For the few Fathers that may be reading this, I just want to point something out to you:
Your wife has just turned her body inside out and produced the child that she gestated in varying degrees of discomfort for the last 9 months or so. She has pushed a large being out with tremendous effort and some risk to her life, through an amazingly narrow path, or had her body cut into, and hey presto. A baby. Your baby. The baby that you put into her in an event that was pleasurable to you, and now you reap the dividend.
So CUT HER SOME EFFING SLACK.
I cannot tell you the number of times that I've witnessed petulant little boys, sorry, fathers, get cross because their exhausted newly delivered wife can't remember something that she was about to ask or can't quite find the right way to say something like please pick up some groceries, or, can you come home early, I feel crap, or needs to be asked to, I don't know, make dinner or empty the garbage or say thank you.
I'm not calling all men jerks because that's unfair and untrue. But many need to have some damned respect. When your wife can't even think what she needs because she is so exhausted and mental from hormones and fatigue, not to mention pain from a sore bum or nipples, BE KIND. That's all. Be kind.
No, that's not all. This woman has done something which is the closest to Godlike that any human can do. She has created a person. And she has all but torn apart her body to do it. Yes, generally she wants that baby, it wasn't forced upon her. But it's still bloody hard work, even if it all goes smoothly. And it isn't over after the birth, because it's only the beginning.
You should be prostrating yourself at her feet, not getting annoyed because you're out of milk because she forgot to tell you to buy it. Or maybe she ate the last cookie or something. Or she put a milchig spoon in the fleishig sink. Or she forgot to pay a bill or some shit. Or, heaven forfend, she spoke sharply to you. Whatever. I've seen scenarios like these played out and I just want to slap people. Fathers, some grandmothers, mothers in law.
'Primitive' and traditional societies usually let mothers rest and recover with the help of a carer for 40 days or so after birth. Here, in our modern Western world, you have to back into your bakakteh skinny jeans by 3 weeks or you're just not trying. Back shopping in the supermarket with your baby in one of those delightfully clean plastic capsules on top of the trolley. Back at work by some ridiculous time. Motherhood is so disrespected and so undervalued, and we wonder why there is so much post natal depression - 12% and rising- and so much anxiety.
You can't fix the world, you can't heal today's twisted values, but you can BE KIND TO YOUR WIFE. I know you're tired too BUT. Do I have to say it again? You didn't gestate that fetus and you didn't give birth to it and your hormones are not like a bloody roller coaster. So GET OVER YOURSELF and worship your goddess wife. And remember to buy the milk without being told.
Rant concluded. For now.
PS I'm now going to appeal to your self-interest, fathers, because that usually works. Spousal support is the single most important variable for breastfeeding success. Supportive and kind men's wives have better psychological outcomes. Happy wife, happy life. Have you heard that one before? It's generally true. If you support and nurture your woman through the post-birth months, you are putting money in the intimacy bank and it will pay tremendous dividends when you resume your intimate relations. Short term and long term. In summary, BE KIND.