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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday February 17 2018, @05:40PM   Printer-friendly
from the (breast)-milk-does-a-body-good dept.

Transgender woman is first to be able to breastfeed her baby

A 30-year-old transgender woman has become the first officially recorded to breastfeed her baby. An experimental three-and-a-half-month treatment regimen, which included hormones, a nausea drug and breast stimulation, enabled the woman to produce 227 grams of milk a day.

"This is a very big deal," says Joshua Safer of Boston Medical Center, who was not involved with the treatment. "Many transgender women are looking to have as many of the experiences of non-transgender women as they can, so I can see this will be extremely popular."

The transgender woman had been receiving feminising hormonal treatments for several years before she started the lactation treatment. These included spironolactone, which is thought to block the effects of testosterone, and progesterone and a type of oestrogen. This regimen enabled her to develop breasts that looked fully grown, according to a medical scale that assesses breast development based on appearance. She had not had any breast augmentation surgery.

When her partner was five-and-a-half-months pregnant, the woman sought medical treatment from Tamar Reisman and Zil Goldstein at Mount Sinai's Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in New York City. Her partner had no interest in breastfeeding, she explained, so she would like to take on that role instead.

The milk produced was supplemented by formula because a baby typically needs 500 grams of milk per day at 5 days old.

Related: President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Says Transgender Women Could Give Birth

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  • (Score: 3, Disagree) by Phoenix666 on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:07PM (3 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:07PM (#639481) Journal

    That was my thought, too. Breast-feeding confers a number of nutritional, developmental, and health benefits to infants that formula can't, but when you're dosing the "mother" with hormones and chemicals to induce lactation it has to mess with the infant's system.

    Washington DC delenda est.
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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Kell on Sunday February 18 2018, @04:49AM (2 children)

    by Kell (292) on Sunday February 18 2018, @04:49AM (#639601)

    when you're dosing the "mother" with hormones and chemicals to induce lactation it has to mess with the infant's system.

    It has to, right? I mean, those endocrinologists and doctors supervising her, and the other thousands of women who use those drugs, most certainly do not care whether they harm the infant. Certainly they do not.

    Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Sunday February 18 2018, @03:06PM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Sunday February 18 2018, @03:06PM (#639722) Journal

      I hear you, but a lot of scientists, doctors, and researchers certified it was fine to inject dairy cattle with Bovine Growth Hormone to increase their output, because none of it would pass to human consumers or harm them. Now it looks like it does harm [].

      Another thing to consider about endocrinologists and doctors is that they're bloody minded. They like to dissect things and try things out. They want to make names for themselves like any other professional of whatever stripe. Being able to induce a transgender person to lactate is an arguable way to do that, for them. So it bears taking their claims to authority with a grain of salt. Having an "MD" or "PhD" next to their name does not mean everything they do is beyond reproach.

      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by Kell on Monday February 19 2018, @02:50PM

        by Kell (292) on Monday February 19 2018, @02:50PM (#640101)

        Except that making a transwoman lactate isn't exactly news - it's been done before many many times. Honestly, I'm surprised this even made headlines.

        And yeah, I totally get that a PhD doesn't mean one is infallible (including my own!), but "at the limits of our knowledge" doesn't mean "callous disregard for safety". Given the long history of success with infants with those chemicals, I'd wager they're on pretty solid footing. Whatever the case it's a hell of a wager to risk your medical license for a cheap media exposure stunt. I don't think that's what this is.

        Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.