Fathers who breastfeed!? - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 243 Old 12-19-2007, 10:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by greenfish View Post

If this post is a little terse and snippy, it's just that I really react strongly to dismissing the real lives of people outside the nice two sex/gender boxes by just calling them "biological abnormalities" and refusing to take seriously the questions raised by their living as if we can sweep everyone who doesn't fit those boxes under the table and make us stay there. I refuse to stay under the table!!
Who did that? I'm pretty sure no one did. It is a biological abnormality for males to breastfeed or for humans to change their sex (though I'd argue what a lot of trans folks are trying to change is their gender, but that's another thread). I'm using the term in a strictly scientific way, I am NOT attaching any other connotations to it like you apparently are. I simply mean things which are not seen consistently in the majority of a species, I do NOT mean that it's inherently "bad" or "wrong." I understand that it's a sensitive issue for you. I'm certainly not trying to discount you as a person.

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Just because I don't *agree* with you, however, doesn't mean that I am "trapped" by my thinking about "nice little boxes." There are few things that bother me more than assertions about "what all men think" or "all women are like." However, I am basically committed to a view of human sexuality which is biologically centered around procreation.

that doesn't mean that I do not acknowledge you as a person! Furthermore, it doesn't mean that I have not considered the points you raise (or at least to which you make allusions)-- all it means is that, having considered them, I have reached a different conclusion.
Exactly. This is a really common assumption around here that I'm really tired of. Not agreeing with someone doesn't make you ignorant and uneducated. :

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#182 of 243 Old 12-19-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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Wow where is this topic going? lol

Started as a neat little thing that can sometimes happen
to reconstructing entire gender roles/biology.

I have no prob if a man did this successfully to help his child
were no mother were present. I'm fine with it.

On a side note:

I do not however agree that transgendered people are
"trying " to change their gender. Many things happen
in utero, and you can actually have the brain develop
different than the body. So... yeah people need to
have a bit more understanding and compassion in that
area.

I know that I'm "queer" and I've been like that since I
was a child and i certainly can't help that.

Anyways...I am still not getting it . I assume most of
y'all wouldnt have a problem under severe circumstances?
I still think its wonderful that it CAN be done, just in case.
You never know were a family might find themselves w/o
any women around.
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#183 of 243 Old 01-16-2008, 11:38 AM
 
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I think its totally bizarre. And no, if I were to die I would NOT want a man to nurse my baby nor would I want another woman to either. It just seems totally strange to me. I don't think that it is "sexist" at all... what is wrong with one sex being different than the other? I don't want to be like a man, and I certainly don't want my husband to want to be like a woman either! I am quite happy with the way things are.
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#184 of 243 Old 01-16-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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Things are not all the same for everyone. You may have clearly defined gender roles in your home but in my home it is not practiced nor believed in. We do not. There is no mommy should do this and daddy does this.


Honestly this info is new to me. I don't know how I feel about it. For me its not so much about gender and creepiness as it is about having the ability to share the job of nursing with someone else. I'm not sure I could stand seeing someone else nurse my babes. Okay maybe in the middle of the night.

I did pump and donate my milk to an adopted baby at one point. I found even sharing that aspect of sharing the nursing role hard.

I am also curious about the effects on the baby. I wonder if it is confusing but then I remember that many a culture has shared nursing jobs.

I also wonder if the actual nutritional make-up is the same as a women’s or if not the same then equally nutritious?

This is something I will be thinking about.

I will bring it up to DH to see his reaction. I am guessing at first he would be put off by it. But I wonder if he could get over the "that's a woman’s job" idea if he could picture himself doing it.
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#185 of 243 Old 01-16-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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My first thought when reading all of this wasn't how natural/unnatural right/wrong it is. My thought was "Let's get society up to par and ok with women breastfeeding as the norm, before we start tackling men breastfeeding."

-:¦:-♥Sarah Lynne♥-:¦:-Wife to Michael and Mommy to Austin(5), Steven(3), Tristyn(1), and Laurelyn (6/3/2011)

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#186 of 243 Old 01-16-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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my son's 'breasts' had milk in them a couple of days after he was born. They got red and looked full, I squeezed gently and there was milk. Men obviously have the physical equipment inside... I wonder how it was that typically only women bf... You know some species of animals the dad's help feed.
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#187 of 243 Old 01-17-2008, 04:42 PM
 
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You son having breastmilk directly after birth is because his body was still being saturated by YOUR estrogen.

Katreena, peace.gif 39 year old Alaskan treehugger.gif Mama to 1 hearts.gif and 1 lady.gif gd.gif
 
 
 
 

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#188 of 243 Old 01-17-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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I had heard this can happen. But the fact that it is rare must mean something biologically. Maybe the hormones/male breast structure wouldn't be stable or nourishing enough for a baby. Maybe it will evolve to be so. Very interesting if unusual topic!

ps men who this happens to....are they more prone to breast cancer?
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#189 of 243 Old 01-18-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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Just want to give a big to CherryBomb and thismama. I agree with everything you've said.

