A Clarksville father says he wanted to support his wife who was breastfeeding their daughter, so he came up with an idea for a photo campaign that quickly went viral.
Photographer Hector Cruz says when his wife was pregnant he wanted to learn about caring for newborns, but says he wasn't allowed in the breastfeeding classes.
"We had a lot of issues, and I did not know how to help. I felt frustrated, confused and completely helpless at that point," he said. "I knew if I felt that way, there were many other fathers facing that same struggle."
That's how Project Breastfeeding was born. The photos feature men, some shirtless, holding infants as though they are breast-feeding.
The Clarksville dad was surprised by how many people wanted to take photos for the campaign.
"I'm in a military town, so a lot of the guys who have posed are either active or retired military. But I found that once I started talking to other dads, a lot of them felt the way I did," he said.
Cruz says the goal is not just to get people talking but to engage and educate fathers.
He hopes the pictures help tackle any stigmas associated with public breastfeeding.
"I decided I was going to change my community. If I can make my community the most breastfeeding friendly community, I will have succeeded. I don't have to worry about my wife going anywhere and breastfeeding my daughter," Cruz said.
According to NBC News, a CDC report from last year noted that women are more successful at nursing when fathers support them. Cruz says that's why it's important to educate dads about the process.
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