Duke University researchers help transgender woman, 50, breastfeed her GRANDCHILD using experimental hormone drugs so she could feel what it’s like to be a real mom – but critics call it ‘frankly disturbing’

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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A trans woman has been helped to breastfeed her grandchild, in what is thought to be a world first.

The unidentified 50-year-old was helped to express up to 30ml of milk at a time, after a four week course of hormone treatment.

Researchers from Duke University reported the woman ‘lactated for a total of two weeks’ and was able to feed the four-month-old baby.

The motivation for inducing lactation was to create a ‘bond from breastfeeding that she had not been able to experience with her own five children’.

She was moved to tears by the experience, which she said had the added benefit of affirming her female gender and making her breasts larger.

Mika Minio-Paluello, a trans woman from the UK, sparked international debate about gender and motherhood last year after uploading this image of herself breastfeeding. She was not involved in the new study

American trans woman Naomi, 24, mother to three went viral on Twitter last May for feeding her child breastmilk she had pumped. She was not involved in the new study

American trans woman Naomi, 24, mother to three went viral on Twitter last May for feeding her child breastmilk she had pumped. She was not involved in the new study

The patient later stopped the course of treatment ‘due to logistical barriers’.

According to the researchers, who published their study in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine, the patient had said they had ‘a last-minute idea’ about breastfeeding their grandchild.

‘The patient first expressed the unique desire to breastfeed her expected grandchild at an appointment with her endocrinologist in the spring of 2022,’ they wrote.

‘She disclosed that this was a last-minute idea that came to her very close to her daughter’s due date.

‘At five weeks after initiating treatment changes for lactation induction, she reverted to her previous medication regimen.

‘She states that she stopped pursuing her personal goal to breastfeed due to logistical barriers, such as the need to take care of her grandchild while her daughter was pumping.’

‘Her primary motivation for inducing lactation was to experience the bond from breastfeeding that she had not been able to experience with her own five children.

‘The patient tearfully reported this was a significant and emotional experience for her that felt very different from formula feeding her other children.

‘She states she has a special bond with this baby for which she is grateful.

‘She regrets that she had not known about the possibility sooner and wished that other transgender women could know that breastfeeding a baby can be a reality.

‘She reported unforeseen benefits, including female gender affirmation and full breast maturation.

‘The patient did not experience any side effects from her treatment regimen.’

It is only the fifth report of a trans woman experiencing induced lactation for the purpose of breastfeeding. 

Different treatment protocols were also required as the drugs used in the previous four studies have not been approved for use in the US by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The researchers added: ‘Conversations with the subject before, during, and after treatment revealed important insights for the ongoing discussions about the role of lactation induction and breastfeeding in gender-affirming care.’

The issue of trans women breastfeeding is subject to controversy – gender-critical campaigners described the study as ‘absolutely shocking’.

Heather Welford from With Woman, a collective of midwives and breastfeeding experts, said: ‘Most people would find the idea absolutely shocking.

‘Babies come into the world ready to continue their relationship with their mother, and breastfeeding helps with this.

‘Disrupting this with attempts at breastfeeding by anyone else is frankly disturbing.’

Maya Forstater, executive director of campaign group Sex Matter, said: ‘Babies cannot consent to being participants in a study which sets aside biological reality to define treatment protocols relating to so-called “gender medicine”.

‘Men should not be permitted, still less supported, to get between babies and their mothers, or to use babies as props to validate their beliefs that they are women.’

The CDC was criticized last year for advice no its website that appeared to endorse ‘chestfeeding’ — when a trans woman who was born male breastfeeds.

One section, titled ‘Health Equity Considerations’, claimed ‘an individual does not need to have given birth to breastfeed or chestfeed.’

There was nothing on the site that mentioned the health risks to the baby – including heart problems.

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