#DadsWhoBreastfeed: Story behind the viral photo of dad breastfeeding newborn

Published: Jul. 2, 2018 at 9:46 PM CDT
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The photo makes you do a double-take: A dad breastfeeding his newborn daughter.

And the message behind it is capturing hearts.

Maxamillian and April Neubauer are the proud new parents of little Rosalia, their miracle baby.

"I was unable to have kids at all. I have PCOS (a hormonal disorder that causes infrequent menstrual periods), so I didn't know I was pregnant until 8 weeks in," April says.

Being a first-time mom, April had a birth plan.

"Immediate skin on skin afterwards. Breast feeding was part of our plan."

But like most plans in life, this didn't go according to plan.

In fact, this special moment turned scary quickly.

"They broke my water and I was 9.5 dilated, and then I had a seizure."

Cybil Martin-Dennehy, a registered nurse at Door County Medical Center, remembers, "The doctor came right away, and we decided the best plan was a C-section."

"No shorter had we moved her to the operating table, she had another seizure."

A few minutes later, Rosalia was born and mom was taken to ICU to recover.

But that didn't stop Cybil from carrying out the mom's wishes. All she needed was April's other half to agree to her idea.

"Dad, 100 percent," she says. "He was like, yeah, no problem."

It was a surprise to Cybil he agreed to do something a little more out of the ordinary -- breastfeeding a newborn using a supplemental nursing system that she created.

"I was just shocked. This is the greatest night of my life. I can't believe this is happening," Cybil recalls.

"I have tried multiple times. Usually I get a look of disbelief. Why would I ask something so crazy? But Max was 100 percent. He is like, heck yes, let's do this."

Max recalls, "I was like, I was shirtless, so I will try everything about once, and everyone got pretty excited and went for it."

So Cybil grabbed a fake nipple shield, a feeding tube, a syringe and some formula.

The photo shows what happened next. Rosalia latched on to her first meal, right below the "Mom" tattoo.

"I think that's what did it, Mom tattoo with the baby," Max says.

"It says 'Mom,' which is more perfect than anyone could have asked for. You would have thought the photo was staged," Cybil laughs.

At the time of this writing, the photo has been shared almost 30,000 times and liked more than 43,000 times.

"Eat your heart out, America," Max says.

"I had some people message me from Romania. I was like, I have to get on Google Translate, sentence by sentence," he adds.

Even Rosalia's grandmother had some questions.

"It was a shock when I did walk into a nursery and they had her on his nipple. I didn't see a fake nipple at first, so it was shocking," Yolanda Edwards says, bursting into laughter.

While the photo has sparked laughs and jokes across the nation, Cybil hopes it means more for future parents and medical professionals.

"It never hurts to ask. The worst someone can tell you is no and that they don't want to do it -- or, you can let dad be part of this really special moment," she says.

"If you are in that situation like I was, when April had no ability to do it, if you have the opportunity, go for it. It's worth it, definitely," says Max.

Although Maxamillian doesn't plan on breastfeeding again anytime soon, he does have some ideas about what to call it.

"Going with the 'moob,'" -- a portmanteau of man and boob.

He also has some ideas how to improve it. He's even looking for some help, maybe from Ellen DeGeneres.

"We would love to come see you," he says.

But one thing the Neubauers know for sure is that this photo isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

"It's going to be here for the rest of her life. I will feel sorry for her in high school -- 'Sorry babe, big canvas, have it hung up right above the fireplace,' I think," Max grins.