The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says biological men who believe themselves to be women can “chestfeed” infants. Physicians are being told to provide transgender people with medication that mimics natural lactation – despite evidence that suggests such “milk” may be harmful to babies.
“Can transgender parents who have had breast surgery breastfeed or chestfeed their infants?” the CDC asks itself in the ‘Breastfeeding and special circumstances’ section of its website, answering with an emphatic “Yes.”
“Some transgender parents who have had breast/top surgery may wish to breastfeed, or chestfeed (a term used by some transgender and non-binary parents), their infants,” it continues, adding that healthcare providers should help trans parents with, among other things, “[m]edication to induce lactation”.
Elsewhere, the CDC emphasizes that “[a]n individual does not need to have given birth to breastfeed or chestfeed” in a document that also advocates using language “inclusive of all gender identities” such as “pregnant person” and “lactating person” instead of “mother”.
Biological men posting pictures of themselves “chestfeeding” as an expression of “queer joy” has become a trend in recent months, but there are serious concerns about the nutritional quality of their “milk” and the drugs it may contain. One drug often used off-label to induce lactation, domperidone, may cause heart problems in babies, for example.
Natural-born women are seemingly held to much higher standards when it comes to breastmilk safety, being advised not to drink alcohol when breastfeeding and even avoid all but low doses of aspirin, never mind the cocktail of drugs prescribed to most transwomen.