Strange But True: Did you know men can also lactate?


You probably though lactating was exclusive to women, right? Well, think again!

Despite the fact it is highly uncommon, men also have the ability to produce breast milk.

You’ve probably noticed that men have nipples, and may have wondered, WHY???

Well these ‘redundant’ nipples can actually serve more of a purpose than just making the chest look symmetrical.

It’s a rare occurrence in nature, and it happens more with human males than with other male mammals. It is due to the existence of the mammary gland that is found in both men and women. The main difference being that women easily produce the hormone Prolactin, which enables lactation, whereas it only gets produced by men under extreme circumstances.

An example of when this was observed was during World War II. Thousands of male prisoners in concentration camps started to produce breast milk. They were so malnourished that their livers and prolactin producing glands began to shut down. Eventually when nourished again, their hormone levels shot through the roof, and they began to lactate.

In some less extreme cases, men have been able to lactate through nipple stimulation.

It’s entirely possible for men to breastfeed if they wish to, by injecting prolactin, so maybe one day it will be more common for both parents to breastfeed the baby.

What do you think?