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Transgender woman becomes first in world to breastfeed

15 February 2018, 06:09 | Winifred Adams

The patient was taking feminising hormones but had not undergone gender reassignment surgeryEZEQUIEL BECERRA AFP Getty Images

The patient was taking feminising hormones but had not undergone gender reassignment surgery

While Reisman and Goldstein's patient took her dose orally, the FDA is reportedly still anxious about the possible effects of domperidone on infants, since the drug is passed through breast milk.

The 30-year-old, who still has male genitalia, was given an experimental cocktail of drugs by doctors at Mount Sinai Health System in NY.

The woman, who has not been named, fed her baby for six weeks after birth.

The results of the case explain that a 30-year-old transgender woman received "feminizing hormone therapy" for years in a clinic. 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. The woman was also given instructions to use a breast pump six times a day for five minutes. Combined with frequent breast pumping, she was successfully able to produce eight ounces of milk a day.

"We believe that this is the first formal report in the medical literature of induced lactation in a transgender woman", said Tamar Reisman, endocrinologist and Assistant Professor at the varsity.

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 report doesn't mention if she continued the treatment during breastfeeding. The dosages were reportedly obtained from Canada.

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Dr Reisman and Dr Zil hope other transgender women will be able to breastfeed their babies in the future without fear of ill-effects on themselves or their children. "At 6 weeks, the patient began supplementing breastfeedings with 4-8oz of Similac brand formula daily due to concerns about insufficient milk volume" write the authors.

Doctors said the case shows "modest but functional lactation can be induced in transgender women".

Boston Medical Center's Joshua Safer, who did not treat the mom, tells New Scientist that transgender women tend to have "good breast development", and that it's not surprising this individual would be able to produce milk with the tissue.

The treatment has been hailed as a breakthrough by some, but doctor and transgender woman Madeline Deutsch, said that the science behind it is lacking. "Although it is not entirely clear which ones were primarily responsible, it may be that the use of a breast pump alone would have been sufficient to increase prolactin, the hormone necessary to produce milk".

A transgender woman has become the first in the world to breastfeed her baby after undergoing hormone treatment.



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