Revolutionary hormone kit that will let men breastfeed could be available in the near future
A groundbreaking hormone kit that lets men breastfeed babies could be available in as little as five years, according to its inventor.
Using designer Marie-Claire Springham's creation, a man could take a cocktail of drugs during his partner's pregnancy, eventually growing milk ducts in time for the birth of his child.
However, according to the MailOnline, it could have interesting side effects, which include the dad growing breasts up to the size of a B cup.
The kit is currently in the early stages and has not been tested yet, but 24-year-old Springham insists that it is destined to be a way for a man to better support his partner.
"I can’t see why couples wouldn’t use this," the designer, who studied product design at Central Saint Martins, London, told MailOnline. "It seems unusual but women have been using hormones to change their bodies since they developed the birth-control pill. Many women struggle to breastfeed. This is an empathy tool so a male partner could help in a really useful and supportive way."
The 'chestfeeding' kit was the young creator's last year university project and was crowned the winner of the world's first Meaning-Centred Design Awards earlier this week.
In order to use the kit, a man would take a hormone named progestin once a day after his partner discovered she was pregnant. Progestin is a form of the hormone progesterone and causes the production of the milk-producing glands that are needed for breastfeeding.
The soon-to-be-father would then take a drug called domperidone four times a day during the last six weeks of the woman's pregnancy.
Domperidone is often prescribed to people struggling with nausea, vomiting and other complaints of the stomach, as well as women who struggle to breastfeed. It stimulates the production of prolactin, the hormone that tells a mother's body to make breast milk.
After the birth, the father would continue to take this unique cocktail of hormones until he wanted to stop breastfeeding.
According to the inventor of the controversial kit, at this stage, he would be capable of releasing milk if he held a baby, due to the release of the hormone oxytocin.
However, Springham admitted that a man's nipples generally need more stimulation than a woman's and has supplied the kit with a pump that helps release milk, often used by new mothers.
Speaking to the MailOnline, lactation consultant Katherine Fisher commented on the revolutionary idea, claiming it raised some interesting questions about gender and parenting.
"Male lactation is clinically possible, and provokes interesting questions about what parenthood means in the 21st century," she said. "Lactation can be induced in certain circumstances via a course of hormone therapy. All attempts to better understand what gender means in parenting should be welcomed."
Side effects of using the kit - which includes a compression vest that acts like a breastfeeding bra - may include gynecomastia, bloating, headaches and mood swings. It is unclear if it will soon be tested on men.