This New Way for Dads to 'Breastfeed' Is to Help Moms Catch a Break -- But People Are Divided

Dad wearing breastfeeding device
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If you've ever been breastfeeding deep into the night, looked over at your sleeping husband with mild disdain, and secretly wished that he too could breastfeed and lose hours of sleep ... well, then have I got a product for you! A Japanese tech company called Dentsu has unveiled a new device to help dads breastfeed, and it is really something else.

  • The wearable device, called the Father's Nursing Assistant, is designed to resemble a woman's breasts -- which is certainly a sight to behold.

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    Inside, it can hold breast milk or formula, and on the outside, it sports lifelike nipples to encourage babies to feed as they would from their mother.

    Remarkably, it can also help track a baby's sleeping and feeding schedule via an app, which parents can then access to analyze patterns.

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  • The device was first unveiled earlier this year at South By Southwest (SXSW), but is gaining traction now on social media.

    On Facebook, users definitely haven't held back when it comes to their opinions.

    "Give me a break .... just heat up a bottle,"  wrote one user.

    "Oh my God ... " another woman commented. "I would seriously divorce my husband for this."

    Plenty of dads were weirded out by the whole thing, and they were quick to admit it. But a lot of the negative comments were highly gendered.

    "NOPE!" said one. "I will stick to cleaning and repairing vehicle parts and going fishing with my kid. Thats my way of bonding."

    "I'll say it ... 'fathers are not supposed to form this bond,'" commented another.

    In response to those comments, there were plenty of others who pointed out the potential benefits.

    "This could be super beneficial to fathers that may have lost their SO’s during child birth," wrote one woman. "These type of items can help build that strong bond nursing mothers build with their nursling. It’s odd, but could serve a great purpose for that baby."

    Another noted how helpful this could be to moms, too.

    "There are mothers out there who have undergone mastectomies due to breast cancer," said one woman. "This would be a great way to have that mother still feel the connection even though they’re feeding formula and not breast milk."

  • In fact, its creators do say the device's intent was to lighten the load for mothers by sharing certain responsibilities more equally.

    "Breastfeeding is also effective at helping the parent sleep -- a benefit that is currently skewed toward women," Dentsu shared in its press release. "Focusing on breastfeeding, we aim to decrease the amount of burden on mothers and increase the amount of time infants sleep by enabling fathers to breastfeed."

    When you look at it through that lens ... maybe it's not so crazy?

  • This isn't the first device of its kind to be unveiled this year. A new "chestfeeding kit" by a UK product design student is also making waves.

    The main difference? The chestfeeding kit, which was developed bay Marie-Claire Springham, actually promoted induced lactation in fathers or nonbiological parents who wish to be a part of the breastfeeding experience. In that case, those who wish to use it must begin taking supplements and preparing their bodies for breastfeeding months in advance, much like a mother would during pregnancy.

    No matter where you land on the "is this totally nuts or what?" scale, one thing's for sure: Tech sure has come a long way in recent years. What will they think of next?!