While it is not common in our society, the lactating man is a genuine phenomenon. Lactation can occur spontaneously, or it can be induced.
A doctor should check out lactation that occurs spontaneously. There are several medical reasons for this, including a tumor on the pituitary gland.
Hormone problems can also be a serious issue that may need to be checked out by a physician. A lactating man who is not producing milk by choice should seek medical advice to rule out any other conditions.
While the phenomenon of a man lactating is not necessarily new, it is not something that is often talked about in today’s culture. However, as more and more men take an active and equal role in parenting their children, a man breastfeeding his children is bound to get more attention.
Several articles talk about adult men breastfeeding their children after inducing milk production through breast pumps, supplemental nursing systems, and even the power of the mind. With more men supporting breastfeeding, the occurrence of breastfeeding men increases.
Induced lactation in men is not much different than inducing lactation in an adoptive mother. Although a woman’s breasts are designed to respond to nipple stimulation more quickly and with more milk than a man's, men can breastfeed.
Lactation is induced by using a breast pump beginning a few months before starting the breastfeeding relationship, ensuring that the nipples get plenty of stimulation. The lactating man needs to create a surge in the hormone prolactin to create milk. This is done by pumping on both "breasts" every few hours, and it is also beneficial to pump once or twice during the night to maintain the levels of prolactin.
Once the baby is born, or it is time to commence the breastfeeding relationship, the baby can provide nipple stimulation by suckling directly at the breast in combination with a supplemental nursing system that delivers either breast milk or formula to the baby’s mouth via a small tube attached to his nipple. This is the same kind of system that is used for adopted babies.
If the prolactin levels are maintained, a lactating man can produce enough milk to nurse exclusively in the early month. Still, supplementation with formula or donor milk is likely to be necessary.
It is hard to say if the occurrence of men breastfeeding will be more common in the future. Still, there is a growing interest in the possibility of men breastfeeding their children, if only in theory.
By Katelynne Shepard
I Think It's Wonderful. Women Don't Have to Bear All the Burden.
"For far too long, men's bodies were only thought of for reproductive means and possibly protective means. But in today's societies, men don't have to play a "protective" role. When I realized the purpose of mammary glands in mammals, I realized that the purpose is to support and nurture the young. So a man can breastfeed his babies, making men's roles in the child-rearing process somewhat equalized. I've known that the desire to have children happens almost equally in both men and women. So why not the ability to nurture and take of the young? A man being able to breastfeed his babies is nature's way of protecting the species."
Male Lactation - It's an Experience Worth Having.
"My journey began with herbs (Dong Quai, Kwao Krua, fenugreek, and dandelion root) which quickly established some breast tissue ( 3 months). I went from a Tanner 0 to a 2, which peaked around three months (a good thing, considering I didn't want large breasts, nor am I into presenting other than male).
Also, I began focusing on lactation foods (watercress, red clover, carrots, avocados, alfalfa, walnuts, etc.). Then began using a Medela pump, which wasn't consistent at first, but after two months, I started getting Oxytocin release from the stimulation and got addicted. I used the pump twice a day.
Breasts have swelled to 4" greater than band size, but I found these awesome t-shirts for gynecomastia compression t-shirts hide the bulge.
Considering what I'm doing, my diet has become very important. Fast Food restaurants are a thing of the past, and I have lost unwanted weight. Another side-effect is that some weight shifted to my butt, not a lot, but I am no longer boney."