Can men lactate? The utterly surprising answer is…yes. Male humans have been known to produce milk given the right circumstances. Gentlemen, those nipples aren’t just for show.
Dr. Michael Stern, Emergency Medicine at NY Presbyterian Hospital, explains: “It has been proven that with direct nipple stimulation over a period of time, along with a spike in the hormone prolactin, the hormone that allows for lactation to occur, that indeed men can lactate.”
Does this mean that dads should start breastfeeding? No--don’t try to milk this for all it’s worth. Dr. Stern notes that cases of male lactation are often a result of a brain tumor or hormonal imbalance. He says it has also been observed as a side effect of drugs and from men recovering from extreme starvation. In addition, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center website asserts that increased levels of prolactin as a result of a tumor often come with side effects like impotence and infertility.
And while this may change your understanding of the word “milkman”, it’s definitely a myth that men can’t lactate.