Breastfeeding is an integral part of childcare and for most women, it is a beautiful experience. However, transgenders due to biological limitations have not been able to experience it. However, a 30-year-old transgender woman was able to breastfeed her child with the help of induced lactation and became the first ever transgender woman to do so and be documented in academic literature. Earlier last year, a 21-year-old man became the first in Britain to give birth.
The account was published in the journal Transgender Health and doctors stated that this case shows that, “modest but functional lactation can be induced in transgender women.”
“Transgender medicine is becoming part of mainstream medicine. We’re getting more evidence-based data, we’re getting more standardized care, we’re getting more reproductive options,” Tamar Reisman of Mount Sinai hospital in New York, one of the doctors who reported the case, told the Guardian.
The transgender woman approached the doctors when her partner was five months pregnant. She wanted to take up the responsibility of breastfeeding the couple’s child as her partner did not want to. She had earlier taken hormone therapy for six years, but not had gender reassignment or breast augmentation.
Doctor Reisman and nurse practitioner Zil Goldstein used a procedure known as induce lactation in cisgender women who have not experienced pregnancy, in order to promote the patient’s lactation.
“We believe that this is the first formal report in the medical literature of induced lactation in a transgender woman,” wrote Reisman and Goldstein in the journal.
Over time, the patient was given female hormones progesterone and estradiol and stimulated her chest with a breast milk pump. She was also given domperidone, a medication which is known to increase milk production.
“There have been self-reported cases online of transgender woman trying DIY regiments to induce breastfeeding, but this is the first case of induced functional lactation in the academic literature,” Reisman told the news agency. There are also cases of transgender men carrying pregnancies and breastfeeding, she added.