On August 5, the Office of Minority Health at the Indiana State Department of Health will launch its "Fathers Support Breastfeeding" campaign by hosting the first of six meetings of a support group for fathers in Indianapolis.
"The purpose of this support group is to educate fathers about the benefits of breastfeeding and to help them be supportive of breastfeeding mothers," said Tasha Smith-Bonds, program coordinator at the Office of Minority Health.
The support group will meet twice a month, starting on Thursday, August 5, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Fathers and Families Resource/Research Center, 2835 North Illinois Street, Indianapolis. The meetings will run through October.
"The infant mortality rate for African Americans in Indiana is twice the rate for whites," said Danielle Patterson, director of the Office of Minority Health. "The overall goal of the 'Fathers Support Breastfeeding' campaign is to increase breastfeeding among African-American women in Indiana to give their children a healthy start in life."
Medical research has determined that breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for infants, providing a range of benefits for the infant's growth, immunity, physical development, and cognitive development.
The support group is being co-sponsored by the State Department of Health's Maternal and Children's Special Health Care Services and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, as well as by Clarian's Women's Health Services, the Fathers and Families Resource/Research Center, the Indiana Perinatal Network, and the Indianapolis Urban League.
For more information, contact Tasha Smith-Bonds, program coordinator, Office of Minority Health, at (317) 233-7453.