Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood
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