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Fathers who breastfeed!? - Page 2

post #21 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by hadassah View Post
I don't understand why this has to be a "gender issue".........To me this just proves that we are fearfully and wonderfully made....
That it does...
post #22 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenfish View Post
I'm also curious about the automatic rejection of this topic? "Run away" because it is skanky to you? "Run away" because conflict will happen? "Run away" because MDC will shut it down?

I'm also curious about the automatic "just because they can doesn't mean they should" thought...it wasn't so long ago that folks thought that just because women could do x they shouldn't because it's unladylike/men wouldn't like them/it would hurt their fragile uteruses...that makes me skittish of any automatic argument about which sex should or should not do ANYTHING, even something seemingly biologically determined. Heck, if we'd stuck with some people's ideas of biologically determined I'd never have gotten a Computer Science degree, been able to marry my same-sex partner, gone to seminary, or become a minister...

So...if you're opinionated enough to give us a one liner, how about spelling out where your views come from?
I didn't express any views on the topic. We had a long, drawn-out, rather ugly conversation on this topic several months ago. It t'weren't pretty. This is one of those "it's not going to end well" topics.

But fine, ignore my warning and drive that car right off the cliff!
post #23 of 243
its cool. dh couldnt handle it, tho. kids would love it.
post #24 of 243
I think if the body has the right parts, why not? Like a PP said, we all started out as females, biologically, and it seems that at least somemen have this functionality, which does make sense. Saying they can't use it if they want to seems kind of sexist to me, like women are doing to men what they used to do to us ("sure you've got legs like us, but you're no good at running, so you can't play sports).

Some women have small breasts and nipples and still breastfeed, so I can't see that it's a size issue. And I have coarse dark hair around my nipples, does that make me too "manly" to breastfeed? Why should women hog this amazing experience, if there are men who can and are willing to do it to?
post #25 of 243
Uggh, we did NOT all start out as females. From the moment the sperm hits the egg, our genetic code has written on it whether we are XX or XY (or something else in rare cases). Just because our sex organs' development doesn't start to differ until a certain point and happen to resemble female genitals more than male genitals does NOT mean we were all female.

There's nothing "natural" about male breastfeeding. If men were meant to breastfeed, their breasts would fill with milk after birth (and yes, someone women don't experience that, but it's exceedingly rare). It would also be common in other mammalian species (it occurs occasionally but it's most certainly not common). I'm not saying people can't think it's cool, but not use whether or not it's natural as a stepping stone to make your opinion more valid or open-minded than someone else's.

There's nothing sexist about noting biological differences between males and females. I personally don't like male breastfeeding because I happen to think mothers are unique and fathers have their own special roles, which apparently means I hate feminism and equal rights, judging by how this conversation usually goes.

Quote:
I'm also curious about the automatic "just because they can doesn't mean they should" thought...it wasn't so long ago that folks thought that just because women could do x they shouldn't because it's unladylike/men wouldn't like them/it would hurt their fragile uteruses...
We aren't talking about socially constructed determinants. We're talking about biologically constructed determinants. Saying men can't breastfeed or be pregnant is not even on the same level as saying women can't wear pants. It IS biologically determined, whether it offends peoples' sense of equality or not. Being equal does NOT mean being the same, and I frankly don't view women as nothing but men without dicks. Men and women are, overwhelmingly, different from one another on a biological level.

That said, if you want your male partner to breastfeed your kid, fine, it's none of my business. Not wanting your dh to stick his boy tit in your kid's mouth doesn't make you a bad person.
post #26 of 243
I agree with CherryBomb!
Furthermore, I question the verity of some of the reports on the original link-- induced lactation is (from all I have read) very difficult even for women (when they adopt, etc)-- the idea that man, by "positive thinking" could induce true lactation within a week.... I don't know. It seems fishy to me.
Also, there are obviously no scientific studies on the long-term effects on the man or the child. I know that I am *still* feeling not quite hormonally "myself" 8 mos into breastfeeding. What must the effect be on men?
post #27 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaterPrimaePuellae View Post
I agree with CherryBomb!
Furthermore, I question the verity of some of the reports on the original link-- induced lactation is (from all I have read) very difficult even for women (when they adopt, etc)-- the idea that man, by "positive thinking" could induce true lactation within a week.... I don't know. It seems fishy to me.
I totally don't buy it.
post #28 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam_and_Abigail View Post
Some women have small breasts and nipples and still breastfeed, so I can't see that it's a size issue. And I have coarse dark hair around my nipples, does that make me too "manly" to breastfeed? Why should women hog this amazing experience, if there are men who can and are willing to do it to?
Why shouldn't women hog this amazing experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
Not wanting your dh to stick his boy tit in your kid's mouth doesn't make you a bad person.
Thank you for the belly laugh this morning. I needed that. Oh, and ITA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaterPrimaePuellae View Post
I agree with CherryBomb!
Furthermore, I question the verity of some of the reports on the original link-- induced lactation is (from all I have read) very difficult even for women (when they adopt, etc)-- the idea that man, by "positive thinking" could induce true lactation within a week.... I don't know. It seems fishy to me.
Well, don't you know, men do everything better than women, so why not add breastfeeding to the list? I know two people who adopted and tried to induce lactation, unsuccessfully. They both had previously breastfed children and yet it still wasn't happening. But yet I can hook my DH up to the pump and in a week he'll start squirtin' milk? Riiiiggghhht.
post #29 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaWindmill View Post
I didn't express any views on the topic. We had a long, drawn-out, rather ugly conversation on this topic several months ago. It t'weren't pretty. This is one of those "it's not going to end well" topics.

But fine, ignore my warning and drive that car right off the cliff!
Well, we're human and need to figure things out for ourselves!

