It Takes More Than Two: Engaging Dads in Breastfeeding Support

with guest Tom Johnston

Air Date: June 19, 2017



It can seem that breastfeeding involves only a baby and a mother, but common sense tells us that there’s another player in the family who should also be involved in this critical aspect of the new baby’s nutrition and development: Dad. How can health care providers, breastfeeding mothers, and other caregivers draw fathers into breastfeeding support? What communication strategies are effective? What beliefs about new fathers are myths, and which are facts that can help the breastfeeding family? Join Marie as she talks with Tom Johnston, a retired army colonel and father of eight who, as a male midwife and lactation consultant, has unique insight about helping fathers recognize their role in the breastfeeding relationship.

Guest Profile – Tom Johnston

Tom Johnston is unique as a midwife and lactation consultant and the father of eight breastfed children. Recently retired after 27 years in the US Army, he is now an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Methodist University where he teaches, among other things, Maternal-Child Nursing and Nutrition. You may have heard him at a number of conferences at the national level, to include the Association of Woman’s Health and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), the International Lactation Consultant’s Association (ILCA), or perhaps at dozens of other conferences across the country. In his written work he routinely addresses fatherhood and the role of the father in the breastfeeding relationship and has authored a chapter on the role of the father in breastfeeding for “Breastfeeding in Combat Boots: A survival guide to breastfeeding in the military”.
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