Parenting in the News: Trans Man Can’t be Lactation Coach

Trevor MacDonald is a 27 year old stay-at-home parent. He is also a transgender man who became pregnant and now breastfeeds his 16-month old son, Jacob. While expecting, Trevor began attending local meetings organized by La Leche League, a group dedicated to breastfeeding support and education.

On his blog Milk Junkies, MacDonald describes his first meeting and his anxiety at the notion of explaining his identity to the group. He says:  

 When it came to be my turn to speak, I gave my carefully prepared spiel: “My name is Trevor and I am able to be pregnant because I am transgender. This means that I was born female but transitioned to male by taking hormones and having chest surgery. When my partner and I decided to start a family, we got advice from my doctors and I stopped taking my testosterone. My baby is due in April. Because my surgery removed most of my breast tissue, I don’t know how much I’ll be able to breastfeed, but I really want to try.”

Trevor is able to produce milk but not enough to sustain his child so he supplements by using a nursing system, a long narrow tube filled with donated breast milk. Jacob can latch onto the tube and Trevor’s nipple simultaneously to feed.  

Although Trevor received tremendous support from his local La Leche League group, when he wrote to the organization’s headquarters inquiring about becoming a leader himself, he was refused. In their letter, Le Leche League responded:

Since an LLLC leader is a mother who has breastfed a baby, a man cannot become an LLLC Leader.

Trevor maintains that the LLLC view is narrow and his unique experience could help guide more breastfeeding parents. What do you think? Scroll down to leave your comments below, and see the news story here.