man with baby

Invention Lets Men ‘Breastfeed’ Their Babies Because Why Not?

Finally, it’s time to bring home your baby. How exciting! There is no other joy in the world that compares to becoming a parent. And, it just got even better; this invention lets men breastfeed.

Of course, I’m sure you’re well prepared to bring home your little bundle of joy. You’ve probably attended classes, assembled their crib, washed their clothes, and stocked up on all the essentials. That’s great!

Then again, it’s hard to prepare for lack of sleep, crying in the middle of the night, and of course, breastfeedings. 

Men can help too

Traditionally much of parenthood falls on women; anatomically, men can’t produce breastmilk or carry a baby. As much as you might have prepared yourself to take on more of the parenting duties, it’s 2021 for god sakes – men can breastfeed too! 

No, seriously. There’s a new invention that lets men breastfeed.

Image Credit: Dentsu

An invention that lets men breastfeed

Dentsu, a Japanese Company, created a tool for dads to wear when feeding their children. The Father’s Nursing Assistant is, for lack of a better word, a wearable, breast-shaped milk tank. The device straps over one of the father’s shoulders and has a silicon ‘nipple’ for the child to latch on [1].

State of the art features

In addition to the breast-like shape, the device has other features. The Father’s Nursing Assistant heats up and vibrates which encourages your young one to get some sleep. And finally, the device also has sensors that track your child’s sleeping and feeding behavior, populating the data onto your smartphone for you to see [1].

Image Credit: Dentsu

“The amount of time infants in Japan spend sleeping is shorter compared to the rest of the world. Much of the parental stress and difficulties surrounding childrearing are related to feeding and sleeping, and generally, the rate of participation by fathers tends to below. Breastfeeding is also effective at helping the parent sleep-a benefit that is currently skewed toward women. Focusing on breastfeeding, we aim to decrease the amount of burden on mothers and increase the number of time infants sleep by enabling fathers to breastfeed,” the company states in a press release [1].

Not just for men

However, this device isn’t just made for the traditional father who wants to help with parental duties. It has benefits for other family situations such as a single dad, a mother who has undergone a mastectomy, and when the baby has two fathers [2].

Dentsu designed this tool after consulting with pediatricians and caregivers. They want to create an experience as close to breastfeeding as possible [2]. This not only will take the pressure off the women to breastfeed, but it also promotes skin-to-skin contact between parents without breasts and their baby. This one-on-one time will help create a stronger bond [3].

Other options that let men breastfeed

The Father’s Nursing Assistant is, without a doubt, unique. However, it’s the only idea out there when it comes to men breastfeeding. 

The Chestfeeding kit, an invention that lets men breastfeed, is being developed in the United Kingdom by Marie-Claire Springham.

Unlike the Father’s Nursing Assistant, this product would allow soon-to-be fathers with the opportunity to take the hormone progesterone. In other words, this is a lab-created female sex hormone that men would start talking about as soon as they found out they were expecting their partner. This would ultimately allow men to produce milk. Yes, lactation in men is possible under certain circumstances.

Chestfeeding kit and Female hormone distribution

Instead of creating fake breasts, this product will stimulate milk-producing glands. Moreover, the dads would start taking a second hormone called domperidone, around six weeks before the baby arrives. The second hormone will activate milk production. 

“This project began when I learnt about the code of silence that surrounds the issue of mental health and new parents,” Springham shares. “I was shocked to learn that over half of women experience emotional problems postnatally or during pregnancy and that new fathers also often suffer, experiencing feelings of exclusion and a fear of being ‘unable to cope.’ After learning that common trigger of postnatal depression for mothers is the pressure to breastfeed, I developed this kit to help couples support each other, as well as their new baby,”[3].

The kit also comes with a compression vest (equivalent to a maternity bra) and a pump. 

Although these two approaches have their differences, they have the same goal – allowing dads to be a more active parent. Albeit one is less invasive than the other. Which one would you choose if given the opportunity?

Keep Reading: Boy Helping Dad Give Skin-To-Skin To Premature Twins Will Make You Smile

Sources: 

  1. New Japanese Device Makes Breastfeeding Possible To Fathers.” Bored Panda. Hidrėlėy. 2020.
  2. Dads can ‘breastfeed’ too with this wearable device.” USA Today. Rasha Ali. March 13, 2019.
  3. Dads Could Soon Nurse Babies With the Help of a ‘Chestfeeding’ Kit.” Parents. Maressa Brown. October 25, 2018.
Chloe Crawford
Freelance Writer
Chloe Crawford is a communications associate for TD Insurance. Before this role, Chloe pursued her honors undergraduate degree in business communications from Brock University. Chloe takes pride in her storytelling abilities – specifically the impact her advice articles, and her articles about Indigenous issues have made.