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Would you breastfeed a grown man?

 Would you breastfeed a grown man? (Photo: iStock)

It may have seemed like a light moment when one of the Kenyans on Twitter asked, "if you unknowingly tasted breast milk would you swallow or spit?"

In some parts of the world, women are increasingly concerned as they've found themselves dealing with partners who demand to suckle on their breast milk to 'build muscle and enhance sexual performance.'

Tanzanian women especially are reportedly having trouble keeping their partners away from their babies' breastmilk. A recent astonishing report claims that women in Tanzania's coastal region of Tanga complain about their children's fathers who have developed an unusual taste for breast milk.

According to the report, the report is peddled by the narrative that breastmilk help men gain muscles faster and enhance their performance in the sack.

The development compelled the Tanzanian government to issue a stern warning against the practice, which is bound to impact the health of infants, denying them the much-needed nutrients that the milk provides for them.

Another challenge healthcare professionals and midwives face is breastfeeding mothers coming in with inflamed nipples due to abrasion by their partners during the suckling.

There is also a big concern around gender-based violence as men forcefully demand breastfed.

A 2020 study conducted by Dr Rowena Merritt and Dr Peter Rukundo of UK's University of Kent and Kyambogo University in Kampala reported that some people believed breast milk could cure illnesses like cancer, HIV and Aids.

"There is a belief in some communities that breast milk has energizing and curative powers, even curing diseases such as HIV and Aids and cancer," said Dr Peter Rukundo.

"Other reasons men breastfeed are because some couples have a sexual interest in the act. Some men are pleasured by suckling their partner's breasts and some women enjoy the sensation.

In such cases, such couples don't let the milk come in the way of their activities," says Dr Daisy Mirela, a gynaecologist who works with a free sexual and reproductive health clinic in Nairobi's CBD.

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