I wrote this letter when my first son was a baby, and I originally published it on my first blog. I started Absolutely Cheri while nursing my second baby, and I had a lot of the same emotions. My husband had a better understanding with our second baby but I don’t think men will ever truly understand what us mothers go through in pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. I also want to note that while this letter is blunt and straightforward, I wrote it with a light hearted tone. My husband is an amazing man, and he was very helpful through my pregnancies and breastfeeding our baby boys.
*DISCLOSURE* This post may contain affiliate links. I will receive a small commission if you purchase from these links. You can read more about this on my Disclosure Page
Dear Husband of a Breastfeeding Wife
Do you know what your wife does all day? She feeds your child WITH HER BODY. This little creature who grew inside her for 9 months is still depending on your wife for all of its nutrition and hydration. You may have been told that newborn babies nurse every 2-3 hours. What they didn’t tell you is that the baby might not grow out of this for a while. Your baby might nurse every 2-3 hours for an entire year or more (this could mean your wife spends over 4,000 HOURS nursing your baby in its first year of life). You also shouldn’t be fooled into believing that your wife does has 2-3 hours of free time in between feedings.
Consider This Scenario
Baby starts nursing at 10am. Baby nurses for 45 minutes. Your wife tries to put baby down at 10:50am. Baby wakes up at 11 am. Baby needs a diaper change. It is now 11:05. Your baby will want to nurse again at 12pm. Your wife has less than an hour till her body is needed again. In a perfect world, she could put the baby in his jumperoo, put in a load of laundry, clean the kitchen, and vacuum the living room. I hate to break it to you, but you don’t live in a perfect world.
Note: This thought experiment does not take into account variables such as the baby spitting up, wanting to be held during his nap, or the diaper change being a blow out requiring a change of clothes and possibly a bath.
Breastfeeding is REALLY hard work
Your wife is tired. Your wife burns hundreds of calories a day making the milk that feeds your baby. Your wife is lucky to sleep 2-4 consecutive hours each night. Your wife is a MOTHER now. Offer to hold the baby while she showers or naps. Make dinner (or just pick something up on your way home). Pitch in around the house (or at least don’t complain about the mess). It might get better as the baby gets older but it might not. Your wife is trying to do the best she can. Go give her a hug and a kiss, she probably needs it.
Your Baby’s Mother