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Transgender woman breastfeeds baby in first documented case

A 30-year-old transgender woman is able to breastfeed her child in what is the first documented case of induced lactation in a transgender woman.

The woman, who was born male, approached doctors in hopes of becoming her infant’s primary food source when her pregnant partner decided she did not want to breast-feed.

“We believe that this is the first formal report in the medical literature of induced lactation in a transgender woman,” said the study’s authors, Dr. Tamar Reisman and Zil Goldstein.

A case study describes the patient as not yet having undergone gender reassignment surgery.

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She had received hormone treatment for six years and was also taking medication for insomnia and anxiety, according to the study’s authors.

Doctors administered a course of estradiol and progesterone to match high levels of the hormones normally seen during pregnancy.

The woman used a breast pump to increase prolactin and oxytocin levels, and obtained domperidone, which is not approved in the United States but is legal in Canada.

She was producing eight ounces of milk a day two weeks before the baby’s due date, according to the study.

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Its authors say the case illustrates that lactation can be induced in transgender women who do not give birth or undergo surgery.

It’s not known if the breast milk produced under the regimen is the same as milk produced after giving birth.

The procedure marks a breakthrough and is expected to become popular among transgender women, experts say.

Dr. Joshua D. Safer, medical director of transgender medicine and surgery at Boston Medical Center, called the study a “very big deal” in an interview with New Scientist.

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