New 'Chestfeeding kit' enables fathers to breastfeed their baby

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor

A student has designed the first ever ‘chestfeeding kit’, enabling fathers to breastfeed.

The kit, which contains lab-produced female hormones, is said to allow dads to fulfill a similar role to breastfeeding mothers.

Marie-Claire Springham, 24, created the kit after learning of fathers suffering from post-natal depression, in part due to feeling “left out” of the breastfeeding process.

The London-based student told ‘Good Morning Britain’: “I designed this first as an empathy tool, I was looking at post-natal depression and I learnt so much, particularly that it occurs in men and the main cause of that is the feeling of being left out.

The chest feeding kit would allow fathers to nurse their babies. [Photo: ITV/Marie-Claire Springham]

She added: “It’s not necessarily because they’re breastfeeding, it’s infant preference, I read a lot of heartfelt accounts, the dad comes home all ready to be Super Dad and the baby’s not interested because the baby’s attracted to the smell of breast milk and that’s what mum smells like.”

Springham has already been recognised for her innovation, and scooped the Grand Trophy prize at the Meaning Centred Design Awards 2018.

However, Twitter users weren’t so sure, with some calling it “mad” and “ridiculous”.

How does a male chestfeeding kit work?

In an interview published in October last year, Springham explained to parenting website Parents.com how the chestfeeding kit enables men to breastfeed.

The kit contains a supply of hormone progestin – a man-made form of the female sex hormone progesterone.

Men are advised to begin taking this hormone as soon as they learn their partner is pregnant, and this stimulates the product of milk glands.

A prototype of the kit mocked up as how it might look as part of an NHS package. [Photo: Marie-Claire Springham]

Six months before the baby’s due date, fathers-to-be take another hormone, domperidone, to stimulate prolactin – the hormone associated with milk production.

The kit also contains a milk pump and compression vest.

The device is still in its testing stages but could be available to buy in five years.

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