Monday, December 21, 2009

Doofus Of The Day #301

Today's award goes to Ragnar Bengtsson of Sweden, and is shared by Professor Sigbritt Werner of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

Back in September, Mr. Bengtsson had what seemed to him to be a good idea.

Swedish father Ragnar Bengtsson, 26, has entered into an experiment that he hopes will help him breastfeed his future children.

On Tuesday, the Stockholm family man began stimulating his breasts with a pump in a bid to produce milk.

"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," Bengtsson told The Local.

His efforts are to be documented by Swedish TV8, with the first instalment scheduled to air at 9pm on Wednesday on the Aschberg show. Bengtsson also maintains a blog on the station's website, the title of which translates as: 'The Milkman - One Drop at a Time'.

Bengtsson is preparing to pump his breasts at three-hour intervals every day until the beginning of December. As a full time economics student at Stockholm University, he is not always going to be in a position to pump in private.

"I'm going to have to pull out the pump during lectures. But really it doesn't bother me if it makes people uncomfortable. If they have issues with it that's their problem," he said.

Male lactation is a relatively common side effect of hormone treatments, but Bengtsson has no plans to chemically induce the process.

"If it works and the milk turns out to have a high nutritional value it could be a real breakthrough," he said.

. . .

Sigbritt Werner, professor of endocrinology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, told The Local that it could be possible for Bengtsson to produce "a drop or two" after three or four months.

... But Werner stressed that while she was interested in the subject, she was more keen for men to use their breasts to comfort their children.

"Men often have trouble finding things. And if the mother is out, the child is screaming and they can't find the pacifier I'm sure there are a lot of men who give their baby their breasts.

"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 said.

There's more at the link.

Tragically, Mr. Bengtsson has been forced to admit defeat.

Ragnar Bengtsson, 26, has failed in his high profile bid to pump forth milk from his breasts. But there is some consolation for the self-styled "Milkman", who is winging his way to the United States this week for an appearance on The Tyra Banks Show.

. . .

... ultimately, the experiment failed, with Bengtsson unable to live up to the name of his blog: 'The Milkman - One Drop at a Time'. On Tuesday at 9pm, he returns to the TV8 studio and the Aschberg show where it all began for a final look back at a trial considered intriguing and brave by some, but sickening and unnatural by many others.

"We never expected the enormous reaction we got; a lot of people were almost blinded with disgust," said Magnus Talib, a member of the Aschberg editorial team that has followed the day-to-day progress of the Milkman.

News of the would-be breastfeeding dad spread quickly, with media outlets from 40-50 countries taking up the tale.

. . .

Bengtsson, who was unavailable for comment on Tuesday, was reportedly also pleased to finally be able to put his pump back on the shelf.

"All he got was sore breasts," said Talib.

Again, there's more at the link.

Definitely a Doofus . . . and the idiot Professor seems doubly so! I can just imagine my late father's reaction if someone had told him to offer his breasts to his kids. It would have been non-verbal and very violent!



Lab Girl said...

Aside from the obvious weirdness, I find it kind of offensive that the professor seems to think men can't comfort their babies without a pacifier or a breast. My ex-husband did a pretty decent job of being a stay at home dad for the first 6 months or so while I worked, and although my dad wasn't alone with us as babies he was a full-custody single parent for most of our lives. Both of them did just fine in their own way without needing binkies or boobs.

LabRat said...

That professor of endocrinology was telling the truth and apparently he wasn't willing to hear it; you need the right hormones for lactation. Sometimes it happens accidentally, sometimes it's a side effect of treatment, sometimes male babies come out lactating because they're soaked in the overflow from their mothers.

Stimulation only helps AFTER you have the hormone for milk production circulating. Even some women need a little extra dose of hormone before lactation kicks in. Don't know what the dude was thinking, it's not like he lacked for people that would know that he could have asked.