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Fathers who breastfeed!? - Page 6

post #101 of 243
DH would never, not for one second consider it, but I think it's pretty freakin' cool.

I don't really care to read about whether or not we think it's "natural" or "right."

If all parties agree, and men are biologically capable, I don't have a problem with it at all. As long as it's done lovingly and not out of coercion, It's all good!
post #102 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunar forest View Post
I don't know how people are missing the gender roll implications here.

I think this is a fantastic topic to really get people thinking about gender rolls and sexism. It makes you uncomfortable, and (hopefully) question limits you didn't even know you had. See, you think you're not sexist, you think you're open minded, you think breastfeeding is beautiful, but only under the terms you deem appropriate. But why do you find those reason valid, but not others?

Weird? yes! Unnatural? maybe. but wrong, gross, pervie - why? Think about it, I mean really think, and tell me, if you can, why a person with a y chromosome shouldn't nurse a child. Or wait, is it the male genitalia+nursing that you have a problem with? What about transgendered people? Should a MTF person not breastfeed? Or what about a FTM? Certainly HE can nurse if he wants, because he's XX - right? Sorry, I'm just confused about the rules. This is murky water, here.

So, who's allowed to breastfeed thier child, why? And, why is it for you to say? And how is you saying "men nursing is gross" any better than people saying "nursing is gross" or "nursing a 2yo is gross and unnatural - just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should" ?

The advice to run from this topic is probably very sound, but I just can't help. I thought I learned my lesson, but it appears not.


**disclaimer: I'm not saying "you" as in anyone in particular, I mean "you" as in "us", the population of the world.


All of this.

Plus, I realized I have the same automatic social response when they image in my mind is any man but DH; it seems unnatural and gross, however, I have a very firm and beautiful image in my mind of my husband feeding my daughter, without the mind-blowing stress that he feels whenever I go to work and the freezer stash is low. I honestly can't say he WOULDN'T latch her on if we ran out of my milk.

And it would make me happy to know that she got some comfort from Daddy, since we are equal parents and should be equally able to contribute to/fulfill her needs.
post #103 of 243
Ok, to answer most of the questions/objections.

Yes, it HAS been officially studied. The first time I heard about this was waaay back in college when we learned about a study in which ten percent of the men involved actually lactated. In the link that the op provided, she refrenced TONS of articles/books/websites etc. In fact, I was amazed that there was so much out there on this subject.

Now, I also wondered if the milk men produced would be in amounts enough to feed an infant and/or nutritional complete. Apparently the answer is yes, as there have been several documented cases of infants that were exclusively bf by thier dad and survived and thrived.

As to the male breast becoming stretched, there was a picture of a man who bf his infant and toddler after his wife died and his breast looked flat and manly to me.

As far as this not being refrenced anywhere in history, apparently it HAS been. The link the op provided has a pic of a 15th century carving or a male with milk flowing out of his very muscular, male breast. Also, there were quotes from the bible refrencing male bf and not as a weird or bad thing, as something kings did and apparently as a sign of great health and strength. Interesting, eh?

Now, as to, if it were natural we'd see it in animals argument, well, we do. There was an article about a male cat nursing that made national news and in fact, Ive had two male cats do this myself. Until this moment, I thought they were just comfort nursing but after reading about this other cat actually making milk (documented by vets) Im wondering now.... Anyway apparently its common among goats. Yep, male goats born with testicles and haivng impregnanted females etc, have spontenously grown udders and made milk. There was a pic of one with an udder right next to the testicles. Something else just occured to me, how do we know more animals dont do this? I mean if you happened upon a skunk in the wild nursing, how do you know its female? You wont get close enough to check I promise you. Just something that just occured to me. We wouldnt really know how often it happens in nature. But I digress.

I know that some cultures nurse any relative. I mean the females, but I know that in some cultures a lactating woman will nurse her children, grandkids, nieces, nephews etc and they think nothing of it. It's not a stretch to think males could sub if necessary. That one tribe that a pp mentioned do it routinely, so in thier culture, it is normal (I dont know about actual lactation but letting the babe suck at the nipple while the moms are out hunting is routine)

Maybe a bit o/t but.... we, males and females, have a ridge of mammary tissue that extends from where our nipples are all the way down our abdomens, meaning that we are capable of having four or six or so nipples. And since the occasional person pops up with three, its reasonable to think that at some point, we did. In the 1920s some guy wrote a book that covered male bf and his theory of why was that at some point humans had multiples at every birth and this was a way to ensure survival of more offspring. Just his theory, not saying I agree or disagree, I just find this stuff fascinating. The human body is an amazing thing in my book.

