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Swedish 'milkman' loses breastfeeding battle

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15:33 CET+01:00
Ragnar Bengtsson, 26, has failed in his high profile bid to pump forth milk from his breasts. But there is some consolation for the self-styled "Milkman", who is winging his way to the United States this week for an appearance on The Tyra Banks Show.

Bengtsson's milk race began with a bang in early September as he set about pumping his breasts on a three-hourly basis. The unorthodox sight of a young dad with a machine pressed to his nipples became part of daily life at Stockholm University, as the economics student endeavoured to do his bit for gender equality.

If men could breastfeed their babies, the argument went, then women could rejoin the workplace more quickly, safe in the knowledge that their newborns were receiving the proper nourishment from their proud dads.

But ultimately, the experiment failed, with Bengtsson unable to live up to the name of his blog: 'The Milkman - One Drop at a Time'. On Tuesday at 9pm, he returns to the TV8 studio and the Aschberg show where it all began for a final look back at a trial considered intriguing and brave by some, but sickening and unnatural by many others.

"We never expected the enormous reaction we got; a lot of people were almost blinded with disgust," said Magnus Talib, a member of the Aschberg editorial team that has followed the day-to-day progress of the Milkman.

News of the would-be breastfeeding dad spread quickly, with media outlets from 40-50 countries taking up the tale. Having reported on the experiment right from the outset, The Local has received countless requests from foreign media for contact details for Bengtsson, most recently from The Tyra Banks Show. As always, the inquiry was passed on to the producers of Aschberg, who in turn informed Bengtsson that he would be flown to meet talk show hostess Tyra Banks later this week.

"Ragnar just said, 'oh cool'. Personally I would have crapped myself," said Talib of the prospect of being flown to the United States to appear on one of the world's most popular talk shows.

Bengtsson, who was unavailable for comment on Tuesday, was reportedly also pleased to finally be able to put his pump back on the shelf.

"All he got was sore breasts," said Talib.

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