Battle for the Breast

  The man, the baby and the breast …

It’s not surprising that many dads feel a little jealous about the closeness between mum and baby – and this is especially common around breastfeeding. Not only is your baby getting all her attention, he’s getting her breasts, too!

Settle, mate, breastfeeding doesn’t go on forever – and this is the best use of those things at this time. The thing is … breast milk is your baby’s perfect food. And mum and baby bond when they're breastfeeding - and this is very important for both of them.





  Most formula attempts to replicate human breast milk using …

  • a base of modified cow’s milk
  • a blend of dairy or vegetable fats
  • dairy or soy protein – with adjusted amino acids to approximate breast milk
  • added vitamins minerals and trace elements to be more like breast milk.

No formula has the antibodies that breast milk has. These antibodies help baby's immune system combat bacteria and viruses.

Another unique thing is that a woman's breastmilk changes and adjusts to what the baby needs as he gets older. Of course, formula won't do that.


… it is better to help her try to work through the problem. Many women experience difficultly with breastfeeding, even after it has been going well. Guys, in our 'I'll fix it' approach, might want to tell her, "Well, you tried, but maybe it would be better go to a bottle." But introducing a bottle, even just to get through a rough patch, is often the beginning of the end of breastfeeding.
The best things a man can do for both her and the baby is to support his partner to keep on trying, watch for a good latch (the baby is sucking on the breast, the nipple should be towards the back the throat). If your partner is losing heart, there is help out there through the Plunket nurse - and many District Health Boards employ lactation consultants who can help her.


  How breast pumps work …

  • when a baby takes the nipple into her mouth and start sucking it triggers the milk to be “let-down” or start flowing … a breast pump mimics this
  • a pump uses suction to pull the nipple into a tunnel and then release it. It does this 30-60 times a minute – like a nursing baby does.
  • when the breast is stimulated like this, the milk flows into a container that can be fed to your baby immediately or refrigerated and used later
  • breast pumps allow a woman to express milk when it's convenient for them - and they (or someone else) can feed the baby when he's hungry.



Despite you and your partner’s best efforts and giving it plenty of time, breastfeeding just might not work for her. This may be disappointing to both of you. She may feel she's failing her baby. YOU may feel like she's failing the baby.

The fact is breastfeeding doesn't work for all women … she can only do what she can.

If your partner feels bad about not being able to breastfeed, having your support will make it easier for her. Remember … if the mum is feeling happy, baby is likely to be happy, too.  

Myth: large breasts produce more milk. This is not true. Breast size has nothing to do with a woman’s ability to breastfeed or the amount of milk she produces.

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