really sucks? What if we’re too isolated for the kid to make any friends? How’s he going to learn to ride a bike? Not on our steep dirt driveway, not on route 116; are we going to have to drive him everywhere? How’s he going to get any independence if we have to drive him everywhere? What if the American economy collapses and global warming causes widespread famine and the government turns totalitarian and should we try to give birth in Canada or somewhere else to give the kid a dual-citizenship escape route? Would that even work? What if he gets eaten by bears? (In our backyard, not in Canada. Though I guess in Canada too.)

That’s the sort of thing I’m spending my time worrying about. Diapers, breastfeeding, meh. No big deal by comparison.