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  1. #1

    Aka Pygmies "best dads in the world"

    Aka Pygmies "best dads in the world"

    afrol News, 16 June - The Aka "Pygmies" have been named the world's best fathers, dedicating the most time of all the globe's peoples to active fathering, according to a new study. Aka fathers even commonly offer their nipple to their crying babies to suck, a method perfectly suited for soothing them until it can be fed, the impressed researchers found.

    No fathers spend more time alone with their children than the average Aka, now given the title "Best Dads in the World" by Fathers Direct, a British national information centre on fatherhood. The Aka "Pygmies", living in the border forests of Congo Brazzaville and the Central African Republic, are a hunting and gathering people.

    On average, Aka father hold or are within arms' reach of their infants 47 percent of the time - almost as much as Aka mothers. This, according to Fathers Direct, is the current world record. Only Northern European countries with high gender equality standards are now closing on to Aka fathers. In Sweden, an average father now takes care of 45 percent of parental childcare.

    The results of the worldwide study by Fathers Direct were recently published in the centre's journal, 'FatherWorld'. The study included 156 cultures around the world and found that fathering had a low status in most countries. Only 20 percent of the cultures studied promote men's close relationships with infants, and only 5 percent with young children.

    Not so among the Congolese and Central African Akas, however. An Aka daddy uses every opportunity to be in close contact with his infant. Aka fathers often take the child along when they go drinking palm wine or during other social activities. They may hold the baby close to their bodies for a couple of hours at a time, says the report.

    The study highlights findings by Barry Hewlett, an American anthropologist, who has studied the Aka people for more than 20 years. The dads, rather than mums, are often the ones who settle the babies if they wake at night, Mr Barry also found.

    The inevitable question for most non-Aka parents is how can a father take care of a baby still needing mother's milk for hours and hours. Surely, not even an Aka father can breastfeed his hungry baby. Well, he can, almost. His nipple at least will tranquillise the baby. "A father's nipple is perfectly suited to soothing a crying baby until it can be fed," according to the British report.

    Researcher Caroline Flint commented that she had earlier come across cases of dads doing this. "It is not a case of the man saying to the baby, 'Here you are, have my boobie,' but usually of the baby snuffling along the father's chest, finding the nipple and sucking. The men are usually very surprised, but the babies seem content. They love to snuggle up to their dads," Ms Flint explained.

    Offering their nipple to a hungry baby "could be a big challenge" to most non-Aka males, the researchers however confess. Maybe one should take a group of European dads and their babies out to the Congo for a couple of weeks "to meet the Aka Pygmies and see what our dads can manage," one however proposed. Aka fathering could become an export commodity - or at least a source of pride for Congolese and Central Africans.

  2. #2

    Aka Pygmies "best dads in the world"

    Aka Pygmies "best dads in the world"

    afrol News, 16 June - The Aka "Pygmies" have been named the world's best fathers, dedicating the most time of all the globe's peoples to active fathering, according to a new study. Aka fathers even commonly offer their nipple to their crying babies to suck, a method perfectly suited for soothing them until it can be fed, the impressed researchers found.

    No fathers spend more time alone with their children than the average Aka, now given the title "Best Dads in the World" by Fathers Direct, a British national information centre on fatherhood. The Aka "Pygmies", living in the border forests of Congo Brazzaville and the Central African Republic, are a hunting and gathering people.

    On average, Aka father hold or are within arms' reach of their infants 47 percent of the time - almost as much as Aka mothers. This, according to Fathers Direct, is the current world record. Only Northern European countries with high gender equality standards are now closing on to Aka fathers. In Sweden, an average father now takes care of 45 percent of parental childcare.

    The results of the worldwide study by Fathers Direct were recently published in the centre's journal, 'FatherWorld'. The study included 156 cultures around the world and found that fathering had a low status in most countries. Only 20 percent of the cultures studied promote men's close relationships with infants, and only 5 percent with young children.

    Not so among the Congolese and Central African Akas, however. An Aka daddy uses every opportunity to be in close contact with his infant. Aka fathers often take the child along when they go drinking palm wine or during other social activities. They may hold the baby close to their bodies for a couple of hours at a time, says the report.

    The study highlights findings by Barry Hewlett, an American anthropologist, who has studied the Aka people for more than 20 years. The dads, rather than mums, are often the ones who settle the babies if they wake at night, Mr Barry also found.

    The inevitable question for most non-Aka parents is how can a father take care of a baby still needing mother's milk for hours and hours. Surely, not even an Aka father can breastfeed his hungry baby. Well, he can, almost. His nipple at least will tranquillise the baby. "A father's nipple is perfectly suited to soothing a crying baby until it can be fed," according to the British report.

