Parents of Navid, 4 months and a half, and mother of Joachim, 5 years and a half
Behzad, originally from Iran, and Rosemary, originally from France, were already a beautiful blended family. The arrival of their first child together has further strengthened their union.
Rosemary, a Nourri-Source Montreal breastfeeding support volunteer, breastfed her first boy for about 4 years. Behzad's experience of breastfeeding was atypical: first, having to wean a toddler, then making a choice to breastfeed their soon-to-be-born baby, and finally having to provide support after the birth.
In the videos, he talks with wonder about his first moments with his son, who was only two weeks old at the time of filming. In this piece, Rosemary talks about their journey.
The overall experience
« We are a multi-cultural blended family: at home, we speak French, English and you can hear Farsi too. We fell in love with Behzad and he took his place as my son's stepfather with a lot of curiosity and respect.
I was well prepared for my first delivery in 2014, which went well at St. Luc Hospital with a midwife, but I was surprised by the difficulties I encountered in breastfeeding. I thought it was something perfectly natural and normal and had not prepared myself enough.
I was supported by my midwife, my breastfeeding support volunteer, my cousin (who has breastfed four children) and the Jewish Hospital Breastfeeding Clinic. Eventually, my first boy was breastfed for four years, and Behzad was there for the weaning stage.
I decided to take my turn as a breastfeeding support volunteer with Nourri-Source in 2015 to support other women and parents in the breastfeeding process. »
The first breastfeeding
« My first breastfeeding experience was like a roller coaster, with difficult periods at the beginning - chapped and then cracked breasts (problem solved by nipple placement and intervention for tongue-tie removal), nipple weaning, bovine protein intolerance during the first year - and happy periods, of traveling with a baby and then a toddler with food always available and the bonding that develops with breastfeeding.
I hung in there, because I found breastfeeding very practical for traveling with a baby and then a toddler, whether across town or around the world, and simply normal as a type of feeding. »
The second breastfeeding
« For our common child, we chose a natural birth with a midwife in a birth center, and the choice of breastfeeding seemed normal to us.
The delivery went well, and we had the peace and quiet for skin-to-skin contact with our son the first night after his birth in the birth center. My second breastfeeding started well, and every feed is a joy.
Instead of a birth list, we asked friends to offer us some prepared food or some help for the first few months with Navid.
As neither of us are natives of Quebec, we don't have family here, but we do have a good network of friends (which I think are essential to survive the first few months). »
The role of the father in breastfeeding
« The father's role or even roles are essential in breastfeeding to support and take care of his partner and the family at all times during breastfeeding.
Behzad has always taken care to make me food and encourage me to take time to eat and hydrate, to maintain a calm environment. He takes care of our baby, from diaper changes to nose care.
He also takes care of my first boy so he doesn't feel abandoned or forgotten since his brother was born, and he takes over with the baby so I can take time for myself.
Just the fact that he is there, available when needed, in a calm and empathetic way, is a huge support.
I'm involved in volunteering for outdoor activities; Behzad stays close to the activity with the baby while I’m volunteering to give me a much-needed break.»
Developing the bond with the baby
« The development of a bond with one's child is achieved through daily care, games, rhymes and carrying.
For my two boys, the bond was solidly created when they were born, reinforced by breastfeeding and welded by all the little daily challenges.
For Behzad, the bond was created during the birth when he was able to actively participate.
From the moment of birth, to the first glances exchanged with Navid and skin-to-skin contact. »
Life as a couple while breastfeeding
« For us, it's a bit special because I was still breastfeeding my first son when we met. Breastfeeding has never been a taboo for our couple’s family life or sexuality.
After the birth, Behzad adjusted to my rhythm (and therefore to the baby's) in every way. The resumption of sexuality came from me without pressure or tension.
As for our life as a couple, we keep some time together by having a meal together. We will enjoy a concert or an exhibition with the baby, by having my older son babysat if he is with us (shared custody).
We do not hesitate to travel and to move with the baby, we organize ourselves, we adapt, and we play down... At the worst, we make eight stops for a two-hour trip and we take turns during a concert.
We do cross-country skiing alternately and we eat together afterwards. We go out without returning too late. We see friends or invite them home on days when the pace is too rough (sleepless nights, group feedings, growth spurt).
And, most importantly, we keep the sweet talk between us and the tenderness going at all times, we try to maintain our love bubble. »