Meet the Milkman: What Do You Think of This Father's Attempt to Breastfeed His Baby?

0904-breastfeeding-man_vg.jpgDid you guys hear about the man in Sweden who is breastfeeding his baby? It's about the weirdest thing I've heard since, well, the pregnant man. But wait, men can't produce milk, right? Actually, it turns out, they can...

According to reports, Ragnar Bengtsson, 26, recently started attempting to breastfeed his baby. "Anything that doesn't do any harm is worth trying out," he said to a Swedish media outlet recently. "And if it works it could prove very important for men's ability to get much closer to their children at an early stage." He's also just started a blog on the subject and will be featured in a documentary called "The Milkman - One Drop at a Time."

The full-time economics student at Stockholm University says he plans to pump his breasts for the next few months (during class if need be) to see if he can produce milk for his baby, and for his "future children."

"If it works and the milk turns out to have a high nutritional value it could be a real breakthrough," he said.

So, can men actually produce milk? Experts say that men can lactate when going through hormone treatment (it's a side effect), and while a suckling baby (this is a perfect time to tell you that I hate the word suckling) or a breast pump could stimulate estrogen levels in the body, it's unlikely that they would be high enough to produce enough milk to feed a baby. The most a man could expect to produce would be "one or two drops," estimate experts.

I don't know if it's this story that's making me shake my head, or the thing that Swedish endocrinologist Sigbritt Werner said recently about this man's breastfeeding quest and her message to other fathers, which basically boils down to "men, you should whip out your breasts and offer them to your infants!"

"Healthy children know instinctively that the breast has a dual function," she said. "One gives them milk, the other gives them warmth and a cozy bond. Men don't need to strive to produce milk but they should take the opportunity to get closer to their child by offering them their breasts in the same way as women."

Um?

Am I way off here by being generally uncomfortable with the idea of babies nursing on men's "breasts"? What do you think?

More on the topic:

*This woman may serve jail time for breastfeeding while intoxicated...

*Another OMG moment: The doll that little girls ... breastfeed!

*Could you breastfeed a baby that wasn't your own?

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Photo: The Local