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.

dear husband breastfeeding wife
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 Dear Husband of a Breastfeeding Wife

Do you know what your wife does all day? She feeds your child WITH HER BODY. Breastfeeding is really hard work. This little creature who grew inside her for 9 months is still depending on your wife for all of its nutrition and hydration. It takes a lot of time and energy to sustain the life of a little one.

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. In reality, your baby might want to nurse even more frequently for the whole first year of life.

 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 with a dirty bum.  Mom (aka your wife) changes the baby’s diaper and outfit because the poop got EVERYWHERE.

It is now 11:05. Your baby will want to nurse again between 12-12:30. After nursing for another 30-60 minutes, your wife will have 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. 
The baby might need another diaper and/or outfit change or might not want to be put down. Even if your wife manages to put the baby down, she will need to get herself some food or take a quick shower before addressing other needs around the house. 

What You Can Do To Help

Your wife is tired. She burns hundreds of calories a day making the milk that feeds your baby. She is lucky to sleep 2-4 consecutive hours each night. Now that you have some understanding of what your wife’s day is like, here is what you can do to help: 
Offer to hold the baby while she showers or naps. Make dinner, or pick something up on your way home. Pitch in around the house, or at least don’t complain about the mess. Sit down with your wife and ask her what you can do to help. 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. 
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