The “chest-feeding” kit can help mothers struggling to breast-feed while fathers can physically bond with their newborns. The kit is currently at the testing stage and is only applied in concept, but is said to be launched in a few years.
For the kit to work, men must consume hormones as soon as their partner becomes pregnant. The hormones will allow them to “grow ducts” but doctors caution that men might permanently grow milk ducts.
The designer of the ‘chest-feeding” kit said that men can grow boobs, or as it is referred to “moobs” up to B size cups due to the hormones. The hormones might have even more affects on the body, so doctors need to do more research before the product is launched.
Marie Claire, a product design student at Central Saint Martin’s in London, said that the kit could be available in five years. Her hope is that the kit will help fathers bond with their newborns and feel like a part of their baby’s initial development.
“I was trying to create an empathy tool, something that could really help when a mum was struggling to breastfeed and could help a dad be of practical use,” Marie Claire told Sun News.
The hormone that men must consume is called “progestin” and it helps stimulate milk producing glands in the male body to breastfeed. The hormone should be taken once a day as soon as the pregnancy occurs.
When there is six weeks left to the pregnancy, the dad would take another hormone called “domperidone.” This is a hormone prescribed to women who are having difficulty breastfeeding. It increases the production of ‘prolactin”, a chemical that stimulates milk production in moms.
“Those two drugs put together create three of the four hormones necessary for a man to product milk. The last one is oxytocin which is what triggers the ‘let down reflex’ and that’s naturally produce when a man or a woman holds their child.”
The kit will include a pump and a compression vest which is the equivalent of maternity bra. “The pump is the same thing, it’s just a little less intimidating,” said Marie Claire.
Both the drugs and breast pumps are available on the NHS, so Marie Claire said there is no reason why the kit will not be available in the next three years.
“I developed the pump instead of it just being hormones and holding your baby to your chest because it works in the same way it would when a woman is struggling to lactate,” Marie-Claire said.
However, there is still concern over the kit’s functionality. It remains unknown how much milk a man could produce, and if it would be as nutritious as the mother’s milk.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, clinical director of patient info, was keen to caution people on the use of hormone enhancement.
“I’m not sure anyone has tried this and, personally, my concern is when you mess around with someone’s hormones you never know what side effects you’re going to get”, said Dr. Jarvis.
Dr. Jarvis encourages a plethora of other ways for men to feel included in the first few months of a baby’s life, such as bath time, cuddles, or diaper chancing. She claims there would have to be rigorous tests and clinical trials before it could be put on the market.
“I would urge extreme caution before suggesting this.”