CDC Advice Suggesting Trans Women Can Safely Breastfeed, Fails To Mention Risks To Baby

Fact checked by The People's Voice Community
breastfeeding

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been accused of ‘blurring politics and science’ over advice that suggests trans women can safely breastfeed, while failing to mention health risks to the baby.

Several information pages on the CDC website appear to endorse ‘chestfeeding’, which is the term used to describe feeding an infant milk directly from the breast by trans and non-binary parents.

Trans women can make themselves lactate by taking a combination of drugs which are not without risks.

The Daily Mail reports: One section, titled ‘Health Equity Considerations’, claims ‘an individual does not need to have given birth to breastfeed or chestfeed.’

Another section in a Q&A about breast surgery, titled ‘Can transgender parents who have had breast surgery breastfeed or chestfeed their infants?’, says families may need help with ‘medication to induce lactation.’

But doctors told DailyMail.com the CDC has a ‘responsibility’ to disclose the lack of research and potential risks. One of the medications used to produce milk in biological men has been linked to heart problems in babies. They claimed the agency was blurring lines between ‘politics and science’.

The CDC did not respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com. 

Biological men who transition to women can produce breastmilk by taking several hormone drugs that mimic the changes a woman’s body undergoes during the late stages of pregnancy and shortly after the birth of a child.

But one of the drugs used can pass into breast milk in small amounts and can sometimes give babies an irregular heartbeat as a result.

The FDA has warned against one of them; domperidone — an anti-nausea drug that ups levels of prolactin, the hormone which encourages milk production.

The agency said: ‘Because of the possibility of serious adverse effects, FDA recommends that breastfeeding women not use domperidone to increase milk production.’

Dr Jane Orient, executive director of the conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, told DailyMail.com that ‘we have no idea what the long-term effects on the child will be’ if a breastfeeding trans woman uses ‘all kinds of off-label hormones.’

She said: ‘A lot of people are pushing for off-label use of a drug… it’s become so politicized that you can do all kinds of things for a politically approved purpose.’

Off-label means using a drug for a different purpose than the one it has been approved for. Some medications required to induce lactation in trans women are not approved for boosting milk production in America.

Dr Orient added: ‘The CDC has a responsibility to talk about the health risks, but they have been derelict in doing that.’

Niamh Harris
About Niamh Harris 14988 Articles
I am an alternative health practitioner interested in helping others reach their maximum potential.