PARENTS

Transgender Dad Can Breastfeed His Baby

24/11/2014 16:40 | Updated 20 May 2015

trevor macdonald transgender breastfeeding

A transgender man is in the unique position of being able to breastfeed his baby daughter, even though his breasts were removed as part of his sex change surgery.

Canadian Trevor MacDonald, is dad to two children - a three-year-old boy and a newborn girl - with his partner, whom he refers to as 'Ian' in his blog posts.

Although Trevor began transitioning from female to male in 2008, he stopped taking male hormones so that he could become pregnant in 2010.

In April 2011, he gave birth to the couple's first child, whom he refers to in his posts by the pseudonym Jacob. Despite the fact that he had already undergone surgery to remove his breasts, Trevor was determined to try breastfeeding.

It wasn't easy - Jacob had difficulty latching, and even when he got the hang of it, Trevor was unable to produce as much milk as he needed. He eventually got around the issue by using a Supplemental Nursing System, a tube which adds prepared milk to breastmilk during nursing.

Trevor and Ian have recently welcomed a second child, a daughter, and Trevor has decided once again to breastfeed.

When Trevor fed Jacob in public, he recalls mixed reactions. "I've had to deal with the glares and stares of strangers who have wondered what on earth I'm doing. One woman harassed us on an airplane, telling me that I was ruining my child," he recalled.

However, Trevor says he was relieved to note that while breastfeeding his second baby, he has so far received 'zero experiences' of aggression or harassment.

In fact, Trevor is now a breastfeeding coach for breastfeeding support group La Leche League International after they updated their leadership requirements to reflect the diversity of modern parenting.

The organisation's rules formerly stated that a coach must be a mother who had personal experience of breastfeeding. But when Trevor questioned why his application had been rejected, it prompted an internal review which eventually opted to jettison the gendered language from their rulebook.

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