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    Men May Soon Be Able To Produce Milk To "Chestfeed" Their Babies With The Development Of This Product

    The kit will use hormones that allow men to produce milk.

    Marie-Claire Springham is a British-American product designer who is creating a kit that will allow fathers to "chestfeed" their children.

    Marie-Claire Springham

    Last year, she earned the Meaning-Centered Design Award for her prototype of the male lactation system.

    Springham told BuzzFeed her idea originated from a desire to address issues that surround mental health and becoming a new parent. "A common trigger of postnatal depression for mothers is the pressure to breastfeed, even when it is difficult and stressful to do so. I developed this kit to help couples support each other, as well as their new baby," she said.

    Marie-Claire Springham

    "The system enables dads to take a more active role in the first six months of the baby’s life and allows mums to relinquish some of the pressures and duties of parenting. It is one of many ways to encourage further discussion of mental health and to empower new parents to support each other even more at such an incredible time in their lives," she said.

    The father-to-be would first take a prenatal course about "chestfeeding." She said, "He would then receive an NHS-branded box containing a chest pump, compression vest, informative flyer, and all of the necessary hormones for him to lactate and 'chestfeed' his child."

    Marie-Claire Springham

    In order to produce milk, fathers would need to take Progestin (aka the non-oestrogen-based birth control pill) for nine months. "The Progestin initiates the changes necessary for your chest to hold milk. The father-to-be will also need to take 40 mg of Domperidone four times a day, starting six weeks before baby’s due date. This will initiate the creation of prolactin," she added.

    Springham said the hormones fathers would take are very safe. "None of the hormones cross the blood-brain barrier, so they can be safely taken when breastfeeding. As far as we know, if a man were to stop taking the supplements then, like a woman, their body would eventually rebalance and return to its prior state."

    Marie-Claire Springham

    Springham said there's been a variety of reactions about her product. "For some, it’s the end of the world as we know it, whilst I’ve also been flooded with requests from new or expecting dads wanting to take part in medical trials."

    Marie-Claire Springham

    She added that some people have even informed her that male lactation is celebrated in the old testament of the Bible. "Often the people that have contacted me are not first-time parents. They’re expecting their second or third child and struggled with breastfeeding their first baby the first time. For them it appears that this is a welcome alternative."

    "What it is to be a father has changed so much, even just in my lifetime. Yet the media does not update images of parenthood. The focus has always been on the intimacy between the mother and baby. I don’t think it’s because intimacy between fathers and babies doesn’t exist. It’s just depicted less, and it’s difficult for new fathers when there aren’t that many role models," Springham said.

    Marie-Claire Springham

    "Parenthood is a task that’s performed by such a wide range of people from every background and of every orientation and lifestyle. This is another way to help these people accomplish that task in a way that is fulfilling and empowering rather than restrictive."

    As far as a timeline for when the product would be accessible to the public, Springham said it all depends on trials. "This product is so new that there are plenty of steps to take before it would be available for purchase."

    Marie-Claire Springham

    "I want to take it clinical trials as quickly and effectively as possible. We’re looking for the right partnership and are open to offers of research cooperation."

    You can stay up-to-date on the process through Marie-Claire Springham's website.

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