Widespread Panic Among Women as Tanzanian Men Develop Obsession with Breast Milk


Breastfeeding mothers in Handeni district, Tanga region, Tanzania, are seeking help from the district commissioner, Siriel Mchembe, to address a concerning trend where husbands are sucking their wives’ breasts, leading to a shortage of milk for their children.

This plea was made during a breastfeeding week event held at Mkata. The bizarre craze of men competing with babies for breast milk, which originated in Uganda a few months ago, has now spread to men in Tanzania’s coastal region of Tanga.


In response to this request, DC Mchembe acknowledged the issue and revealed that some men link this habit to superstitious beliefs. She strongly advised men to stop this practice immediately, emphasizing that it leads to malnutrition in children due to inadequate milk supply.

DC Mchembe explained that the misconception behind this practice is that breast milk enhances sexual performance, resulting in severe malnutrition among children in affected areas. The Handeni District Council nutrition officer, Julia Charo, reported alarming statistics, revealing that as of June 21 this year, 3,856 children under five were found to be underweight. Additionally, 34% of children treated at the clinic for stunted growth and 102 pregnant women were diagnosed with severe anemia.



Although uncommon, the consumption of breast milk by men is not unheard of and is sometimes sought after by individuals pursuing muscle-building regimens, often promoted in obscure online communities.


A University of Kent study in Uganda highlighted the lack of consent in this practice, where women are not given a choice but rather have their partners initiate breastfeeding without permission, assuming silence implies agreement.

Despite concerns about the impact on mothers’ well-being and infants’ nutrition, some men justify this behavior by equating it to taking care of their wives, drawing parallels to how well-fed cows produce more milk.