I have changed the subject of my blog at the last minute this week due to a radio programme I heard about a Stephanie Wilby. Stephanie was told to stop breastfeeding her four-month-old baby in a Swimming Pool in Manchester. She was told that it was incident exposure by the staff and the act of breast feeding compared to urinating in the pool. You may have read about the story in the papers or seen it on the news.
Now I often sit in my local Starbucks to work and check emails – they, like many establishments, display Breastfeeding friendly signs and I will often see mums of all ages come in for coffees and discreetly breastfeed. Now as a partner and father we should want the best for our children and partners – it is a fact that breast milk is the best thing that a child can have to promote growth and immunity. There all sorts of other great benefits such as mother and child bonding.
For a mother to breastfeed in public can be quite daunting and they can be self conscious, but this is a natural act. It should, in my opinion, be encouraged and my approach is would you make a fuse if the baby was bottle fed in public ……no …therefore we should not make a fuss about breastfeeding, we should help and encourage mothers to feel comfortable.
Often I see people feel uncomfortable because they are unsure how to react, and that can make a Mum feel nervous, but if those around are relaxed it becomes easier for the mother. So as a Dad we would support our partners and I feel we should encourage its acceptance. But also I feel we as Dad’s and partners should support people like Mumsnet and demonstrations against places that for no justifiable reason relegate a Mother to a toilet or changing area to breast feed. We should also look at our work places and ask would breast feeding be accepted here? If you have the public in your place of work perhaps it might be worth checking your companies policy ……
As dads we can feel emotionally excluded from breastfeeding, but we should also ensure any mother can feel relaxed breast feeding anywhere, be it the bus, the tube, a restaurant, an office or a leisure centre. You might not always feel comfortable, and some mums are not as discreet as others, but they are someone’s partner, the baby is some mans’ child, and that might be your partner or your child in the future.
Sorry if this is a rant but breastfeeding is a beautiful natural act and should be encouraged and I believe it is every Dads job to ensure it can be done by any mother without shame, embarrassment or harassment, after all Breast is Best
Till next week.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of Dad.info.