If a new mom has the option, she might choose to breastfeed her children. Other mothers prefer formula, but ultimately the choice is up to the new mom and what she’s comfortable with. Recent studies have suggested that there are health benefits to breastfeeding for both mom and baby.
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That said, breastfeeding isn’t for everyone. Some find it uncomfortable and others aren’t able to, or don’t wish to, make it work. For working mothers, trying to strategically plan a time and place to pump breastmilk can be challenging. At the end of the day, the decision to breastfeed is a very personal choice. But sometimes parents aren’t on the same page about which choice is right for their baby and family.
A dad posted on Reddit about wanting his wife to breastfeed. The post blew up and many people feel passionately about the subject.
After giving birth, this mother decided to breastfeed her child. Breastfeeding for 18 months and working full time as an ER nurse was making her absolutely “miserable.” Finding the time to pump breastmilk in such a stressful environment was not tenable. She discussed quitting the job and after going over their budget, the family decided it would be okay for her to quit the nursing job.
“It’s super tight,” he said in the post. “We had about $50-$75/month left after bills, groceries, etc.”
When his wife started floating the idea of a second child, the father wasn’t sure how to afford the added expense of a new baby.
“I was about to start a nurse anesthetist program,” he explained, “and told her I’d prefer to wait when our situation was better.”
Although he insisted they wait before having another child, his wife would not drop it. Drama ensued.
“She talked about how since we already had cloth diapers, all the baby gear, and she could exclusively breastfeed this time since she wasn’t working that it wouldn’t add anything to our finances.”
According to the father, his wife went behind his back and stopped taking her birth control. Suddenly, she was pregnant again.
After their second child reached 16 months, mom wants to switch to formula. She says she wants to make the change, “because formula is easier.”
“She’s having no supply issues or latch issues,” dad explains in the post, “she just doesn’t want to anymore.” Worried about the cost he says, “I told her that we couldn’t afford formula and if that’s what she wanted to do then she’d have to go back to work,” he added.
“My wife thinks I should just pick up an extra shift, which I could do,” he added, “but currently I have every other Friday off and it’s my day to study, do some chores, and spend time with my family.”
He wants his wife to pitch in, however, and take an RPN position a few times a month to help offset the cost. She doesn’t see this as a viable option. He continues to say in the post that it’s his wife’s choice and her body, but the cost of formula will mess up their budget.
Many people read the post and were ready to pop off at the dad. The more they read, the more they began to side with him.
“After reading the title I was ready to go in guns blazing, but knowing she ignored you and basically decided to get pregnant without your consent, I think it’s a reasonable request,” someone responded. “She decided to not respect your logic and get pregnant anyway. She needs to suck it up and step up and provide more for her family, especially since it’s not a supply issue.”
“She’s TA for going off birth control and not informing you,” another person agreed.
Others thought that the dad was being unreasonable about the whole situation.
“I understand where you are coming from, but ultimately your wife has to make the final decision to breastfeed or not,” one person noted. “Maybe she’ll come around.”
“There may be other reasons why she doesn’t want to breastfeed including postpartum depression/anxiety. Breastfeeding is also not easy. Forcing her to go to work without discussing with a counsel[or] first is a bad idea,” another added.
“There could be medical reasons she can not breastfeed or even pump, criticizing her will affect her,” someone else agreed.
Luckily for all of us hanging on by a thread, the dad came around to defend his wife’s actions.
“My wife’s intent was not to deceive me or go behind my back to get pregnant,” he admits in the post. “The conversations around having another baby were long and plentiful with me agreeing with her on a lot of stuff like, yes it’d be nice to have kids a little closer in age, yes I can see how your revised budget would work, yes I know it took a long time for you to get pregnant before, yes I think (their oldest) would be a great big sister. But at the end I always said ‘I’d prefer to wait.'”
Okay, then? Dad’s singing a different tune all of a sudden.
“It took us a year after my wife went off birth control to get pregnant the first time,” he added. “She assumed it’d take the same amount of time and if she timed it well then going off birth control when she did and then 3/4 of a year of pregnancy, I’d almost be graduated.”
Seems like we’re getting a full picture of what went down and we’re happy to see that dad gets it. According to him, they’ve worked through the issue and are moving forward as a family.
Did he update us about the breastfeeding vs. formula debate that sparked this whole thing? Nope.
We wait with bated breath.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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