Men can be real jerk faces, can't they? And before you get all crazy on me, I mean some men. Some women, too. Heck, my son can sometimes be a jerk face but don't tell him I said that. Well, you can, but he's 8 months old and won't understand you anyway.
But some men hate on a woman for breastfeeding. It's true. If you disagree then realize that you are a lucky woman that you don't have those kinds of jerk faces in your life.
When I was in the Lactation Lounge at BlogHer, I was talking to the other women in the room about this very topic. It's something I have recently experienced myself -- a hater of my lactating mammaries. And no, it's not my husband -- he is the one who encourages me, especially in my early days of trying to nurse twins.
So after commiserating and thinking about the anti-breastfeeding crusade of the male variety, here are my thoughts on why (some) men hate when we breastfeed.
1. They feel our breasts belong to them, and are sexual only. They shouldn't be feeding a baby. We talk about our babies having nipple confusion, but it's these grown men who are truly nipple confused. Breasts are sexy, yes ... yes they are. But they also supply the most natural and best nourishment a baby can get. Can't they put their breast obsession aside until mom is done nursing? Why can't they take up a new fetish? Like, say, toe licking. Mama likes that.
2. They think that if we breastfeed, especially for longer than 6 weeks, we become too empowered -- too feminist-y -- and they hate us for it. These types of men have their own mama issues to work out. Maybe they even feel a woman's place is in the kitchen or they resent their wives for being successful working mothers. No matter the reason why, the bottom line is that they are insecure and have some issues. They need to work those out themselves or just go home to mama -- their own mama -- and nurse a stiff cocktail as their tears salt the glass.
3. They believe a nursing mom will never be sexual. Take the sex away and daddy is just unhappy. He's like a little boy whose toy was taken by his sister. A teeny baby sitting in a poopy diaper. Well actually, he's not. He may be whining like a child, but his reason isn't as legit. Yes, it's true that nursing produces hormones and a mother who breastfeeds may not be as ready to get it on as those newlywed days. But news flash! Welcome to life as a parent. Get used to not always being number one or getting it on in your bedroom like wildcats (because the co-sleeper is in the way). But instead of getting all pissy-pants, these guys should get creative, get the lube, and learn some new moves to seduce their wife.
4. They are jealous. Some guys may wish they have breasts (and not so they can feel themselves up all day) because they see the bonding that goes on when a mother nurses the baby and they wish they could have that. I can't hate on this reason as much as the others, but when the jealousy goes too far, then there is a problem. To help keep the jealousy in check, these men need to realize that even their skin-on-skin contact with baby can create strong bonds and also be great for newborns. Aww, see ... isn't that sweet?
5. They are ignorant. There are some men who just don't get it. Perhaps their reasoning for hating when a woman breastfeeds is because they weren't breastfed as a baby and they don't know anyone who was breastfed or breastfeeds, so it just isn't the norm for them and out of the norm is just too much for them to handle. In this case, they need to be educated ... which is sometimes easier said than done. There are some men who believe women shouldn't drive or vote or wear makeup or have short hair, too. So those types probably think a woman can't educate a man either. If it's that severe, and it's the baby's daddy, maybe the woman who had the baby with that kind of man should ask herself why she had a baby with him in the first place. But I'm sure she already is. If it's a stranger pissed off at a woman nursing in public, then he should just put a nursing cover over his own head.
Do you agree? Why do you think some men have issues with breastfeeding?
Image via chispita666/Flickr