I know I had more to say, but I cant remember it now!
post #104 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
Ok, to answer most of the questions/objections....
I know I had more to say, but I cant remember it now!
Wow!!! Thanks!
post #105 of 243
I find it interesting that so many are saying "I read an article/study on this, can't remember where or what it really said though..."

post #106 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood View Post
I find it interesting that so many are saying "I read an article/study on this, can't remember where or what it really said though..."


:

There is nothing anyone can say about it that would make me change my feelings about a male "breastfeeding".

And to answer the question a PP asked... YES, I would want my son to be fed donor breastmilk or formula rather than have my DH "nurse" him. (not that he would ever do it anyway) And I am a big lactivist, but having a man breastfeed my child is going way too far.
post #107 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
Ok, to answer most of the questions/objections.

Yes, it HAS been officially studied. The first time I heard about this was waaay back in college when we learned about a study in which ten percent of the men involved actually lactated. In the link that the op provided, she refrenced TONS of articles/books/websites etc. In fact, I was amazed that there was so much out there on this subject.

Now, I also wondered if the milk men produced would be in amounts enough to feed an infant and/or nutritional complete. Apparently the answer is yes, as there have been several documented cases of infants that were exclusively bf by thier dad and survived and thrived.

As to the male breast becoming stretched, there was a picture of a man who bf his infant and toddler after his wife died and his breast looked flat and manly to me.

As far as this not being refrenced anywhere in history, apparently it HAS been. The link the op provided has a pic of a 15th century carving or a male with milk flowing out of his very muscular, male breast. Also, there were quotes from the bible refrencing male bf and not as a weird or bad thing, as something kings did and apparently as a sign of great health and strength. Interesting, eh?

Now, as to, if it were natural we'd see it in animals argument, well, we do. There was an article about a male cat nursing that made national news and in fact, Ive had two male cats do this myself. Until this moment, I thought they were just comfort nursing but after reading about this other cat actually making milk (documented by vets) Im wondering now.... Anyway apparently its common among goats. Yep, male goats born with testicles and haivng impregnanted females etc, have spontenously grown udders and made milk. There was a pic of one with an udder right next to the testicles. Something else just occured to me, how do we know more animals dont do this? I mean if you happened upon a skunk in the wild nursing, how do you know its female? You wont get close enough to check I promise you. Just something that just occured to me. We wouldnt really know how often it happens in nature. But I digress.

I know that some cultures nurse any relative. I mean the females, but I know that in some cultures a lactating woman will nurse her children, grandkids, nieces, nephews etc and they think nothing of it. It's not a stretch to think males could sub if necessary. That one tribe that a pp mentioned do it routinely, so in thier culture, it is normal (I dont know about actual lactation but letting the babe suck at the nipple while the moms are out hunting is routine)

Maybe a bit o/t but.... we, males and females, have a ridge of mammary tissue that extends from where our nipples are all the way down our abdomens, meaning that we are capable of having four or six or so nipples. And since the occasional person pops up with three, its reasonable to think that at some point, we did. In the 1920s some guy wrote a book that covered male bf and his theory of why was that at some point humans had multiples at every birth and this was a way to ensure survival of more offspring. Just his theory, not saying I agree or disagree, I just find this stuff fascinating. The human body is an amazing thing in my book.

I know I had more to say, but I cant remember it now!

Thank you for this Ang, any links? i would love to read more about
this :
D
post #108 of 243
Just my own thought: If men were encouraged to explore this option and given help to do it, and science could assure us it was as nutritionally beneficial as mother's milk, I'd be 100% behind it.

I don't give a fig about the social taboo or how individuals feel about it (because really, plenty of people are/were equally unsupportive of me BFing my own babies).

But I also don't know enough about the process or the benefit to the child. Those, IMO, are more important than how people feel about it.

That said, I think if it were an acceptable option we could increase the number of BFed babies, as there would be a second option for breastmilk if mama could not provide it. THAT would be a fantastic thing!!

