Have you ever heard of a man breastfeeding -- other than that one guy who gave birth? Technically he had woman parts so he doesn’t really count. I'm talking about a man born male. This morning, I heard the DJs on my local radio station having a bizarre conversation about one of their friends who breastfed and was a man.
I thought I heard wrong.
I did a little searching around the web and it actually is possible. Apparently, men have milk ducts and mammary tissue and they produce prolactin and oxytocin, which are the hormones needed for milk production. It appears that men, like many adoptive mothers, can produce milk through pumping, nipple stimulation, and medical intervention and don't need the actual hormones produced from pregnancy. Which is awesome, right? Who knew? Of course, in the case of men who breastfeed, there's no research as to what the quality of nourishment the milk has compared to mother's milk.
Children need nourishment and I know lot of breastfeeding moms who would love it if their husbands could take some of the middle of the night feedings. But is this too unconventional to even consider?
If we could get past the unconventionality, couldn’t this be a great way for gay men who adopted and wanted to breastfeed to do that? Or couldn’t this be beneficial to men who’ve lost their wives and want to continue breastfeeding their newborns? This could be a game changer if it worked consistently, right?
How would you feel about your husband breastfeeding your child? Great idea? Or is it too crazy to even consider?
Image via CScott/ Flickr