20 Actions in 20 Days: Educate fathers and grandmothers

20 Actions in 20 Days

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has called on the entire nation to take 20 concrete action steps from the January 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding to support the removal of barriers to breastfeeding. The United States Breastfeeding Committee is hosting a “20 Actions in 20 Days” campaign to highlight these action steps and implementation strategies.

Action 2: Deveop programs to educate fathers and grandmothers about breastfeeding.

Women are strongly influenced by the attitudes and beliefs of their friends and families, and many favor their advice over that of a healthcare professional. New mothers need a network of support and encouragement to ensure successful breastfeeding, and two of the most influential people in a woman’s decision to breastfeed are fathers and grandmothers.

The Surgeon Generals implementation strategies outlined in the Call to Action include launching or establishing campaigns for breastfeeding education that target a mother’s primary support network, including fathers and grandmothers and offering classes on breastfeeding that are convenient for family members to attend.

In Northeast Florida, there are several resources for fathers- and grandparents-to-be:

  • The Coalition offers free Boot Camp for New Dads workshops, which offer hands-on prep for fathers-to-be from local veteran dads including the importance of offering breastfeeding support. 
  • Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, one of many sites offering the Boot Camp for New Dads workshops, also provides Grandparent Childbirth Preparation classes the first Wednesday of each month at 6pm.
  • Baptist Health offers a range of classes for expectant parents and families as well, including breastfeeding support classes and education for both dads- and grandparents-to-be. These are offered throughout the region at Baptist Medical Centers in Jacksonivlle, at Destination Maternity at the St. Johns Town Center, Baptist Beaches in Jacksonville Beach and Baptist Nassau in Fernandina Beach.
  • St. Vincent’s Riverside offers several upcoming Breastfeeding Classes, which encourage partner attendance and include segments on how fathers can help support breastfeeding.
  • Shands Jacksonville also offers Boot Camp for New Dads as well as childbirth education and breastfeeding classes. Fathers are encouraged to attend.