Mother and Baby

New 'Chestfeeding kit' enables fathers to breastfeed their baby

Section: Family life

A brand new (and bafflingly brilliant!) invention promises to make parenting chores more equal. Lo and behold the 'chestfeeding kit, which has been designed for dads to feed their babies.

Marie-Claire Springham, a Product Design student, designed the chest-feeding kit for fathers to help couples support each other, as well as their new baby, together. 

A study from the Modern Families in 2019 report says on average, men spend 16 hours a week doing unpaid care work – including childcare, laundry, and cleaning – while women spend 26 hours a week on these activities. 

The idea behind the design was to confront the issue around the feelings of post-natal depression and exclusion which fathers often experience after birth. She wanted to give fathers the option to breastfeed for the first time, so they should no longer feel left out of this important part of parenting. 

Marie-Claire believes that the new feeding kit could be used by consumers in the next five years.

Fathers have often felt excluded from the mother and newborn while they have skin-on-skin contact with their newborns through breastfeeding, and this can lead the father to suffer from postnatal depression. Marie-Claire felt very strongly about this and wanted to come up with a step in the right direction.

What is the chestfeeding kit and how does it work?

As well as the kit including a pump and a compression vest, it will include a supply of the hormone, progestin, 'a man-made form of the female sex hormone progesterone' which they can begin to take once a day from the moment they know their partner is expecting.

Once they have taken the hormone, this will stimulate the development of milk-producing glands. Six weeks before the baby's expected due date, they would start to take the hormone called domperidone. This stimulates 'prolactin' which triggers the process of milk production. 

When Marie-Claire appeared on Good Morning Britain in February who was 'inspired' by stories of men suffering from post-natal depression to design this new product for fathers, host Richard Madeley tried the male equivalent to demonstrate how it works. 

Although the kit isn't in the shops just yet, the design has already received a lot of attention online and led the 24-year-old to win an award at the Meaning-Centred Design Awards in London. 

Now read:

How long should you breastfeed for?

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While training as a journalist at the University of Gloucestershire for 3 years, she was nominated for the Best Feature Category at the Midlands Student’s Media Awards this year, and Head of News and Social Media for the university’s radio station, Tone Radio. Ellie has been published by the likes of Heatworld, Heart, Gloucestershire Live, and ITV West Country. 

 
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