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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 11:33, July 15, 2005
Breast is still best, even if it is Dad's
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A man's nipples are perfectly suited to soothing a crying baby until it can be fed, according to a published report on fatherhood.

The report in The Times names the Aka Pygmies, a hunter-gatherer tribe from the northern Congo, as the best fathers. When the mother is not available, the father calms his baby by giving him or her a nipple to suck.

Aka Pygmy men do more in the way of childcare than fathers in any other society, according to newspaper.

Aka fathers may hold their baby close to their bodies for a couple of hours at a time, according to Barry Hewlett, an American anthropologist who has studied the tribe for more than 20 years.

On average, Aka fathers hold or are within reach of their infants 47 per cent of the time. They beat Swedish fathers, who are number one in the developed world, and who, on average, do 45 per cent of parental childcare.

Caroline Flint, former president of the Royal College of Midwives, told The Times that she had come across many examples of men in Britain suckling their babies, even though it might not be something they talked about very much.

"It's not a case of the man saying to the baby, 'Here you are, have my booby,' but usually of the baby snuffling along the fathers chest, finding the nipple and sucking. The men are usually very surprised, but the babies seem content," she said.

Sebastian Kraemer, a child psychiatrist at the Whittington Hospital in London, told the newspaper: "It is possible that in prehistoric societies this was a normal way of fathering."

Source: China Daily

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