Dads Pretend to Breastfeed for Well-Intentioned But Annoying Campaign


Project Breastfeeding is a photo campaign featuring fathers pretending to breastfeed their infants. Its slogan, “If I could, I would,” is meant to show male support of breastfeeding, but inadvertently comes off as another source of pressure in the “Breast is best” debate.

The photos are meant to provide “education and support for fathers in helping them understand how crucial and what a vital role they actually play in the breastfeeding journey,” according to Project Breastfeeding founder Hector Cruz. His own wife had trouble breastfeeding their daughter and needed a lactation consultant. Cruz, a professional photographer, felt “helpless and confused,” so he decided to start shooting fathers pretending to breastfeed that he intended to use as billboard ads in his hometown. Now he plans on starting a non-profit to educate dads about breastfeeding.

Sure, education is never a bad thing, but is anybody else experiencing a disconnect here? How does pretending to do something help educate others? How does this dude not see how condescending the phrase “If I could, I would” is, particularly to mothers who are either too busy or experience too much pain to continue to breastfeed? It would be just as useful to say, “I can’t, so I won’t.”

“A lot of the guys who are pro- breastfeeding feel like they have a voice,” Cruz says. Oh good. Because there simply aren’t enough voices telling a woman what to do with her body.

While having emotional support in whatever decision a woman makes—be it breast or bottle—is great, this guy is really overstating a man’s role here. Much like male nipples, Project Breastfeeding is useless.

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