Insight from a Breastfeeding Peer Support Pilot Program for Husbands and Fathers of Texas WIC Participants
Stremler J, Lovera D.
J Hum Lact. 2004 Nov;20(4):417-22.
A Father-to-Father Breastfeeding Support Pilot Program conducted by the Texas Department of Health provides a model of a viable way to increase breastfeeding rates in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC Program).
The pilot concept was based on previous success with a breastfeeding peer counselor program and research documenting the father’s attitude as an important influence on a mother’s decision to breastfeed. Peer dads are fathers of breastfed infants participating in the WIC Program. They are recruited, trained, and hired to give breastfeeding and parenting information to other WIC fathers. WIC fathers rated the information they received as “very important” and indicated that counseling sessions would help them support their infants’mothers with breastfeeding and be better fathers. Breastfeeding initiation rates increased at clinics employing peer dads. Father-to-father breastfeeding education was successful in educating and empowering fathers, enabling them to support their breastfeeding family members.