Got (Breast) Milk?
I am a male. I will never get to experience the (depending on who you talk to) joys of breastfeeding my infant child. That’s assuming I have children of my own one day, which I do.
Actually, never is a very strong word. It has been known for many years that men possess the same hormones, oxytocin and prolactin to be exact, to stimulate and produce milk. Hell, its even been suggested that long ago, men even helped in the duties of breastfeeding, hence the reason men have nipples to begin with. Combine this knowledge with the things we can achieve with technology, there is no telling what the future may hold for males in the breastfeeding department! We, as men, could one day share this domestic duty (or share again) with female counterparts. Exciting stuff, I know.
Breastfeeding has been the primary means for nurturing infants for as long as we’ve been around. I do not believe it is necessary to explain the health benefits of breast milk to infants. It is produced by the body, therefore making it perfectly natural. Health and psychological benefits for the mother breastfeeding is a more recent development. It has been studied that breastfeeding helps new mothers bond with their infant child. The skin to skin contact with the baby causes the release of more oxytocin in the mothers body, helping the flow of milk while also calming her. It has also been noted that new mothers miss less time from work because breast milk has been shown to reduce the rise of infants getting sick. Of course, that totally depends on more much she likes her job… Oh, and you can also save some dollas breastfeeding. Who does not wanna save money. With that money saved, products like this can be purchased. We men want to fulfill our domestic duties too, you know (we have breastfeeding envy). This is the world we live in folks.
Another interesting study to the benefits of breastfeeding is the effects on the environment. It saves energy, as in no heating required. Milk produced by the body is warm enough to consume immediately. It reduces waste; you do not have to go out and buy bottles and formula, which in turn, saves you having to make a trip to your local store, saving gas. We all know how much gas prices are now a days.
There are some mothers, however, that can not breastfeed, either through physical deformities (breast cancer) or plastic surgery (breast implants). Also, some infants just can not digest breast milk. And some women just plain do not want to breastfeed. All valid reasons for using baby formula.
What is worth observing to me is that we, as a nation, had to place laws into place to make it “ok” to breastfeed in public. We are talking about an act that has been necessary for the survival of our species being frowned upon. Women are being told around the country that breastfeeding is not permitted in a certain establishment. Really?! I can turn on the television at this very moment and probably see a pair of breast, hell probably even more than that. Are we as a nation have associated breast with sex, which is a mistake. While breast can be stimulated sexually, their main purpose is to provide food to infants.
The law “protects” women who breastfeed in public. But, are we really that disgusted (or maybe even turned on) by this that we have to make it a point to protect them in the first place? Is it really necessary to make a “tips for discreet public breastfeeding” and “advantages of breastfeeding in public” web page for mothers? I guess so.