National Breastfeeding Awareness Month
This month is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Breastmilk is the healthiest kind of milk for babies. Doctors encourage mothers to nurse their children if possible. Research shows that babies that are breastfed exclusively for at least 6 months are less likely to ear infections, diarrhea and respiratory illness, are better able to fight infection, and a host of other health benefits.
I would like to share my story.
I am a loving and involved father to a 8 year old young girl. My wife and I have worked with children and youth for 20 years. We have been married for 16. Shortly after we married, doctors told us we would not be able to have children. If we did conceive, they said we would not carry full term. 8 years and 3 miscarriages later, we gave birth to a healthy 8 pound baby girl. My wife and I made the decision to breastfeed. I did not know much about breastfeeding, but I knew that it would greatly benefit my baby girl. As the process started, I felt tired of course from interrupted sleep and lack thereof, attending to my daughter’s needs. Even our cat had bags under his eyes, I kid you not. As feeding began to take place, I felt left out. What's my part? What can I do? I want to feed her. I wanted that same intimate feeling my wife was getting with the little being who looks just like me.
I soon put my feelings to the side to stop pouting and get into the game. Although, I could not and did not desire to nurse, I decided to look at how I could help. I begin to help with getting her when she was crying and bring her to my wife. I helped with changing her and bathing her. I helped with putting the expressed milk in the freezer or defrosting and attempting to feed my daughter by way of bottle. I could be a part. I could be needed. You know, it really wasn't about me, but about what my was best for my little girl and doing what I could to help make it happen.
I definitely saw the benefits of having a child that received her mother’s milk. My daughter was healthy. I don’t recall her being sick at all during the first 12 month. Diaper changes weren’t too bad either. I was also able to go with my wife to a WIC visit. WIC stands for Women, Infant, and Children, but WIC is for men too. WIC offers nutrition counseling, baby food and formulas, and helps families buy foods full of the nutrients your children need. Dad, can this help your family? Yes. It was definitely helped my family. I was able to ensure my wife ate healthy foods and that my daughter received the benefits. I do have to admit, I felt a bit uncomfortable when I first walked into WIC with my wife, but again, I had to come to grips that it’s not about me. It’s about what is best for my family and child. WIC is not a handout, but a tool, to help support the family.
Thumbs up to all the dads who have supported their child’s mother when breastfeeding. It’s the healthiest source of nutrition your child can receive. For more information on breastfeeding or formula feeding, feel free to contact your local WIC office and your child’s pediatrician. Happy Breastfeeding Awareness Month!
D. David Bryant is a devoted husband, father, and entrepreneur. He is a noted fatherhood advocate and keynote speaker who has traveled the nation encouraging fathers and families. He is the author of the book, "And David Danced With All His Might" and creator of an original character named Bozo the H.O.Z.O. the Christian Clown. David is very charismatic and engaging. He has a way of breaking down topics that make sense to the audience he is speaking to whether it is a group of elementary students or a group of incarcerated fathers. To be added to our mailing list to receive more content from D. David Bryant click here. Find out more information about David at www.bryant-enterprises.com and www.bozothehozo.com.