A thirty year old woman has recently become the first ever transgender woman to successfully breastfeed her child, over a period of six weeks.
Following months of hormone therapy last year, she could be the first ever transgender woman documented in academic literature to breastfeed her child. This is in any case what was revealed in a case study published last month in the journal Transgender Health. The patient -who had not had a sex change operation -underwent hormone treatment consisting of spironolactone in order to suppress the effects of testosterone, as well as estradiol and progesterone (two feminine hormones) in order to imitate the hormonal stages of pregnancy.
One month after starting treatment, the young woman of 30 years of age was producing “droplets” of milk. After having started using a breast pump in order to stimulate her breasts, three months later, she was producing around 227 grams of milk per day. The patient could thus breastfeed the child, to whom her partner gave birth, for the first six weeks of its life. The infant’s paediatrician declared that “the child’s growth, feeding, and bowel habits were developmentally appropriate”. After six weeks, the couple however had to supplement breastfeeding with bottles, in order to ensure that the child was getting sufficient nutrition.
Tamar Reisman, an endocrinologist in the centre for medicine and transgender surgery in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, also declared that at the age of 6 months, the baby was “happy, in good health and very cute”. Although the researchers have yet to establish whether the breast milk produced was sufficiently nutritious, and that it wouldn’t have negative effects on the child’s mental and physical development, this approach could soon be offered to other transgender women who wish to breastfeed their babies.