Can men produce milk and breastfeed? As surprising as this might sound, the answer is yes!
It seems to be an unusual request but there are about 70K inquiries about male lactation in Google every month. Evidently, more and more people are interested in this topic.
There can be multiple reasons why males would want to lactate:
- Fathers wanting to breastfeed their baby so as to share duties with the mother. Sometimes the mother might have health issues that forbid her to breastfeed. The father then takes over as the breast milk giver.
- Transgender women who want to breastfeed adopted or surrogate kids
- For erotic lactation purposes in Adult Nursing Relationships (ANRs)
No matter the reason, with a lot of commitment and the right method it can be done!
The basic requirements for being able to produce breast milk are functioning breasts and a pituitary gland in the brain (to release prolactin, the lactation hormone). Men happen to have both so there is no major obstacle for them to lactate.
Of course they need to follow the correct method to develop their breasts so as to induce lactation. To do so, they need to use the same hormones naturally released during a woman's pregnancy to develop their breasts. Once they do so they can often produce enough milk to cover between 25% and 75% of a baby's nutritional needs.
The basic method for inducing lactation in males
The basic principle for inducing lactation is, as unintuitive as it sounds for males, to trick the body into thinking there was a pregnancy that came to term. It's the so-called Newman-Goldfarb protocols for inducing lactation. You do this by taking the three main hormones that control the development of lactation during pregnancy: progesterone, estrogen and prolactin.
We wrote an article that details the procedure. Inducing lactation typically takes time and the longer the process, the more likely you are to successfully induce lactation. This can be too long and tedious for some people so we've detailed steps based on how much time you're ready to dedicate to the process:
- Process that takes 90 days or more
- Process that takes between 30 and 90 days
- Process that takes less than 30 days
Of course our strong recommendation is for males to go for the 90-day process. With smaller time periods but they'd almost certainly not manage to generate a substantial amount of milk, maybe just a few milliliters at a time.
The basic process is the same no matter the timeline. In a nutshell, you need to take the birth control pill (since it contains both progesterone and estrogen) together with Domperidone or Reglan (which induce prolactin hormone) during a certain length of time. At some point, when your breasts have grown enough, you need to suddenly stop taking the birth control pill and start pumping (or getting your breasts suckled) regularly. Refer to our our more detailed articles for the whole procedure.
To help create your milk supply, you can drink galactagogue teas such as Milk Boost Tea. It's packed with 13 different natural plants that each play a role in supporting lactation. These plants have literally been used for millennia to help support lactation.
For instance among its ingredients is Dong Quai, a root known for its wide range of health and lactation-supporting benefits. It also contains Sponge gourds (Loofah), famous for their ability to facilitate lactation. Yet another example is Longan, a fruit that has a great ability to nourish the Blood and relieve fatigue.
Article tags: Breastfeeding and maternity