To any dads who have tried this: Good for you!!
post #109 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood View Post
I find it interesting that so many are saying "I read an article/study on this, can't remember where or what it really said though..."

Well, I know that most of the stuff I know that I know I can no longer remember where I learned it from. So, let's get down to research, folks (well, those who are interested), because I'm curious, too.

FWIW while I took a lot of undergrad science classes, my bachelor's is in computer science, not biology. I have access to some online research databases...but, there are so many articles on lactation, breastfeeding, etc, and most mention males or men, my searches haven't been fruitful. If anyone has a unrecommended set of search terms or an article whose citation you'd like to see, I might be able to get it. BUT--I wouldn't doubt that there's someone on here with better search skills or better databases.

This link has the most specific information and resources that I found: http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/...s/milkmen.html. However, tracking down the sources (as one would want to do with any online material) make take some effort.

This 1995 Discover article's sources would be very interesting to dig up. The database I have access to only has a citation, not full text:
Diamond, Jared. Discover; Feb95, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p82, 6p, 5c, Focuses on lactation by male persons and animals. Process description of lactation; Breast development; Genetic aspects; Male and female differences in hormones; Confidence concerning paternity and maternity; Conflicts between a mother and father's interests.

For those with doubts about other species:
Father's milk. Bioscience, 00063568, Jun94, Vol. 44, Issue 6

Lactation may not be solely a female preserve, at least for some species. Charles M. Francis of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Thomas H. Kunz of Boston University, and their colleagues have found that the males in a population of Dayak fruit bats, Dyacopterus spadiceus, produce milk. It is the first report of male lactation in a wild, free-ranging species, says Kunz. The males, which were found in the Krau Game Reserve in Pahang, Malaysia, produced relatively small amounts of milk: 4 to 6 microliters compared with 350 microliters in lactating adult females. Male lactation has been previously reported in highly inbred domestic animals and in men receiving hormone
treatment or who have pathologies. "Studies on circulating hormones in this bat will help clarify the physiological basis for male lactation," say the researchers in the 24 February 1994 issue of Nature. They add that studies are needed to determine whether the males actually provide young with milk, and he speculates that "functional male lactation would be most likely to evolve in monogamous species, in which males share in the care of the young and have high certainty of paternity."

If this hormone change is also true for human males with expectant mates, this could explain why fathers can induce lactation:
Black, Harvey. New Scientist; 8/17/96, Vol. 151 Issue 2043, p16, 1/4p
Reports on the increase in prolactin, a hormone associated with milk production in females, among male tamarin monkeys before their mates give birth to their young. Main function of prolactin; Higher levels of prolactin in the more experienced fathers; Association of high prolactin levels with stress in primates.

Do we have trained social scientists to read up on the literature on this story? http://www.guardian.co.uk/parents/st...506843,00.html

Oh, and I found this line by the NY Inquirer pretty funny--and spot on. If we could answer this question...
"The oddity here is not that men can breastfeed, but rather that they can and don't know it." http://nyinquirer.typepad.com/nyinqu...reastfeed.html
post #110 of 243
I think it is wonderful.

As someone who had great difficulty and eventually failed at BF, I would have loved it if my husband could have stepped in. Who knows, maybe with his help I could have managed to persevere long enough to succeed.

Not that he would EVER go for it.

It makes sense: it is a backup system from Mother Nature for babies who might otherwise die.
post #111 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbowbird View Post
I think it is wonderful.

As someone who had great difficulty and eventually failed at BF, I would have loved it if my husband could have stepped in. Who knows, maybe with his help I could have managed to persevere long enough to succeed.
No, with his 'help' your baby would have suckled at your breast less, compromising your supply.

Quote:
It makes sense: it is a backup system from Mother Nature for babies who might otherwise die.
No it doesn't make sense IMO. Men cannot produce enough breastmilk to keep a baby alive and thriving. We are so immersed in this notion of nuclear family that we forget that OTHER NURSING MOTHERS are the people who can make sufficient quantities of breastmilk to keep our babies alive if we cannot make milk.
post #112 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
No it doesn't make sense IMO. Men cannot produce enough breastmilk to keep a baby alive and thriving. We are so immersed in this notion of nuclear family that we forget that OTHER NURSING MOTHERS are the people who can make sufficient quantities of breastmilk to keep our babies alive if we cannot make milk.
: It takes a village, and so on, and so forth.

