Most men, as they find themselves rapidly approaching the birth of their child, will likely be aware that there is the need for them to ‘step up’. The coming hours and days and weeks that follow labour will leave their wives or partners drained from a physical ordeal that men will never know. There’s an imbalance, and it means that men have to be ready to fill whatever gaps they can, and to do everything in their power to help their loved one as they recover from the trauma of childbirth.
However, most men would probably feel confident in thinking that they won’t be called upon to breastfeed.
However, for one Wisconsin couple that’s exactly what happened. April Neubauer's was rushed to hospital alongside her husband Maxamillian, ready to bring their daughter Rosalie into the world. But unfortunately medical complications made it difficult; April had had pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure, and in every parent’s nightmare scenario a sudden seizure forced doctors to go for an emergency Caesarean section.
A Wisconsin man has found a way to breastfeed his daughter. pic.twitter.com/Lkrar2uzhF— News12LI (@News12LI) July 3, 2018
Thankfully baby Rosalie was born healthy but before her mother even had the chance to hold her she was struck with another seizure. Doctors rushed her away for emergency treatment and the little 7lb 15oz (3.6kg) Rosalie was handed to new dad Maxamillian.
“A nurse came out with our beautiful baby girl. We went to the nursery, I sat down and took off my shirt for some skin-to-skin time,” he told the BBC. “The nurse said we needed to get her a little formula and do some finger feeding, just something to get her started.
“Then the nurse asked if maybe I would like to throw a nipple on and do some real breastfeeding. Me being a big joker with the ability to try just about anything once, I said sure, why not.
The nurse then attached a plastic faux-nipple to Max’s chest. The nipple was linked to formula-filled syringe which could be used to simulate the experience of breastfeeding.
Man Breastfeeds His Newly Born Baby Girl Shortly After Delivery, , https://t.co/wpbihkGCgA,— sureyarns (@sureyarns) July 4, 2018
“I've never breastfed or even thought in a thousand years I would. I was the first to breast feed the baby!” Maxamillian told reporters.
Inevitably some of their close family came to see the baby and were presented with the… unusual arrangement.
“My mother-in-law didn't believe what she was seeing,” he said. “Great Grandpa didn't have anything to say but he came round in the end.
“I felt a connection the minute I saw my little girl. I got to hold her and help her get use to breastfeeding I hope.”
Interestingly, for those curious, while Max has relied on technology to allow him to breastfeed it’s not biologically impossible for men to lactate. In other words, while male nipples are largely decorative it is possible for them to be put to their original use. It requires a lot of hormones, but it has happened. You can read about just one example here.