The U.S. has few peers in the developed world when it comes to robust human rights laws. But one of the things we get right is public breastfeeding, which, despite carrying no federal law, is allowed in all 50 states. Still, the folks at Project Breastfeeding aren’t satisfied.
Women who breastfeed in public are stared at, judged, and shamed, simply being a mother, explains Project Breastfeeding founder and photographer, Hector Cruz. Cruz started the campaign hoping to break that stigma, and to educate supportive fathers who may feel they have no role during the sensitive time. Cruz hopes with the donations he’s receiving to start a billboard campaign in major cities around the country.
“As fathers, we think our role is to figure out what the best car seat is, what the best carrier or stroller is, have the right car and make sure we put up the crib and put everything in order,” he explained, though their roles go much deeper than that, he said. “It’s getting education to those men to make them better fathers and better husbands.”
Cruz invites mothers and fathers to have their picture taken with their kids, mothers often breastfeeding, and fathers, with several buttons undone, holding their children as if they could do the same. “Every guy who has come in has walked away with a new way of thinking,” said Cruz, “and a renewed approach to breastfeeding and their role as a father in that journey.” According to Project Breastfeeding’s Go Fund Me page, Cruz’s goal of $10,000 would be put toward photographing mothers and fathers around the U.S., ultimately to show the natural beauty of breastfeeding and to get fathers emotionally onboard, so that one day they can say with confidence, “If I could, I would.”