Mom to dd (8), ds (6), and dd (1)

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#190 of 243 Old 01-18-2008, 11:34 AM
 
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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!
So true!

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#191 of 243 Old 01-18-2008, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jennytuk View Post
You know some species of animals the dad's help feed.
not mammals.
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#192 of 243 Old 01-18-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momtomany View Post
children would have oppurtunities to have close relationships with both parents.

all my children have close relationships with their father, and he never nursed them. Equal, but different.
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#193 of 243 Old 01-18-2008, 12:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
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.



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.

.
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#194 of 243 Old 01-18-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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I guess I don't understand why people feel so threatened by the idea. As far as I am concerned, anything that contributes to equal parenting is a good thing.
you could say formula contributes to equal parenting - not necessarily a good thing.
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#195 of 243 Old 01-18-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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I am not oppressed by my body. I do not need to be liberated from my children. And I don't need men to breastfeed to make me feel okay about myself and my body.

.


May I make this my signature?
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#196 of 243 Old 01-18-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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I just want to jump in here for a second.
One of my friends is the new father of a beautiful baby girl. He says has always had a small amount of wetness (a drop) from his nipples when he squeezes them.
Well, we visited about a week after the baby was born and the male friend can shoot colosturm/milk from his nipples. I've seen it. He did nothing to "stimulate" it, just a little squeeze. He is NOT bfing the baby, but in all honesty, I wish he would try it because the baby is now on formula but that's another thread. I just think that some live nourishment could not be detrimental to the baby, kwim?

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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#197 of 243 Old 01-18-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thixle View Post
I just want to jump in here for a second.
One of my friends is the new father of a beautiful baby girl. He says has always had a small amount of wetness (a drop) from his nipples when he squeezes them.
Well, we visited about a week after the baby was born and the male friend can shoot colosturm/milk from his nipples.
There are hormonal changes in many men when their partners are pregnant- including increased levels of prolactin before the birth and reduced levels of testosterone. Some men more than others, obviously. I wonder how that plays into this whole male lactation ability.
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#198 of 243 Old 01-19-2008, 03:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
It is a biological abnormality for males to breastfeed or for humans to change their sex. I'm using the term in a strictly scientific way, I am NOT attaching any other connotations to it like you apparently are. I simply mean things which are not seen consistently in the majority of a species...
Speaking in a "strictly scientific way": It is biologically possible for males to breastfeed, therefore, it is biologically normal. Maybe you mean that it is not sociologically probable or customary.

You may want to research species who can change their sex. Many successfully mate with same sex. Banana Slugs are one that come to mind first. They change their sex to accommodate the situation. Species like this are called hermaphrodites. All Banana Slugs are hermaphrodites, while not too many humans are born hermaphrodites. Some whales and some fish can change sex. There are others. So, scientifically speaking, I think you are mistaken.
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#199 of 243 Old 01-19-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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Speaking in a "strictly scientific way": It is biologically possible for males to breastfeed, therefore, it is biologically normal. Maybe you mean that it is not sociologically probable or customary.

You may want to research species who can change their sex. Many successfully mate with same sex. Banana Slugs are one that come to mind first. They change their sex to accommodate the situation. Species like this are called hermaphrodites. All Banana Slugs are hermaphrodites, while not too many humans are born hermaphrodites. Some whales and some fish can change sex. There are others. So, scientifically speaking, I think you are mistaken.

but do those sex changing species then nurse their young?
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#200 of 243 Old 01-19-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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Speaking in a "strictly scientific way": It is biologically possible for males to breastfeed, therefore, it is biologically normal. Maybe you mean that it is not sociologically probable or customary.
I really do not think it is biologically possible, without the aid of drugs, for the vast majority of men to nurse their young. I just do not believe it and have not seen any compelling evidence to the contrary other than 'well this one guy I heard about...' type stories.

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You may want to research species who can change their sex. Many successfully mate with same sex. Banana Slugs are one that come to mind first. They change their sex to accommodate the situation. Species like this are called hermaphrodites. All Banana Slugs are hermaphrodites, while not too many humans are born hermaphrodites. Some whales and some fish can change sex. There are others. So, scientifically speaking, I think you are mistaken.
But an intersex person, or a 'hermaphrodite' using that language, is not the same as a biological man who does not display sex characteristics of both genders. We are not talking about intersex people nursing their young... if we were I would say, if you make breastmilk go for it! Likely the same person would both be able to birth and nurse the child, as producing breastmilk when you have not just had a baby is very difficult for people of all genders, unmedicated.

