Despite conventional knowledge that only women can breastfeed, a feminist professor at the University of Alberta, Canada, says this isn’t true, claiming that men and fathers are “increasingly” breastfeeding children by way of “induced lactation.”
Writing in the journal Feminist Theory, sociology professor Robyn Lee argues that men can easily breastfeed infants if only they agree to go through the draconian process of hormone supplementation and near-constant nipple stimulation.
The process would start with high doses of female birth control pills and estrogen supplements to “stimulate the state of pregnancy,” then those supplements would need to be swiftly discontinued to stimulate the rapid hormone changes that happen during birth.
Then, men would need to take the drug domperidone, writes Lee. Domperidone does not appear to be proven safe for use by either men or women, and cannot be prescribed in the United States because it lacks approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In fact, the FDA decreed importation of domperidone a violation of federal law in 2004, citing reports of sudden death, heart attacks, and cardiac arrhythmias by patients abroad who had been prescribed it. The FDA also warned that it could harm infants.
Nevertheless, Lee encourages men to take the drug, claiming that it poses “minimal risk to healthy individuals” and “does not appear to pose risks to infants.” PJ Media emailed Lee to ask if she was qualified to suggest domperidone, but did not receive a response.
“Herbal and natural supplements are also sometimes taken in order to boost milk production,” adds Lee, conceding that some men prefer herbal supplements instead of taking domperidone. Nowhere in her article does Lee note the dangers of the drug, giving readers the illusion that it would be fine and safe to take it.
Of course, encouraging men to breastfeed isn’t for naught, Lee writes.
According to Lee, this would serve a powerful social justice agenda, since making men breastfeed “destabilises understandings of sex and gender and allows for new, creative understandings of breastfeeding and sexual difference.”
Lee also predicts that male breastfeeding would bolster feminism and queer political efforts.
“When carried out by individuals other than cis-women, breastfeeding challenges normative understandings of sex and gender, a goal that is shared by both feminism and queer politics,” Lee writes, adding that male breastfeeding opens up “exciting possibilities for changing gendered divisions of childcare.”
PJ Media reached out to the journal’s editors for comment on the recommendation that men take domperidone, but did not receive a response in time for publication. We will update this article if we hear back.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen.