Men breastfeeding photographs fight stigma

(WXIA) -- A shirtless man holds an infant to his chest with the caption "Project Breastfeeding: If I could, I would." Much to Hector Cruz's surprise, the photos have gone viral.

"I never expected this kind of media coverage. I'm just from a small town," Hector Cruz spoke to 11Alive's Julie Wolfe from the road. "And now I'm getting messages from all over the world."

Cruz first came up with the idea when his wife Nicole became pregnant. He wanted to learn everything he could about taking care of the new baby, but wasn't allowed to attend breastfeeding classes with his wife. "Men are checking out during the process, " he told Wolfe. "You sit in the blue chair in the corner of the doctor's office and you're ignored."

Cruz started taking the photos to fight the stigma his wife faced while trying to breastfeed their daughter in public in Clarksville, Tenn. (the small town Cruz mentioned earlier).

"I still don't understand why it's a controversy, but it is," he said.

The first photo shoots took place at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. Cruz has submitted the paperwork to be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. He's fundraising to develop a curriculum for co-ed breastfeeding classes. "There's no one that's going to care more about my wife and child than me," he said. "So we have to get involved."


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