Induction of lactation in a non-gestational parent has numerous potential benefits including parent-child bonding, optimal nutrition, and health benefits to the child and breast- or chest-feeding parent. For transgender women and nonbinary people on estrogen-based, gender-affirming hormone therapy, the ability to nourish their infants through production of their own milk may also be a profoundly gender-affirming experience. Two prior case studies have been published describing induced lactation in transgender women, but analysis of the nutritional quality of the milk produced has not been previously described.
Here we describe the experience of a transgender woman who underwent successful induction of lactation in order to breastfeed her infant, who was gestated by her partner.
Through modification of exogenous hormone therapy, use of domperidone as a galactogogue, breast pumping, and ultimately direct breastfeeding, the participant was able to co-feed her infant for the first 4 months of life. We provide a detailed description and timeline of the medications used, laboratory and electrocardiographic measurements, results of the participant's milk analysis showing robust macronutrient content, and description of the participant's experience in her own words.
These findings provide reassurance about the adequacy of nutrition from human milk produced by non-gestational transgender female and nonbinary parents on estrogen-based, gender-affirming hormone therapy, and support the importance of this experience on a personal level.