The Male Lactation Discrepancy

Remember how bad Robert de Niro is in these movies? It's as if he's method acting as a person with permanent constipation.

Two friends of mine recently had a baby. Cute little thing. Tiny hands, tiny feet, cries a lot.

When I met the baby for the first time, the husband commented that for the month since the baby was born, he’s been pretty much useless. And not for lack of trying. It’s just that the baby’s core needs are filled by his wife at this time.

Specifically, his nipples do not produce milk, and therefore he cannot feed the baby.

So I asked him: “If you had the choice to lactate to nurse your child, would you?”

His answer: “Of course!”

This is not Salma Hayek's baby. She. Is. Awesome.

Now, it’s easy for a guy to say this (and his wife was right there). We can say that we’d willingly lactate because we know we’ll never have to. Plus, I’ve heard that lactating isn’t necessarily a walk on the beach. I’m no breast expert, but I’m pretty sure women have to deal with leaky nipples, swollen breasts, and the curious stares of men who are hoping for the nursing bib to slip. I’m not going to Google it, but I’d be willing to bet there’s a porn site devoted to that.

That said, I’m curious how many men would lactate so they could serve a purpose to their baby. I know I would. See, men like to feel useful. We like to feel like we’re contributing. I bet many of us would gladly lactate for our children.

So let’s find out. I’ve created a poll below that any gender can answer. And yes, this is assuming that the couple is heterosexual, so just bare with me there. Also, if you don’t have a child, answer for your future self that does have a child. Planned or unplanned. This is also assuming that you breastfeed. (Lots of stipulations, I know, but otherwise the poll would have 20 different options.)