So it's really irrelevant to this discussion whether heraphrodite banana slugs nurse their young, IMO.
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#201 of 243 Old 01-19-2008, 09:35 PM
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I just want to jump in here for a second.
One of my friends is the new father of a beautiful baby girl. He says has always had a small amount of wetness (a drop) from his nipples when he squeezes them.
Well, we visited about a week after the baby was born and the male friend can shoot colosturm/milk from his nipples. I've seen it. He did nothing to "stimulate" it, just a little squeeze. He is NOT bfing the baby, but in all honesty, I wish he would try it because the baby is now on formula but that's another thread. I just think that some live nourishment could not be detrimental to the baby, kwim?
Oh, MAN! I wish I knew this guy! It's too bad that with all that milk flowing the baby is getting formula.
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#202 of 243 Old 01-19-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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Okay, I've only read a couple pages of this thread, but thought I'd add my 2 cents even though somebody's probably already said this: why is this topic even an "ISSUE"???? Obviously IF it's true that some men can lactate, it would be exceedingly rare, and that's not likely to change. So it's like asking how we all feel about the problem of spontaneous human combustion. The vast majority of us just aren't going to encounter this situation, so I think we need to ask ourselves why we have such emotionally charged opinions about it....for those of us who do, that is.

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#203 of 243 Old 01-19-2008, 10:12 PM
 
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so I think we need to ask ourselves why we have such emotionally charged opinions about it....for those of us who do, that is.
Because many men could lactate with hormones and drugs. So if it became the new age sensitive guy 'thing to do' it could be a problem. Plus it speaks to where the line is between equality and gender as social construction vs. real, essential, natural barriers.
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#204 of 243 Old 01-20-2008, 12:26 AM
 
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I just want to jump in here for a second.
One of my friends is the new father of a beautiful baby girl. He says has always had a small amount of wetness (a drop) from his nipples when he squeezes them. Well, we visited about a week after the baby was born and the male friend can shoot colosturm/milk from his nipples. I've seen it. He did nothing to "stimulate" it, just a little squeeze. He is NOT bfing the baby, but in all honesty, I wish he would try it because the baby is now on formula but that's another thread. I just think that some live nourishment could not be detrimental to the baby, kwim?
That's more than I got. And I'm female.
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#205 of 243 Old 01-20-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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but do those sex changing species then nurse their young?
One has nothing to do with the other. I was addressing two separate points put forth by Cherrybomb which had nothing to do with each other, although she had mixed the two together in her post as though they did. So I addressed two different points in my post that addressed two of hers.

I think this is a very interesting discussion, but one problem is NOT that people are coming to this discussion with a lot of socially constructed biases, but that they do not seem able to separate these deeply ingrained biases from facts or alternate viewpoints and discuss them without getting overly emotional and judgmental.

I think that gender roles should be explored and our biases should be teased apart and examined. It is a great conversation to take to an uncomfortable level but I find the moralistic self-righteous tones a bit difficult to navigate around. That is my own personal responsibility, however and a weakness in teasing apart ideas that I would like to overcome.
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#206 of 243 Old 01-20-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jennytuk View Post
You know some species of animals the dad's help
feed.

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Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post
not mammals.
We are called mammals precisely because we have mammary glands -- both males and females. Dayak fruit bats can lactate and so can male goats. Both are mammals.
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#207 of 243 Old 01-20-2008, 03:49 PM
 
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We are called mammals precisely because we have mammary glands -- both males and females. Dayak fruit bats can lactate and so can male goats. Both are mammals.
But male humans, without a hormonal PROBLEM or medications, cannot lactate.

Is anyone arguing this?? Is there an argument that most or even a significant minority of men can actually lactate naturally, in the absence of hormonal problems or medications??

Coz unless some folks are saying lots of male humans naturally produce enough milk to nourish a baby human, all this male bats and banana slugs and blahblahblah is just absurd and completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
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#208 of 243 Old 01-20-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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But male humans, without a hormonal PROBLEM or medications, cannot lactate.

Is anyone arguing this?? Is there an argument that most or even a significant minority of men can actually lactate naturally, in the absence of hormonal problems or medications??

Coz unless some folks are saying lots of male humans naturally produce enough milk to nourish a baby human, all this male bats and banana slugs and blahblahblah is just absurd and completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
Actually, I think people are arguing this. That is what this thread is about. And I think some people, including Wikipedia, state that with enough nipple stimulation, apparently males can lactate without hormones. It does not mean that it is all of a sudden a case where lots of males are lactating. It is simply biologically possible. The implications seem to be that they are capable of helping in the feeding of their young, not that many males are already doing so.

Why do you think my posts are irrelevant? I am responding directly to posts made in response to the issues raised. This is what dialogue is about.
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#209 of 243 Old 01-20-2008, 10:23 PM
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I don't know if many men couldl produce enough milk to solely nourish a baby, but it seems clear from doing a little research online, that some men can produce some milk.


Why is it wrong for those men who can to offer comfort to their babies? I've read teh thread, but dont understand. What part of it is offensive or bothers people? The fact that it's outside the norm should hardly be a shock to us MDC folk!
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#210 of 243 Old 01-21-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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There is always a mama. That is a fact of biology.
What about FTM transsexuals who get pregnant and then go back onto their testosterone therapy? They don't consider themselves mothers. Sure it is rare, but it does in fact happen.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.
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