I admit I was suspicious when I saw that a man was listed as a speaker at the "Art of Breastfeeding" conference. He is not only a Certified Nurse Midwife but also a lactation consultant! And he does it all for the US Army.
Maj. Jarold Johnston was an inspiration as he described his philosophy and the techniques he uses to get dads-to-be to participate fully in the breastfeeding experience. "Sometimes it helps that I'm a soldier. I just tell the dads: 'Moms have a job, babies have a job, and dads have a job too. Get on with it!'"
Maj. Johnston believes that his job as a breastfeeding expert is to teach dads to be the in-home expert. ( See Getting Baby to the 'Ready Zone' to eat.) "Dads have a good vantage point. The new mom is looking down at her breast and the baby, but the dad can see the mom's nipple, the baby's chin, the baby's cheeks from the side, the bottom, or the top - whatever it takes." "Most Army guys are mechanically inclined," he explains. "They like the challenge of figuring out the mechanics of what's working or not."
Mothers love the help. Dads might get good at changing diapers, but a "breastfeeding dad" has more important things to do! "Besides," Major Johnston says, "I tell them the truth - a successful breastfeeding mom resumes sexual activity quicker than do bottle-feeding moms...Yep - even the 82nd Airborne is on board now!"