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Swedish student hopes to generate breast milk with a pump

By Kevin Jess     Oct 2, 2009 in Science
Ragnar Bengtsson will use a breast pump at 3 hour intervals over the next 90 days to see if it will generate breast milk. There is only one problem. Ragnar is a man.
Ragnar Bengtsson, 26, is a student at Stockholm University.
The Swedish news site The Local reports that Bengtsson, a father of a two-year-old actually believes that he will be able to produce breast milk so that he will be able to breast feed any of his future children.
He began stimulating his breasts on Tuesday.
In an interview with the Local Mr. Bengtsson said, "Anything that doesn't do any harm is worth trying out. And if it works it could prove very important for men's ability to get much closer to their children at an early stage."
He will document his efforts in a blog on Swedish TV8's website entitled The Milkman - One Drop at a Time.
Male lactation is possible with hormone treatments and has been relatively common but Bengtsson refuses to chemically induce his experiment.
While some people think Bengtsson's attempt is sick Sigbritt Werner, professor of endocrinology at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm was quite interested reported the Examiner.
She said, "Women breastfeed after they've been bathing in estrogen during a nine month pregnancy, so obviously it takes some time. But if he works on it regularly he'll likely notice a layer of tissue forming beneath the areola and it should be possible to produce enough of the hormone prolactin to cause lactation," reports the Local.
He could produce "a drop or two,' she added.
"Healthy children know instinctively that the breast has a dual function. One gives them milk, the other gives them warmth and a cosy bond. Men don't need to strive to produce milk but they should take the opportunity to get closer to their child by offering them their breasts in the same way as women," she told the Local.
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