Similac Dads: Giving their Kids a Great Start

For George and Joe, breastfeeding wasn't an option for their kids. Similac products help keep them nourished.

Getting a great start at life is a unique journey for every child and every parent.

For George and Joe, two Columbus, Ohio-based dads and their two kids, Mary (5) and Leo (3 months), their journey entailed a unique set of challenges. From navigating the adoption process as a same-sex couple in a time where their marriage wasn't recognized to learning how to parent a preemie and provide a great nutrition foundation, without the option of breastfeeding.

Enter: our nourishing Similac formula.

George himself was a Similac baby, with his mom switching to our formula for all three of her kids in the mid-'80s. Thus, Joe said they "never thought twice about Similac providing adequate nourishment for Mary or for Leo."

Sandbox enthusiast and avid color-er (she's in her crayon stage now, but we’re excited to see where she takes her art), Mary, is their "proof" that Similac was a great option for their family, especially because their pediatrician recommended it. The process of using Similac immediately after she was born was "seamless."

So, when Mary told her dads she wanted a little brother (or, in more certain terms, "you and dad are fun, but kids are more fun. I want to play with a kid, I don't want to play with you guys"), they knew that Similac would once again be there for their family.

Leo made a swift and early entrance into their lives, and these Similac dads gained a new partner in Similac NeoSure to help their preemie reach a healthy weight.

Similac became an integral tool in navigating parenthood.

Now, George and Joe are aiming to "dispel the cultural shame" around the common pressure that families feel about breast feeding vs. formula feeding. They believe that parents deserve to be supported in all of their decisions, including their feeding decisions, no matter their choice.

At Abbott, we believe that breast milk is the gold standard of infant nutrition, but for those parents who need to or choose to use formula, there is a great option from Similac that includes prebiotics called human milk oligosaccharides, previously only found in breast milk. We also believe that parents deserve to be supported in all of their decisions, including their feeding decisions, no matter their choice.

"Obviously, there are many reasons why parents may not be able to breastfeed, and that's obviously OK. As two dads, we can’t breastfeed. That wasn't an option for us. There seems to be some guilt or expectation that parents are supposed to do this, right? It's what you're supposed to do, it's supposed to happen that way," Joe said. "Just in talking to colleagues, friends and our pediatrician, some people who aren’t able to breastfeed feel bad about it. Others sort of feel ashamed that they didn't. I always say, 'no judgement from me.' "

"I support personal preference, and that's it," George said.

Giving your kids their best start at life looks different for every family. Whatever may work (or not work) for you, Similac is there.