Dad "nurses" his infant daughter, but is it possible?!
Just when I thought I'd seen everything, I stumbled upon a Reddit thread about a man who admits he sometimes lets his fussy infant daughter suckle on his nipple when it's his turn to soothe her back to sleep. Holy cow, that's weird.
Reddit user MaleCleavage took to the popular message board last week to ask whether any other fathers have ever tried this novel technique, and if so, he wanted to know if they had any pointers for getting his daughter to latch onto his hairy nipples.
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Sometimes when my baby is crying in the night and it's my turn to quiet and soothe her, in desperation I'll try to get her to suckle at my nipples. Usually she doesn't want them (too hairy?), but sometimes she latches on, and I find myself experiencing a confusing mixture of joy at the connection between father and daughter, and horror at what I've become. Do other dads do this? Any tips for getting her to latch on if she doesn't want a pacifier? BTW, I don't think I want to lactate--that's just too weird for me.
Though many Redditors found MaleCleavage's breastfeeding admission a bit bizarre, they remained respectful and even offered up their advice. In fact, one user even did a little research and found that some men are actually capable of lactating, and are therefore able to breastfeed their babies. Wait, what? How is that even possible?
Well, it turns out all men produce small amounts of the hormone called prolactin, which is responsible for producing breast milk. Normally, the amount of prolactin present in a man's body is negligible, but certain circumstances, like extreme starvation or the chronic use of certain prescription drugs, may trigger an overproduction of the hormone, effectively causing the body to produce breast milk. Furthermore, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond, less extreme triggers, like consistent nipple stimulation, may also increase the body's production of prolactin. And lest you believe this is all just theoretical mumbo-jumbo, there have been quite a few well-documented cases of men breastfeeding their motherless children out of necessity, including a recent case involving a man from Sri Lanka who nursed his two daughters after their mother died during the birth of their second child.
So there you go: Men can totally breastfeed. What you do with that little nugget of information is completely up to you. Personally, I'd use it to my benefit and get to tweaking my future husband's nipples, because I'll be damned if I'm going to be the only one waking up in the middle of the night to breastfeed our hungry baby. But that's just me.
Image via Thinkstock
If he could, would you want your hubby to take over breastfeeding duties?