Transgender woman able to breastfeed in possible first: report

A transgender woman has become the first recorded to successfully breastfeed her baby, The Washington Post reported, citing a study published last month in Transgender Health.

The 30-year-old said she decided to breastfeed her then-unborn baby. Her partner was pregnant with the baby, but didn’t plan on breastfeeding, The Post reported.

According to the study, the woman underwent a three-and-half month treatment that included a drug to stimulate lactation and hormone therapy to suppress testosterone. The patient had not yet undergone gender reassignment surgery, the report said.

The patient was given additional supplements to induce lactation and told to use a breast pump, the study said. After a month of treatment, the patient was reportedly producing “droplets” of milk. After three months, the patient was reportedly producing 8 ounces of milk a day.

According to the study, the patient breastfed the baby for the first six weeks after birth during which the “child’s growth, feeding and bowel habits were developmentally appropriate.” Later on, the study said, the patient had to supplement the breastfeeding with formula since she wasn’t producing enough milk.

While the treatment has been hailed as a breakthrough in some circles, Madeline Deutsch, a doctor and also a transgender woman with a child, said contemporary research is inadequate. She said she empathizes with transgender parents, but trying to induce lactation is “not something I would do.”

Deutsch said the issue needs to be explored more since “there are unknowns about the nutritional picture of the milk.”