Photos of a dad breastfeeding his newborn daughter using a special device have gone viral, and he’s hoping it will have a positive ripple effect on fathers-to-be.
His name is Maxamillian Neubauer and when his wife April was unable to feed her baby for the first time due to complications during an emergency c-section on June 26th, he accepted a nurse’s offer to use a supplemental nursing system (SNS) to feed the baby.
The device—which in this case was handmade by the nurse—uses a fake nipple shield, a feeding tube, and syringe to administer formula. The mother had wanted the baby to reap the benefits of immediate skin-on-skin contact (kangaroo care). For Maxamillian there was no hesitation—he wanted to honor his wife’s wishes.
Check it out:
Commenters on Facebook were overwhelmingly supportive, describing the act as beautiful and giving kudos to Maxamillian:
Cybil Martin-Dennehy is the name of the registered nurse at Door County Medical Center who made the offer. Apparently, she’d been offering dads the option for quite sometime without any takers. Maxamillian was the first to accept.
She was overjoyed:
Prior to this going viral even I told Maxamillian this was the highlight of my career finally having a dad say yes. I think we jumped up and down in excitement. Max was such an amazing sport about this. I feel like he was equally excited to be the first Dad to say yes. You can just tell he loves his family so much.
Some commenters noted the importance of skin-on-skin contact immediately after a baby is born:
Though there were some Debbie Downers, commenters were quick to offer some perspective:
By posting the photos—first on Instagram and then Facebook—Neubauer is hoping other dads will expand their notion of what it means to be a father, looking for ways to step in even in the unlikeliest of times.
All three members of the family are now safely at home and April is able to breastfeed her daughter.