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Dealing with an old fashioned dh

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  • Dealing with an old fashioned dh

    My dh comes from a small community like mine where everything is closed minded. Although he's trying to respect me we do run into trouble with bf. He feels i should leave the room to feed especially if there are other males around. Although i'm getting better at feeding in public (when he's not around), he has convinced me to stand in the stall of a public bathroom to nurse! The other day when we were at Sunfest he stood infront of me with a blanket and continually tried to cover any section of my breast that was showing (he says people are looking at me). He just doesn't feel comfortable with me breastfeeding in public...i've tried telling him "it's natuaral that's what they're for!" or "Don't worry people are not staring" and even "I don't care if the look, I'll tell them to take a picture it lasts longer" which obviously worked against me. I'm trying to learn to feed in a wrap but it's taking longer than i like. Does anyone have any suggestions on how i can help my old fashioned dh calm down about breastfeeding in public & around friends and family

  • #2
    Do you have any friends who are breastfeeding moms? Maybe you can have them over for a playdate while he's home and have them nurse when he's around...or better yet...if your friend's DH is BF friendy, see if maybe ya'll can spend some time w/ them so that your DH can see other women who BF and that her DH is supportive of public nursing (even if it is just in front of a friend...)

    Not that this would help you, but if your DH is standing around holding a blanket up over you so no one can see you then OF COURSE people are going to be staring...what an odd thing to see...A man covering up his wife!

    I try to be discreet in front of my husband's father and in front of my own stepdad, but anyone else that is around, I don't care. Do you think he could compromise with if there are very specific males he doesn't want you to nurse in front of, you would go to another room but any other male is fair game? I know that I don't nurse in front of my FIL if I can help it simply because I can see it makes him physically uncomfortable. He's never said anything nor has he stared, but he does the best he can to leave the room usually. My stepdad on the other hand, just gives me the willies That is why I hide from him...

    Hugs to you mama...this can be challenging!


    • #3
      I completely sympathize with your position. Most of my problems with bf are self imposed because I feel uncomfortable but my husband just has this silent disapproval that doesn't help matters. I hope to eventually figure out a system where everyone is comfortable but in the mean time just wanted to let you know you aren't alone. Hang in there at least any inconvenience or discomfort now is more than made up for by the benefits to ourselves and our babies.


      • #4
        What a hard position to be in! I can empathize, although for me it was the complete opposite- I couldn't find a more supportive person for breastfeeding in public besides my husband but I carried shame and fear about myself while breastfeeding in public. I would sweat and shake and get really red, but LLL really helped me and my self image gradually changed to pride and ease.

        A few tips to help ease your husband’s discomfort while still meeting your baby’s needs might be to bring along a shawl or small blanket, you can cover the baby and any part of your midriff that might be exposed. They also have all sorts of cute cover-ups to choose from made specifically for nursing; sitting near a wall or corner will usually give you the most privacy- Restaurant booths can give even more privacy, especially if another adult sits on the aisle. Another tip many mothers find helpful is to use a baby sling, wrap, carrier when your baby needs to nurse in public. When the baby is in the "cradle" position to nurse, the fabric of the pouch can be pulled up over the baby, protecting him, and any of your skin, from exposure! With a bit of practice at home in front of a mirror you can become a pro!

        I also really believe in the power of discussion- maybe sitting down with your husband using I words, like I'd like to discuss something. Is this a good time for you?, I feel (angry, hurt, etc.) when..., Having your support means so much to me.

        Good luck and feel good about the HEALHY decision you have made for your child!


        • #5
          he has convinced me to stand in the stall of a public bathroom to nurse
          Oh My! That sounds rough! I think getting used to seeing NIP (nursing in public) is really the key for all citizens to get used to it. Have you tried just nursing and not telling him when you are about to do it. He may not notice and then you can point out that neither did anyone else. His "prim and proper" radar is on full blast I see! I think it is really true that holding a blanket up (and I am sure other things he has done)only shouts "WOMAN NURSING BEHIND THIS BLANKET"
          maybe he would be reached by this cartoon
          or get some info from THIS site.... quote following is also from it.....Good luck!

          from-- Nurse Here Now site

          "Empowering breastfeeding moms to nurse wherever we are,

          whenever our babies need it, in spite of the fact that our culture would like

          to pressure us into thinking it is a shameful and impolite act.

          We know that breastfeeding is not a shameful act that should be hidden,

          it is a normal everyday parenting activity, and we are passing

          this message on to all nursing mothers."


          • #6
            I have a long woven baby wrap and I find that if I need to make things "more private" 4.6m of fabric help a lot Good luck with getting your DH on side. It sounds like you are doing a great job.. and he wants to be supportive, even if his protectiveness may be a little misplaced.

            I agree, discussion sound like the way to go. Just remember to let him know how much you value his attempts to look after you, because it sounds like he's trying really hard.