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Men can breastfeed

236 replies

shinynewusername · 19/06/2017 07:58

La Leche League - the US equivalent of the NCT - now claims that men can breastfeed. NB, they are not just talking about transmen (born women), but actual men. WTF? Hmm

(Mens' nipples do occasionally produce some fluid, often as a result of disease but to say this is breast-feeding is deranged and insulting to mothers)

Over the weekend, I have also seen transwomen on social media claim that women seeking abortion should feel privileged to have an unwanted pregnancy and a 16 year old student at an American school in Spain reporting how she was not allowed to mention FGM or use the word 'woman' in a class on feminism because it 'triggered' a non-binary male in the class.

AIBU to think this is fucking out of hand? Every aspect of women's identify is being colonised and erased.

Men can breastfeed
OP posts:

Cocklodger · 19/06/2017 08:03

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that if you pump you lactate even if you're not pregnant/haven't been, male or female. So perhaps they refer to that?
Also, some people (whether they identify as trans or male or female or a sparkly grey gendered toaster) that women should feel priveleged to have an unwanted pregnancy Hmm so I don't think I can get too worked up about anything other than the belief itself (which is stupid) no matter who said it
The stuff you later mention is way out of order though.


Firesuit · 19/06/2017 08:03

The following was the first that google brought up for me.

Yes, in theory, men can breastfeed. Male breasts have milk ducts, and some mammary tissue. They also have oxytocin and prolactin, the hormones responsible for milk production. There have been reports of men who were able to produce milk through extensive breast and nipple stimulation, but no one knows whether the milk was of the same composition or quality as the kind women produce.


waitforitfdear · 19/06/2017 08:04

Don't always believe what you read or hear.

Social media is notorious for bringing the nutters out of the woodwork best ignored.


kaytee87 · 19/06/2017 08:05

Wouldn't it be great if men could breastfeed though!


witsender · 19/06/2017 08:07

In theory they can, this isn't a new assertion! It normally needs some hormones and a lot of work to induce lactation though. LLL are hardly political.


witsender · 19/06/2017 08:08

And they are nothing like the nct. Nct are birth and Parenthood focussed, LLL are breastfeeding specific. They are worldwide, including here and on the whole you need to be an experienced BFeeder to counsel for them.


AssassinatedBeauty · 19/06/2017 08:11

I'd like to see one concrete example of proven milk production in a man, brought about only by extensive expressing/stimulation, and not as a side effect of various illnesses or medicines. Then I might agree that at least that man could breastfeed.

No idea why the LLL USA think it's worth commenting on.


TaliZorahVasNormandy · 19/06/2017 08:16

It is possible. But you'd need have the necessary hormones to do it. Was on Embarrassing bodies once. Some guy was actually producing a breast milk as part of hormone issue.


JeNeSuisPasVotreMiel · 19/06/2017 08:18

Seriously, if men could breastfeed, don't we think that it would have been done at some point previously in the entire existence of the human race?


shinynewusername · 19/06/2017 08:19

Some guy was actually producing a breast milk as part of hormone issue

Exactly. Male breast tissue can produce fluid. But this is not breast-feeding.

OP posts:

Justanothersingledoutnumber · 19/06/2017 08:22

You can also get Supplemental Nursing Systems, which are basically pipes that drip milk over a breast so the child can feed.


TaliZorahVasNormandy · 19/06/2017 08:23

As i said its possible. Cant imagine many blokes wanting to test it out.


ThanksMsMay · 19/06/2017 08:23

Lll have become political and have been talking utter bollocks lately. I remember dd latching on to dh's hairy man nipple and her widening in disgust. Only happened the once...

The male body isn't designed for breastfeeding. I really hope this doesn't encourage men to attempt to "breastfeed" babies with whatever liquid they're producing.


shinynewusername · 19/06/2017 08:25

You need to be an experienced BFeeder to counsel for them

They are also letting men be BF counsellors now.

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TaliZorahVasNormandy · 19/06/2017 08:26

If i had a male BF counselor i'd ask for a new one.


tickwhitetick · 19/06/2017 08:27

It is possible. And I'm as terfy as they come


ChadSexington · 19/06/2017 08:32

When my DH was a baby, one of his parents' friends (all doctors btw) insisted that men could breastfeed if a baby suckled them, and so DH's parents passed him over so this bloke could have a go! Needles to say nothing happened. DH doesn't seem to have been scarred by the incident Grin.


shinynewusername · 19/06/2017 08:33

It is possible. And I'm as terfy as they come

As I said in the OP, I am not disputing that men's nipples can produce fluid. I am disputing that this is breast-feeding. Breast-feeding is exclusively done by women. No male has ever sustained a child by lactating.

It totally erases women's experience and the incredible female body to equate the difficult, extraordinary feat of keeping another human alive by producing milk with a bit of male nipple fluid.

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OohAahBird · 19/06/2017 08:37

Male lactation has been known about for a very long time, and if you had ever done any BF training you would probably already be aware of it, I read about it almost 15years ago, it fascinated me when I was expecting my first.
This is not anything new and was observed by darwin and commented on in his book in 1871!!!


SarahOoo · 19/06/2017 08:37

The LLL tweet said men could 'lactate'. That is all. Calm down.


shinynewusername · 19/06/2017 08:48

The LLL tweet said men could 'lactate'. That is all. Calm down

I won't calm down, thanks. The tweet I posted was one of a series from LLL, defending "chest-feeding" and the idea that breast-feeding isn't gendered Hmm

Once the differences between men and women are erased/ignored, there are no women's rights. We are already seeing this with demands to let anyone who claims to identify as a man access women's facilities and women's toilets being turned into gender neutral ones.

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SuperBeagle · 19/06/2017 08:51

Oh give over.

I'm yet to see any man put up his hand to start breastfeeding his child. Hardly "erasing" women and their rights.

But men can lactate. That's a fact.


shinynewusername · 19/06/2017 08:56

Male lactation has been known about for a very long time, and if you had ever done any BF training you would probably already be aware of it

I am a doctor. "Male lactation" is not a term normally used in human biology, precisely because the production of fluid from a nipple is in no way equivalent to breast-feeding.

It is wrong that the LLL is no longer centred on women. Increasingly, US organisations that support (in theory) mothers, no longer even use the term "mother" or 'women". Planned Parenthood, the biggest single provider of family planning now talks about 'menstruators' because 'women menstruating' is transphobic. And, where the US leads, the UK usually follows.

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zzzzz · 19/06/2017 08:57

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsGWay · 19/06/2017 08:58

YANBU, but as usual because one man in a billion may have produced milk then "men can breastfeed". You are correct this is part of the erasure of women and the acknowledgment of our oppression rooted in our biology. Erase biological differences and claim that oppression doesn't exist. Not only that they've gone one step further and state we are privileged because we are women as opposed to transwomen.
It saddens me that women are lying down and taking this instead of marching and protesting about it.

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