How Life Would Be Different If Men Could Breast-Feed

What if men could breast-feed? That's the question posed in a new video that takes an imagined look at how different life would be if men could take on the responsibility of breast-feeding their babies. For one thing, the tongue-in-cheek video suggests, breast-feeding would likely become way more normalized. Plus, men would probably also be less likely to be shamed for breast-feeding in public. “Would we still be dealing with outdated breast pumps, closets that double as lactation rooms, and a work culture that treats pumping as an inconvenience?” the video asks. Most likely? Probably not. Created by Naya Health, "If Men Breast-Fed" was released to coincide with the release of its new Naya Smart Breast Pump, which hopes to offer a faster, quieter, and more comfortable experience for breast-feeding moms. "Remember, this is how millions of women provide nutrition for their infants," Janica Alvarez, Naya Health co-founder and CEO, tells Refinery29. "[Women] deserve modern technology — not something that was invented in the mid-19th century — and more support as they pursue their professional and personal goals."
The video also nails the sexism that working moms sometimes experience when they return from maternity leave. As you can see, it contrasts the imagined experiences of working dads who breast-feed (turning breast-pumping into a macho sport or competition) with the experience that working moms frequently experience (pumping in a closet alone as male colleagues shy away in disgust). Sure, these gendered portrayals may be reductive, but the video makes a good point. “Women deserve better,” Alvarez tells us. "We wanted to make a statement about the absurdity of the technology and workplace accommodations for moms returning to work." She's right — given that breast-feeding rates are rising in the U.S., isn't it time that we make that experience easier for moms?

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