Furthermore, it would take a certain kind of man to be willing to breastfeed his child, and I wouldn't want to have his baby.
post #113 of 243
I would also be concerned about the quality of male breastmilk. Not all breastmilk is equal, even mother to mother. There was a study done recently that found asthmatic mothers who breastfed their babies did not seem to pass on any protective measures against asthma as is found in non-asthmatic breastfeeding mothers. Either the link is genetic (very possible) or the quality of breastmilk from asthmatic mothers is lower. Also linked to this study was a study done with mice (or rats, can't remember) where the babies of asthmatic mice were switched with the babies of non-asthmatic mice. The mice drinking the non-asthmatic mother's milk had future protection against asthma but not the normal mice offspring fed the asthmatic mother's milk. So clearly in the mouse study the link was not genetic and found that the breastmilk of asthmatic mice is poorer and had long term health effects on the offspring.

So there could actually be detrimental health effects on a child fed "mystery milk" from a male, for all we know. Who knows if the milk a man would produce would be even close in quality to a female's milk, or even worse, if it had a long term adverse health effect on the baby?
post #114 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
No, with his 'help' your baby would have suckled at your breast less, compromising your supply.



No it doesn't make sense IMO. Men cannot produce enough breastmilk to keep a baby alive and thriving. We are so immersed in this notion of nuclear family that we forget that OTHER NURSING MOTHERS are the people who can make sufficient quantities of breastmilk to keep our babies alive if we cannot make milk.
I had oversupply; baby couldn't latch; baby started to give up...in the meantime my nipples were super sore and I couldn't endure the pain. If he could have latched her on for a bit maybe my nipples would have had some time to heal in between feedings. Our LC could not figure our her latch problem and why my nipples were bruised and bleeding. I would rather have had her taking HIS milk than formula anyway...

What about these stories about men successfully breastfeeding their children after the mother dies? What's wrong with that?

Some of this opposition really makes me wonder about the motives of certain lactivists...not you per se, just in general.
post #115 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantaja View Post
: It takes a village, and so on, and so forth.

Furthermore, it would take a certain kind of man to be willing to breastfeed his child, and I wouldn't want to have his baby.
Hey, if it saved one baby's life in some remote village somewhere, I'm all for it.
post #116 of 243
It's probably better than formula.

And, following your logic, are you saying asthmatic mothers or mothers with less-than-stellar milk shouldn't breastfeed? If you believe men shouldn't BF because their milk might be substandard, would you have women who are asthmatic, etc. stop breastfeeding, as well? After all, you have reason to be concerned about the quality of their milk, right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
I would also be concerned about the quality of male breastmilk. Not all breastmilk is equal, even mother to mother. There was a study done recently that found asthmatic mothers who breastfed their babies did not seem to pass on any protective measures against asthma as is found in non-asthmatic breastfeeding mothers. Either the link is genetic (very possible) or the quality of breastmilk from asthmatic mothers is lower. Also linked to this study was a study done with mice (or rats, can't remember) where the babies of asthmatic mice were switched with the babies of non-asthmatic mice. The mice drinking the non-asthmatic mother's milk had future protection against asthma but not the normal mice offspring fed the asthmatic mother's milk. So clearly in the mouse study the link was not genetic and found that the breastmilk of asthmatic mice is poorer and had long term health effects on the offspring.

So there could actually be detrimental health effects on a child fed "mystery milk" from a male, for all we know. Who knows if the milk a man would produce would be even close in quality to a female's milk, or even worse, if it had a long term adverse health effect on the baby?
post #117 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbowbird View Post
Hey, if it saved one baby's life in some remote village somewhere, I'm all for it.
But it wouldn't though.
post #118 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
But it wouldn't though.
Are you discounting the research that has been presented here and saying it is all false/rumours?
post #119 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbowbird View Post
Are you discounting the research that has been presented here and saying it is all false/rumours?
I do not believe most (or really almost any) men without hormonal problems can make adequate milk to support the life and growth needs of a baby, without taking hormones and other drugs.
post #120 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbowbird View Post
Hey, if it saved one baby's life in some remote village somewhere, I'm all for it.
I'm confused by your comment. Are your refering to the rare (and therefore newsworthy) occurance of a man breastfeeding, or to cross-nursing being done "in some remote village somewhere"?
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