Jul 3 2012 By Lynn Jolly
ST MIRREN star David van Zanten has been getting a few things off his chest ... by lending his support to a magazine which offers advice to men on the subject of breastfeeding.
The talented footballer is used to making appearances in the Saints matchday programme – and now he features in a new mag called Breast News.
The publication has been launched by the Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership and aims to give men a much better understanding of the importance of breastfeeding.
Full-back David, who is a father of two girls, stars in the first edition as he tells Breast News how he recognises the importance of health and fitness, both on and off the field.
The footy ace, who lives in Renfrewshire with his wife Lyndsay and daughters Megan, seven, and Grace, four, reveals that, ahead of the girls’ births, there were discussions about feeding options.
David said that, as a couple, they wanted to give their girls "the very best start in life" and were both aware of the health benefits of breastfeeding.
And, because he is a professional footballer, David was able to be at home some afternoons to help Lyndsay after Grace was born.
He was there to offer support and encouragement, making it easier for Lyndsay to breastfeed.
By reading Breast News, men can find out why breastfeeding is good for the health of both baby and mum and also learn how they can get support and information about looking after their newborn kids.
The first edition also features the experiences of one local mum who chose to breastfeed her children and there is an article from Renfrewshire North and West MSP Derek Mackay too.
SNP man Mr Mackay said: "I have to admit that my wife and I were already aware of the health benefits of breastfeeding but it is vitally important that partners provide support and encouragement, especially in the early days.
"There is no such thing as man’s work and women’s work anymore – it is just a matter of working together the best you can.
"This paper has been designed and written from a male perspective and contains articles all about breastfeeding.
"I have contributed to the paper in my capacity as a father and husband."
Breast News is free and will be made available at clinics, GPs’ surgeries and sports clubs across Renfrewshire.
Anne Burns, who is the health improvement lead for the Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership, said: "Getting dads fully involved in breastfeeding is a priority.
"All mums will say it makes it so much easier when they have a supportive partner helping them to breastfeed.
"Breast News is a fantastic idea as it lets men know exactly why breastfeeding is important and why it’s the best option for both mum and baby."