Transgender Woman Breastfeeds Her Baby After Experimental Treatment

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In a breakthrough, USA doctors have reported the first ever case of a transgender woman successfully breast-feeding her baby. The patient instead made a decision to take on the role of being the primary food source for her infant.

The patient had taken hormone therapy for six years, but had not had gender reassignment or breast augmentation before she approached doctors.

Miraculously, when the baby was born, she was able to feed the child in this way for six weeks, all without any surgery.

Reisman, an endocrinologist with the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in NY, said doctors used protocols for "non-puerperal induced lactation", in which a woman is stimulated to lactate.

The authors report that she was taking twice daily oral spironolactone 50mg, oestradiol 2mg and micronised progesterone 100mg. However, the patient was forced to smuggle the drug from Canada because Domperidone is now banned in the United States due to the FDA's concerns about cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, and sudden death. Slowly, the doctors increased her domperidone and hormone dosages along with her breast pumping sessions.

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Three months after starting treatment, and two weeks before the baby's due date, she was making 8oz of breast milk a day.

The patient then breastfed the baby during the first six weeks after birth, during which "the child's growth, feeding and bowel habits were developmentally appropriate".

The woman, concerned that her breastmilk volume was not enough, supplemented her child's food with four to eight oz of Similac brand formula. However, domperidone is used widely in Canada to boost milk production among breastfeeding mothers. She also continues to adhere to the medication regiment prescribed to her.

Lactation can be induced in cisgender women who have not experienced a pregnancy through a framework which is used by doctors to promote lactation in patients and this is what Tamar Reisman and Zil Goldstein used.

In the abstract, the objective of the case states, "Our report describes a case of nonpuerperal induced lactation in a transgender woman".

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Thomas, a pediatrician and lactation consultant for Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, said the regimen used in the case study is similar to the one used for mothers who can not produce milk on their own, except for the spironolactone needed to block testosterone.

Joshua Safer of Boston Medical Center lauded the breakthrough. Safer is not involved with the treatment.

The woman's breastmilk has not been assessed yet.

But Madeline Deutsch, a doctor and associate professor at the University of California at San Francisco's medical school, said there has not been adequate research.

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