Personally, I can't keep up with all the boards and all the topics, so often I've missed something and it's actually really useful for someone to post the kind of summary of what I have missed. So, thank you!
post #30 of 243
Dh's nipples are so hairy, I'd be afraid they would've choked or gagged my babes. Personally, i hate hairs in my mouth...
post #31 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherE View Post
Dh's nipples are so hairy, I'd be afraid they would've choked or gagged my babes. Personally, i hate hairs in my mouth...
Ugh...that was a great visual, thanks.
post #32 of 243
I don't understand why this has to become some argument, since it's obviously not common, it's not something that the majority of the population needs to worry about....

Anyway my personal belief is that
1. I wouldn't want my DH to BF because I'm selfish and I don't want to share such an awesome experience, however....

2. I think it is a pretty cool concept. I mean Wikipedia (topic: breasts) states

"Breasts are more visible on adult women, but male humans also have breasts which, although usually less prominent, are structurally identical (homologous) to the female, as they develop embryologically from the same tissues."

I think if they are structurally identical then it's quite possible that men can produce milk. I also feel that women have spent so much time fighting for equal rights that it's kind of silly to argue that men can't have similar rights or options as women in child raising. One of the arguements I've always made as far as NIP is that men can go swimming topless, but women (even under-developed women) can't... we all have breasts, the only difference being the stage of developement, so why do women not have equal rights? I mean if men *can* produce milk isn't that nature/biology telling us that (at least on some level) it is natural?

Well thats just my humble opinion....
post #33 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherE View Post
Dh's nipples are so hairy, I'd be afraid they would've choked or gagged my babes. Personally, i hate hairs in my mouth...
ditto!! My nipples are hairless, poor DH has very hairy ones! I heard this somewhere... there they sit, hairy and small. It might have been on a different male breastfeeding thread months ago.
post #34 of 243
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.
post #35 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
Not wanting your dh to stick his boy tit in your kid's mouth doesn't make you a bad person.
Absolutely!!! AND--finding that this discovery is awe-inspiring doesn't make anyone else a bad person.

I am frequently humbled by the complexity of life. Even if this is unusual, I still find it awe inspiring. And we can't be the first human generation to discover this. I mean, ancient cultures discovered that drinking pregnant mare's urine (I know, yuck) helped males who knew they were women change their bodies. Surely some of them knew about this!

One of the most fantastic parts of this, intellectually, for me is that while past generations of MTF women mostly married and did what they were "supposed" to and were fathers before realizing that something was not right, current generations are transitioning much younger. I feel really grateful for these friends of mine that while they cannot bear children, they may (yes, induced lactation isn't easy, but it is possible) breastfeed. Beautiful! With later childbearing and discoveries about genes for breast cancer there are women having children post radical mastectomy and if it works for their families for the husband to BF, then all the better for that little body and immune system.

Now, my butch dyke-daddy to be gender politics are consistently not in the ball park and this image may be skeevy to some, but that's fine with me. You do what is best for you, I'll do what's best for me and my family. [Well, I guess that's not quite true, if you shame your girly boy or manly girl or cut up your beautiful child's indistinct genitals so they look "right" (not for medical reasons), then my internal dykemama bear gets worked up and she's not pretty ]

One more thought--one of my favorite images of YHWH in the Hebrew scriptures is the images of this father god nursing his children--us. YHWH isn't meant to be a human male, but he is definitely masculine. If the knowledge that men have the apparatus to nurse were part of our cultural metaphor it would induce a cultural shift in understanding nurturing as belonging to men as well as women. And THAT would be really beautiful!
post #36 of 243
well put, greenfish.
post #37 of 243
Yeah, that! To greenfish

If I died, DH knows he's gotta do it. DD would die without it (literally at the moment - there is no successful medical food for her so far). He might not like it, but he'd do it and I'd look down from whereever I'd go post death and be proud. Heck, if she continues to have to exclusively breastfeed longterm, it may have to happen either way!
post #38 of 243
Hello again! It seems there are some of us enjoying this discussion so...I've been thinking about the not wanting to share part and am thinking along these lines...

Part of the attachment between mother and child is reinforced and established through BF. Prolactin helps with the mother's maternal feelings...do I have that right?

If so, what if men BFing did something similar for their attachment to their children?

The mother-child bond is a clear evolutionary (or created, I don't care in this instance) survival mechanism and indicates that historically the mother-child bond is most important for infant survival. There isn't such a strong biochemical bond for fathers...although there are some mechanisms.

But, in our society having two parents (of any gender) that stick around, care for a child, nurture, refrain from hitting, etc, etc. is really important. Women have a much greater tendency to do this--obviously the early attachment is a huge part of this, even if societal expectations are also present.

I know many fathers (and non-bio moms in lesbian relationships) who feel very, very left out of the BFing bond between mother and child. Their emotional role in their child's life comes later and this is very hard. My friends are emotionally mature enough to be able to name this, reflect on it, make conscious choices, etc. But, I wouldn't be surprised if this is present for most men and that many are not able to reflect on it so well and that this might be a factor in more men being distant from their children's lives than women.

While BF is obviously not a magic bullet for attachment and creating good parents, it could be tool. What if we had an expectation that fathers use the lact-aid with pumped milk at least some of the time...some might even start lacating.

OKay, so I sometimes wander down theoretical fantasies, but, what if?!
post #39 of 243
Yes yes greenfish! and, well, oxytocin is really your strongest bonding hormone (the 'love' hormone) and it would really help some of the dad's I know to chill out, too. hee hee....
post #40 of 243
Oxytocin, right, that one! Oh, my. It's probably a good thing I'm not in charge of the world...
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