    Researcher Caroline Flint commented that she had earlier come across cases of dads doing this. "It is not a case of the man saying to the baby, 'Here you are, have my boobie,' but usually of the baby snuffling along the father's chest, finding the nipple and sucking. The men are usually very surprised, but the babies seem content. They love to snuggle up to their dads," Ms Flint explained.

    Offering their nipple to a hungry baby "could be a big challenge" to most non-Aka males, the researchers however confess. Maybe one should take a group of European dads and their babies out to the Congo for a couple of weeks "to meet the Aka Pygmies and see what our dads can manage," one however proposed. Aka fathering could become an export commodity - or at least a source of pride for Congolese and Central Africans.

  3. #3

    Men Can Also Offer Their Babies a Nipple

    Men Can Also Offer Their Babies a Nipple
    Infants in the 'Sucking' Phase of Development Are Also Soothed by Father's Breast
    By SHANNON ROGAN and EMILY KAGAN

    Jun. 16, 2005 - It's Father's Day and daddy has taken the baby for a walk. A few steps from the house the baby starts to fuss, so daddy picks her up and offers her … his nipple?

    Strange as it may sound, an article published in the The Times of London suggests that when mom is not around, a man's nipple may be just as comforting to a crying baby.

    Most experts are not surprised by this report, since babies regularly suck on plastic pacifiers. A father's nipple is just a fleshy substitute.

    "This story is not about producing milk, but strictly calming the baby with the father's breast," said Dr. Jack Newman, a breast-feeding specialist, pediatrician and author of "Ultimate Breast Feeding Book of Answers."

    Newman even tried it with his own baby, "though he didn't like it."

    When infants are in the "sucking" phase of their development, "they will be just as content sucking on their mother's breast as sucking on a pacifier, someone's finger or a bottle nipple as they would their father's nipple," said Dr. David Kaufman, a neonatologist with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

    The article points out that in the Aka Pygmy tribe from the northern Congo, fathers commonly offer their babies a nipple when mom is not available.

    Anthropologists agree that the men in this tribe deserve the "Fathers of the Year" award for spending 47 percent of their time with their infants. Swedish fathers rank first in the developed world, taking part in 45 percent of the childcare duties, according to FatherWorld report, published by Fathers Direct, a British charity.

    Dr. Ruth Lawrence of the University of Rochester in New York, is a strong advocate of so-called "kangaroo care" -- bonding time when fathers provide skin-to-skin care for their babies, just as mothers do.

    Whether with a finger or a nipple, the important thing is for fathers to spend time cuddling and comforting their babies, Lawrence said.

  4. #4

    Men Can Also Offer Their Babies a Nipple

    Men Can Also Offer Their Babies a Nipple
    Infants in the 'Sucking' Phase of Development Are Also Soothed by Father's Breast
    By SHANNON ROGAN and EMILY KAGAN

    Jun. 16, 2005 - It's Father's Day and daddy has taken the baby for a walk. A few steps from the house the baby starts to fuss, so daddy picks her up and offers her … his nipple?

    Strange as it may sound, an article published in the The Times of London suggests that when mom is not around, a man's nipple may be just as comforting to a crying baby.

    Most experts are not surprised by this report, since babies regularly suck on plastic pacifiers. A father's nipple is just a fleshy substitute.

    "This story is not about producing milk, but strictly calming the baby with the father's breast," said Dr. Jack Newman, a breast-feeding specialist, pediatrician and author of "Ultimate Breast Feeding Book of Answers."

    Newman even tried it with his own baby, "though he didn't like it."

    When infants are in the "sucking" phase of their development, "they will be just as content sucking on their mother's breast as sucking on a pacifier, someone's finger or a bottle nipple as they would their father's nipple," said Dr. David Kaufman, a neonatologist with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

    The article points out that in the Aka Pygmy tribe from the northern Congo, fathers commonly offer their babies a nipple when mom is not available.

    Anthropologists agree that the men in this tribe deserve the "Fathers of the Year" award for spending 47 percent of their time with their infants. Swedish fathers rank first in the developed world, taking part in 45 percent of the childcare duties, according to FatherWorld report, published by Fathers Direct, a British charity.

    Dr. Ruth Lawrence of the University of Rochester in New York, is a strong advocate of so-called "kangaroo care" -- bonding time when fathers provide skin-to-skin care for their babies, just as mothers do.

    Whether with a finger or a nipple, the important thing is for fathers to spend time cuddling and comforting their babies, Lawrence said.

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