Lazy eyes listen
Several instructional articles on the official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website provide advice on “chestfeeding,” a phrase used to characterize transgender and nonbinary-gendered people feeding their newborn from their chest.
According to the Daily Mail, some doctors have accused the national public health body of failing to consider the potential health dangers of toddlers consuming “milk” generated by pharmaceutical intervention and gender-reassignment hormonal therapy.
The CDC guidelines were called into question again this week after a transgender woman uploaded a photo of herself appearing to breastfeed a newborn.
Following the virality of the tweet, an internet debate erupted about whether people who have not acquired natural mammary glands may produce breast milk.
According to one CDC handout titled “Health Equity Considerations” from June 2022, “transgender and nonbinary-gendered individuals may give birth and breastfeed or feed at the chest (chestfeed).”
“An individual does not need to have given birth to breastfeed or chestfeed,” according to the CDC.
According to the handout, some families may prefer to use their own language for feeding newborns, such as nursing, chestfeeding, or “bodyfeeding.”
Another CDC webpage, updated in April 2023, features a breast surgery question and answer section and recommends transgender parents who have had breast surgery to breastfeed or chestfeed their infants.
“Some transgender parents who have had breast/top surgery may wish to breastfeed, or chest feed (a term used by some transgender and non-binary parents), their infants,” the organization stated.
“Healthcare providers working with these families should be familiar with the medical, emotional, and social aspects of gender transitions in order to provide optimal family-centered care while meeting the nutritional needs of the infant,” they wrote.
According to the CDC, families may require assistance with “Medication to induce lactation.”
Biological males undergoing gender reassignment can take a combination of hormone medicines to replicate the changes that a woman’s body goes through during the late stages of pregnancy and shortly after childbirth.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons’ executive director, Dr. Jane Orient, told the Daily Mail that “we have no idea what the long-term effects on the child will be” from a breastfeeding trans woman using “all kinds of off-label hormones.”
“A lot of people are lobbying for off-label drug use…”It’s gotten so politicized that you can do anything for a politically sanctioned purpose,” Orient told the newspaper.
To use a drug off-label means to use it for a purpose other than the one for which it was approved.
“The CDC has a responsibility to talk about health risks, but they have failed to do so,” Orient added.
Dr. Stuart Fischer, an internal medicine specialist in New York, told the Daily Mail that he finds it “very hard to believe” that the milk produced by trans women is nutritionally equivalent to breastmilk produced by biological women.
“Because it has been induced.” “You can’t fool Mother Nature,” he said to the news source.
Dr. Fischer noted that due to a lack of study, it is difficult to predict the impact of trans women breastfeeding babies.
“How would we know the long-term effect if it’s only been tested a few times?” The short term is one thing, but what about the long term in terms of bodily and mental illness?” Fischer explained. “To put it mildly, it’s a developing field.”
“This is the kind of thing where politics and science are awkwardly combined,” he continued.
The Newman-Goldfarb protocol, which trans women can employ to induce breastfeeding, requires numerous medicines, some of which are not licensed for the purpose of producing lactation and have significant hazards.
The protocol was originally designed to aid in the production of breastmilk in adoptive mothers, and it employs a contraceptive pill to boost estrogen, physical stimulation with a breast pump, and the anti-nausea drug domperidone to mimic the hormonal changes that women experience during pregnancy and birth.
The treatments also include the heartburn medication metoclopramide, digitalis, the anti-psychotic drug chlorpromazine, and sedative pharmaceuticals to create prolactin, the hormone that increases milk production in biological women.
The FDA issued a warning in 2004 about the potential health risks of women taking the anti-nausea medicine domperidone to enhance milk production, citing published reports and case studies of cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, and sudden death in patients receiving an intravenous form of domperidone.
According to the FDA, the drug’s excretion in breastmilk could “expose a breastfeeding infant to unknown risks.”
“Because of the possibility of severe adverse effects, the FDA recommends that breastfeeding women do not use domperidone to increase milk production,” they stated.
According to Professor Jenny Gamble, a midwifery expert at Coventry University in the United Kingdom, the current research reveals that the composition of trans women’s pharmaceutically generated milk approaches that of “mature” breastmilk.
“The milk is the same composition as for women who re-lactate or induce lactation,” Gamble explained to the source. “It’s the chemical composition of mature breastmilk.”
Mature breastmilk is a thinner, more watery milk produced after the first few weeks of breastfeeding and lacks colostrum, the yellowish ‘liquid gold’ rich in proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, and antibodies that nourish the baby.
In May, a trans woman known as “Nominal Naomi” went famous on Twitter after revealing the successful production of breastmilk.