Should dads have a say in BF vs. FF?

Avatar for kfira71
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Should dads have a say in BF vs. FF?
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Fri, 03-28-2003 - 10:52am
I was thinking about a conversation I had with the contractor who's doing work on my house. My DS was running around, and for some reason, the topic of BFing came up (this contractor is quite chatty, LOL!). Anyway, he told me that he had really wanted his wife to BF their daughter (years ago - I think she's 9 or 10 now), but his wife refused. He looked really sad about it, talking about how he had read how great BFing is for the baby.

So, do you think dads should have a say in whether or not their babies are BF of FF? Why, or why not? Is it the mom's decision, period? What if it's the reverse, and the mom wants to BF, but the father doesn't want her to (for whatever reason - maybe he's feeling resentful of the baby and their relationship, and it's seriously effecting his feelings toward his child)? Does he have less of a say if he's against BFing? If parents decide all other major decisions regarding their child *together* (ped choice, vaccinations, schooling, diet after the child is weaned, etc.), why is BFing different?

~Kim

"Becoming a parent means agreeing to allow your heart to go walking around outside of your body."

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 11:15am
I would hope that a man could be unselfish enough to want the best for his child if his wife wants to provide that. An there is NO reason he can't "bond" with the baby,you do not have to FEED a baby to BOND with a baby. My dh always held my daughter AFTER I nursed her. At bedtime I'd nurse her in her room and he'd wait until I was done...then he'd rock her to sleep.

I think FFing just so the Dad doesn't feel left out is silly....he can't carry the baby or give birth to it either...but I don't see them complaining about that LOL!

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 11:18am
I know this isn't going to go over very well.......but here goes.

Ok...I am the mom. I play the MAJOR role in my children's lives. Yes, my dh plays a part....but *I* make the final decision. That's the way it is...whether or not my dh likes it. It may sound terrible....but it is *MY* personality and something I will not apologize for.

So.......yes, he should have a say, but in my world that's where it ends. Whether he disagrees or not, I make the final decision. ESPECIALLY when it has to do with my children. If we are talking other, IMO low-priority things.....I let go if he is adamant.....even in regards to some discipline. BUT, when it comes to the health and well-being of our children......I make the final decision.

Last year was a very stressful and painful year for me and my youngest son. I *knew* something was wrong with him....and went to several DR's to find out. The entire time my dh was VERY against it..telling me that it was my imagination and that I was being crazy. Well, it turns out there WAS a problem. After about 9months of DR's and tests, and procedures in and out of the hospital.....he eventually had major surgery last October that included a g-tube(he gets fed from the outside of his body). Anyway, my point.......*I* know my children better than anyone else....and that includes my dh. I won't make apologies.


christine


~christine~

Avatar for kfira71
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 11:31am
Thanks for these answers, but I'm thinking I wasn't clear. My main question was, what if the *father* wants his child to be BF, and the *mother* refuses (not because she can't BF, but because she *won't*)? Should the father have any say?

I added the reverse (Mom wants to BF, father doesn't want her to) just as an afterthought, but that seems to be the question people want to answer, LOL.

~Kim

"Becoming a parent means agreeing to allow your heart to go walking around outside of your body."

Avatar for kfira71
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 11:36am
So, basically, he has no say. You've written that, yes, he should have a say, but you make the final decision regardless. So, is that really having a say? Semantics, I guess. Being "allowed" (for lack of a better word) to voice his opinion, but not really having it count for much in the end, if it disagrees with yours?

I know what you mean about "knowing" your child, but I believe my DH "knows" our DS, too, just in a different way. I don't think it's less than the way I know him, just different. And I believe major decisions like this should be made by both parents (at least in our house). Kind of opposite of what you said - the little things, I don't really care. But the big ones, we both need to talk it over and decide together.

~Kim

"Becoming a parent means agreeing to allow your heart to go walking around outside of your body."

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 11:41am
being pretty pro-bf i hate to say this...

but, to answer your exact question, i think its mom's call -- it's her body. yes, it should be a decision made by both partners, but i do think in the end it falls on mom. she needs to be willing.

though barring really good reasons, i have a hard time seeing any mother not being willing to provide the best for their child (but, hey that's me).

on the flipside, i hate to see any dh not be supportive of bf. it's just plain silly. for example, i think about that recent wic post where the woman's boyfriend would "kill her if she bf'd." that kind of stuff makes me ill.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 11:42am
Well, they can have a "say," but nobody should be able to force a woman to BF - for any reason. They can discuss it, and bring up pros and cons, etc. - but in the end, the mom is the one who has to do it, and should make the final decision.

-Deb

 

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 12:01pm
Yah, I knew this wouldn't go over very well.....but that's ok.

My dh has a *say*.....but, in the end I make the final decision whether he realizes it or not. We discuss things together all the time. BUT...I am with my children all day long, so regularly am the disciplinarian and so on. It's only natural for me to make the decisions...kwim??

Anyway......regarding your specific question(I went off on a tangent). The decision is ultimately the mother's, regardless of which way you are asking it. If the mother wants to bf...she bf's. If the mother wants to ff...she ff's. It doesn't matter what anyone else says.....IMO.


christine


~christine~

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 12:15pm
My DH will be the first to say "It is YOUR decision"!

Because A) *IF* I bf'd I'm the one doing the bfing, I'm the one pumping for when we go out each time daily, and B) It is *MY* Body. Then there is C) I am the one that is knowledgeable in *this* area. I am the one that has read, educated & informed myself, and can discuss this from all the information I have spent years reading and talking about. My DH is not going to read up on bf/ff. He is busy. He is a wonderful Husband & Father. He is a business owner with a big career who travels quite a bit. Plus he tries to find time for his own personal interests (golf, NCAA, sports in general).

As far as other "parenting decisions"....WE decided private Christian school was the *only* way to go for OUR kids. That was OUR decision. I'm far more knowledable on the car seat/booster seat information and how long kids should ride in them, the specifics of whys, etc. Again, he isn't going to read up on something I'm researching myself. No time for it. We agree together on all vaccinations for the kids, so no decisions to made there. We go w/what our pediatrician recommends.

As far as diet...we both work together on that. Whether we eat here at home. When we dine out several times a week. We make sure he eats good meals. We watch over soft drinks, sweets, junk food (i.e. chips, cheez-its). We *do* allow soft drinks, sweets, junk food, and fast food...I'm not saying we stay away from it.

I do not think a man should *try* to force a woman who is unwilling (and there are plenty of them in the world!) to bf'd anymore than try to force her not to bf'd if that is where her heart is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 12:43pm
I don't really have an opinion on this but I can tell you that I had lots of trouble breastfeeding my first child and I was ready to start formula feeding before we left the hospital. It was my husband's insistance that made me keep it up and eventually I was sucessful at breastfeeding. Yes I thought he was a jerk for sticking his oar in where I didn't think it belonged but in the long run it benefitted our baby and thats all that matters
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 12:52pm
I do think a dad has a right to be heard, either way. If he feels so strongly that his wife should BF, I believe mom should at least TRY. If she really wants to quit for whatever reason, then she should do what is best for her. On the flip side, if dad is against it, but mom wants to , I think mom should BF. She can listen to what he has to say, however, I really don;t think dad could come up with a valid reason as to why mom shouldn;t BF. My DH said it was my decision, but I know he was happy to not have to do those 3:00am feedings;)

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