‘They are not allowed to advise you on anything other than breastfeeding.’
Hello, my name is Michiel. I'm Monique's husband. Monique blogs for Pure Goat Company about her experiences with bottle feeding. As the proud father of our little girl pictured above, I naturally have an opinion on this too. That is why I am writing this blog today!
I vastly underestimated the impact of fatherhood. I am fortunate to have a wife who doesn't take anything for granted! The pregnancy was a surprise, but we were both delighted with it. Our (as it turned out later) little girl was more than welcome! But then...
What are you faced with? From clothes and a place to sleep to food – so many decisions. And then you get those mid-term tests, like ultrasounds and the midwife, all thrown in for free. I found each and every one of them very exciting, especially that first ultrasound! Is the heart beating, and does everything seem to be developing as it should?
Both of us were kind of going with the flow until the first ultrasound. 'We will see what happens.' But when the first check turned out to be good, it was time to really get going!
We both want to make informed choices. But most of the time about different things...
For instance, Monique is primarily concerned with things like food and clothes (wool, wool, wool – did I mention wool?). While I am mainly concerned about the right baby and car seat, pram, and so on. In my opinion, unintentionally, a fairly stereotypical division.
Unfortunately, the track and drivability on the beach were bitterly disappointing...
Aside from that, I am a little easier at making choices. To be honest, I liked that Monique figured out a lot. There were times when it went a bit too far for me. Sometimes I would have made my choice some time back, and she would still be researching for days. Partly the nature of the beast, but you should never underestimate those pregnancy hormones!
We eat mostly organic and also felt this was important for our little one
For example, I would have gone for the cheapest organic powdered milk from the supermarket. Under the guise of "Organic: check". And everything is strictly regulated, so it doesn't make much difference. But Monique went digging. She would come up with all sorts of arguments and explanations way beyond my interest.
As I said, I welcome her thoroughness. And quite honestly, it saves me time and is always rigorously investigated. I can peacefully accept the choice, knowing it is the best choice.
So I left it at an, 'OK love, then we’ll go ahead with that’. That's how a tin of the Pure Goat Company ended up in the go-bag (and a few more in the pantry cupboard, just in case).
Supplementary feeding was vital for our daughter
Our daughter was on the lighter side at birth, and breastfeeding did not go smoothly. Nothing serious, fortunately. But it was imperative that in addition to the little breastfeeding that was available, she received supplementary food to put on weight. For her, this was actually absolutely vital.
You can read more about our "quest" for breast and artificial feeding in Monique's story. But something that became clear to me only later is that there is a huge pro-breastfeeding movement—anchored in European legislation, with all sorts of restrictions and regulations, strict supervision and fines.
We spoke to breastfeeding specialists (called lactation consultants) in the hospital and at home and asked for advice several times. Except no one tells you, they are not allowed to advise you on anything other than breastfeeding. Quite bizarre when you are struggling, and it is of utmost importance that your baby gains weight properly, no matter how you look at it!
The same goes for the consultation office and the midwife, by the way. They are also not allowed to advise you or offer their opinion freely. All this is fine and, for some reason, designed that way, but
Please, let it be transparent!
That is the only way to put the information in the proper perspective. And value it. A simple disclaimer on their business card, website (or forehead if need be, haha) will suffice.
I wish all fathers and mothers the best of luck and wisdom in all that may come their way!