Transgender woman breastfeeds baby after induced lactation treatment

Representational image of a mother breastfeeds her child Reuters

A 30-year-old transgender woman from the United States has become the first to officially breastfeed a baby after an experimental induced lactation treatment which was carried out for three months.The treatment regime was led by Dr Tamar Reisman and Dr Zil Goldstein from the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, New York.

According to the journal Transgender Health, the woman, after one month of treatment started producing droplets of milk, and within three months, she increased her milk production to eight ounces a day.

"We believe that this is the first formal report in the medical literature of induced lactation in a transgender woman," wrote the study's authors, Tamar Reisman and Zil Goldstein.

The experimental induced lactation treatment included hormonal therapy, breast stimulation, and an anti-nausea drug domperidone. The transgender lady was compelled to purchase domperidone from Canada as the USFDA banned it in 2004 citing public health concerns.

"She was able to achieve sufficient breast milk volume to be the sole source of nourishment for her child for six weeks. During that time the child's pediatrician reported that the child's growth, feeding, and bowel habits were developmentally appropriate," added the authors.

The news of induced lactation in a transgender woman has fetched mixed reactions from the general public. Some people lauded the move calling it a milestone achievement, while some others consider it dangerous and mentally disturbing. Supporters of this movie claim that this experimental study will open up a new door for transgender parenthood.

Health experts recommend breast milk as the best source of nutrition for infants. A baby who gets breast milk in the initial days of his life will have higher immunity and health when compared to other babies who did not receive mother's milk. However, experts are yet to determine whether the milk produced with induced lactation is as healthy as the milk produced by a normal woman after giving birth to a baby.

Skeptics believe that breast milk should be given in the purest form. According to people who oppose this move, breast milk should be pure and hormone free, and in this case, the milk produced with induced lactation will be loaded with hormones which will create negative impacts on the baby's health.

Even though the anti-nausea drug domperidone is approved in many countries, most of the tablet strips carry a label stating that it is not recommended for lactating mothers. Experts believe that the drug gets excreted through breast milk, and it will cause ill health to the infant.