Maybe I, and Not My Wife, Should Do the Breastfeeding.
Note: What follows is a lighthearted rebelliousness against sexism, and a subtle poke at the corporate pharma takeover of culture.
I suggested to my wife one recent weekend that if she is so fortunate to get pregnant with our second child together, then I should do the breastfeeding.
Actually, I was quite enthusiastic as I made the proposal. I’m constantly looking things up around forced psychiatric treatment human rights violations, and wanted to remind myself of what I had read about young boys who grew breasts after given anti-psychotic medications that increase prolactin production. A simple search yielded much more interesting results than what I expected.
I discovered male lactation is quite possible. It has been done in other parts of the world when a woman has gone ill or died and a male took over. Men lactate when recovering from starvation, and prolactin that facilitates milk production is produced faster than the recovering liver can process it. And then, bingo! Nipple stimulation can elicit the release of prolactin in males and subsequent milk production. Wow!
Before thinking it through, I bounced the five steps to my wife’s desk. We have about the smallest house in town. I told her excitedly the idea of my breastfeeding our next child. She makes a good honest wage as a nurse. We had talked previously of my staying home with our next child while she worked, and the past couple years I took over as homemaker. How perfect!
I learned, when our daughter was an infant and went on a six-week breastfeeding strike, that babies will suck on anything including my finger with a tube next to it carrying the milk my wife had pumped.
I am under no illusion that breastfeeding feels natural or easy. My wife worked very hard and reached out for guidance to keep her milk flowing and help our daughter begin to nurse again.
Surely now that many women who feel called to career, and with homemaking husbands who may actually have potential to cultivate breastfeeding ability, pumping to keep the kiddos on breast milk could become a choice rather than a requirement.
Countless pregnant Americans are being directed to take psychiatric medications or Suboxone for opioid addiction. A choice to be medicated may not have to deprive the infant of medication-free breast milk if there is an unmedicated, confident, nurturing, socially rebellious baby daddy around. Even Darwin wrote about male lactation being a well-known possibility.
Putting all good nurturing things aside, think of the attention, blogs, Instagram followers, and book and movie deals for that first prototypical 21st century male from the Western world who actually does it. Better yet, think of the opportunity to help our culture move beyond sexism, discrimination, and bigotry in all forms. It’s summer, it’s hot, all genders should have the privilege of going topless.
Someone’s got to do it. Please, God, let me grow breasts. I fear after seven years trying for a second kid together, it is possible I may not have the opportunity to be the prototype. I believe one of the socially conscious, rebellious, confident, modern dudes reading this may be just the one to pull it off.
As an undergraduate psychology student, Laren Corrin exposed a consciousness awakening along with unprocessed life events to the American mental health system with disastrous results. He discovered a more seasoned understanding of mind and human nature in Yoga and non-duality and healed. Laren believes the full range of our human experience has meaning and should not be written off with labels, but explored for complete healing. Laren is a spouse, parent, child, yoga teacher, writer, and clinical mental health graduate student based in Portland, Maine. You can make contact at Laren’s website.