Some dads are using their nipples to help pacify newborn babies when the mother is asleep, away or unable to breastfeed.
This issue of men who pacify their baby’s with their nipples was discussed recently in a parenting forum on Reddit. The dad, fittingly called “MaleCleavage”, wrote: “Sometimes when my baby is crying in the night and it’s my turn to quiet and soothe her, in desperation I’ll try to get her to suck at my nipples,” he wrote. “Usually she doesn’t want them (too hairy?), but sometimes she latches on and I find myself experiencing a confusing mix of joy at the connection between father and daughter and horror at what I’ve become. Do other dads do this?”. The responses were all quite positive, mainly because anyone who has tried to settle a baby knows you’ll try anything.
According to a report in ABC News America, breastfeeding specialist Dr Jack Newman says it’s not surprising some men offer their nipple to their newborns as a pacifier. “This story is not about producing milk, but strictly calming the baby with the father’s breast,” he said.
Lactation consultant Jan Barger she’s sure many men probably wished they could supply milk as they see the special bond that forms between the mum and baby. And apparently, in theory, men could actually produce milk. “Male breasts have milk ducts, and some mammary tissue,” she says. “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.”