Why do men even have nipples? Why make the effort of putting them there only to render them useless? To the breastfeeding mother it seems like a metaphorical kick in the crotch at a point where her crotch has been through enough. I’ve spent a lot of time pondering this over the last 2.5 years while watching my husband sleep soundly, silently resenting his useless nipples.
I’m the first to admit I was embarrassingly underinformed about breastfeeding. I knew what breastfeeding was, I knew I wanted to do it but I naively thought it was this thing that just happened after you had a baby. If my mum was still here I’d be asking her why she only ever described it as ‘magical’ and never mentioned cabbage leaves, mastitis and that sleep really is just an optional extra for existence. I’m glad I stuck with the boob but it feels like an extension of pregnancy and after a year feeding my daughter I was more than ready to get my body back.
It’s not without it’s stresses. The responsibility is all on me and lack of sleep is just shit but my offspring will not break me. Like with most things the Mini Dictator had pretty strong opinions about breastmilk and would not stand for it coming out of any boob substitute which caused me a lot of stress. Looking back I shouldn’t have worried as by the time I was back at work she was on with solids and fine without milk for most of the day. Second time round it’s been easier from the beginning except eight months in you’d think he would have realised aggressively sucking any exposed skin won’t generate milk. I have hickies for the first time since high school.
I’m not going to say fed is best because I think it’s a bit bloody obvious that a fed baby is better than a starving baby. I do however find it sad knowing we have pretty low breastfeeding rates in this country so I thought I’d round up my best bits about breastfeeding…
1. Upset baby? Don’t know why? Stick ’em on the boob.
2. Eyeing up a slice of cheesecake? Have two, doesn’t matter when you’re boobing.
3. Hungry but need to feed the baby? Hands free boobing.
4. Hate washing up fiddly bottles? None of that with boob.
5. Forgetful? You can’t forget your boobs.
6. Maternity pay is pants and boobs are free.
7. For 6 months your boobs will look magnificent… I won’t mention what happens after that but you may want to go for a bra fitting.
Alternatively, men could just start lactating.