men desiring to feed--normalacy?
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|Mon, 04-28-2003 - 9:20pm|
I'll tell you what I think.
I think it is not normal for a man to have any desire to feed his child, because physically it is not something he would have ever done in the past.
I *do* think it is a misplaced feeling of a need or desire to help his SO/DW/GF and perhaps to bond with his baby, that he can't properly identify. I see it along the same lines as the whole breast as a sexual organ thing, that people think it is as such, and have a hard time getting past that to see it as a nourrishing organ.
When a man comes to our monthly meetings and shows an interest in feeding, I bring it up by saying something along the lines of "it's really nice to see a dad who is so keen on helping his SO and getting close to his baby, but there are LOTS of other ways to do both!"
I figure a man who wants to really help his wife out can: do a load of laundry, bring his wife breakfast in bed, run some errands, play with the older kids (where applicable), etc.
In the same vein, a man who wishes to "bond" with his child, which is a perfectly normal wish IMHO, can do so by: taking over bathtimes with his baby (ie the dad and only the dad is responsable for baths which can be a great time to bond!), rocking the baby, singing to the baby with him/her lying on his chest (bare or not), taking the baby for a walk in a sling, playing with the baby, and taking his fair share of changing diapers (and i must say...I've heard people suggest this first off the bat before and I *do* think it is entirely unfair to suggest to a new dad that he could be responsable for ALL diaper changes since mom is responsible for ALL feeds, as I feel lots of dads will be feeling they are getting the short end of the stick...but bathing? that's fun IMHO!).
Sure, often newborns spend more time feeding than much of these other things (except the pooping, LOL) to begin with, but as time goes on, dad will get to spend more time with his child.
I think also, that a lot of people have a hard time seeing, or perhaps admitting, that a newborn is by nature, more often "bonded" to his or her mom, and wants to be in her arms more to begin with, just because s/he was attached to that same mom, hearing her heart and voice, for 9 long months. Other people develop bonds with kids, and these bonds can be just as strong as the mom/child bond, but IMHO there is nothing wrong with them developping more gradually, slightly later. I don't think my DH is any less bonded to my older 3 year old than I am, but their bond is *different*, like it or not (and I think that's totally normal). I do think I am a bit more bonded for now to our 6 month old, but she's still really into *mom*, especially when hungry.
Anyhow...those are my thoughts on that subject, I'd like to hear others! ;-)