baby

A dad asked his wife to stop breastfeeding their baby. His reasons were deeply troubling.

A mother has shared a heart-wrenching story about her husband’s lack of support as she breastfeeds their son.

The couple has had two daughters together but this time, because the baby is a boy, things are different.

“My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding my son,” the woman, who’s kept her name anonymous on the online forum Breastfeeders in Australia, begins.

“We have daughters together, but he makes fun of my son when he cries for me, and says things like ‘he’s such a girl’.”

You can feel the collective intake of breath. Mothers, women, everyone reading start to recoil. Mocking the boy for being such a ‘girl’‘? For feeling hungry as an infant and crying out for food?

But this woman wasn’t done.

“My husband also thinks I should stop breastfeeding because he says it’s stopping me from losing weight. He isn’t open to the idea of talking to a professional about this. Has anyone got any advice on dealing with an unsupportive husband?”

Breastfeeding, bottle feeding for new mums. Post continues below.

The comments from the public have been taken down, with a note from the site’s administrator explaining:

“Although all of the comments had the best of intentions, the member did not find many of comments suggesting she was being abused, or that she should leave her husband, very helpful.”

One response, however, was left for the public to see.

It’s an answer form a woman called Gina Haitidis who says she’s “had quite a bit of training in this kind of thing”. According to the site’s administrators, Gina has a degree in sociology and criminology and a Masters in social work and forensic medical health (i.e. she knows what she’s talking about).

First off, Gina points out that the woman’s husband might be feeling “jealous and insecure” because he’s missing out on the oh-so-expected father-son bond.

“Your third child is a boy and he, as a father, possibly has had fantasies surrounding the relationship he would have with his son,” Gina writes. “It appears (most likely because your son is still very young) that you are living out your husband’s fantasises, but he is not. This could make him somewhat jealous and insecure.”

ADVERTISEMENT
(Image: iStock)

This is also likely the reason for the 'like a girl' comments, Gina says.

"Your husband may be saying this for two reasons – one being because he is not the first point of protection and comfort. Or two, he feels somewhat left out of your special relationship."

Finally... about the weight loss.

"If you yourself have mentioned weight loss in the past, then this might be a way of him trying to persuade you in a positive supportive light (although it might not come across that way) [to stop breastfeeding]," Gina says.

"Or if you have brought it up in a negative light, again this is his way of trying to somewhat emotionally provoke you to stop. He may think that if you stop breastfeeding, he can have a more confident role in both his relationship as a father and partner."

How refreshingly insightful, within an issue that can be - must be - extremely upsetting.

To read the full post, visit Breastfeeders in Australia.

00:00 / ???