Monday, March 20, 2017

Fatherhood & Breastfeeding

Since 2014, UpNext has partnered with the Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone (BFEZ), a program of New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to provide a workshop during every 6-week program cycle. The BFEZ workshop educates our participants on the importance of breastfeeding and its impact on the health and development of infants. Breastfeeding has many short and long-term health benefits for babies and mothers, including a reduction in infectious diseases and mortality during infancy, improved bonding, and maternal postpartum weight loss. 

UpNext fathers participating in BFEZ workshops will also learn about the benefits of breastfeeding and how they can be supportive of their partner post-partum. The BFEZ facilitator also explains the barriers to breastfeeding- socioeconomic status, lack of education, cultural restrictions, etc.- and provides strategies on how to start or continue breastfeeding despite these barriers. The workshops conclude with a question and answer segment as well as time for discussion with the participating fathers. 

BFEZ gives our fathers valuable resources to use so they can support the co-parent in breastfeeding. Understanding the importance of breastfeeding will help our dads strengthen their approach to health and parenting. 

The Brooklyn Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone is a community-based initiative to make breastfeeding the norm North/ Central Brooklyn. Male partners play a critical role in infant feeding decision-making. By providing opportunities for peer-to-peer mentoring, the BFEZ helps males in the community take an active role in creating a breastfeeding-friendly environment for families. The BFEZ is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and is part of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Brooklyn Neighborhood Health Action Center. 

We thank Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone for their partnership and look forward to more of their programming!