Introduction: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently faced backlash for issuing guidance on breastfeeding for transgender and non-binary parents. The guidance aims to cater to the unique needs of individuals who have undergone gender-reassignment surgeries or hormone treatments. However, some medical professionals argue that the CDC has overlooked potential health risks associated with the chemicals used in these procedures. Critics assert that the CDC should have taken into account the impact of these chemicals on infants consuming milk from individuals undergoing gender-reassignment treatments.
Read More: CDC’s Guidance on Health Equity and Breastfeeding Considerations
The official website of the CDC includes sections on breastfeeding and health equity considerations, which encompass guidance specifically tailored for transgender and non-binary individuals. The CDC recognizes that transgender and non-binary parents may give birth and breastfeed or “chestfeed.” It emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between gender identity and assigned sex at birth, acknowledging that non-binary gender identities do not conform to traditional binary categories. Furthermore, the CDC addresses breastfeeding for parents who have undergone procedures such as breast surgery, using the term “chestfeeding” to be inclusive of transgender and non-binary parents.
Supporting Transgender Parents in Breastfeeding
According to the CDC, some transgender parents who have undergone breast or top surgery may desire to breastfeed or chestfeed their infants. The CDC recommends that healthcare providers possess knowledge in the medical, emotional, and social aspects of gender transitions to deliver optimal family-centered care and meet the nutritional needs of the infant. The guidance highlights various support options, such as maximizing milk production, utilizing donor human milk or formula, considering medication for lactation induction or suppression, and seeking appropriate lactation management and emotional support.
Read Also: Concerns Raised by Medical Professionals
Several medical professionals have expressed concerns over the CDC’s guidance, contending that it fails to address potential health risks to infants being chestfed by biological men on female-mimicking hormones. One concern centers around the FDA’s warning that the drug domperidone, commonly used to induce lactation, can potentially pass into breast milk and cause irregular heartbeat in babies. Doctors argue that the CDC should have provided information on these risks and emphasized the importance of further research on the long-term effects of off-label hormone use in transgender parents. The uncertainty surrounding the impact of induced breast milk on infants’ physical and mental health is also highlighted.
CDC’s Response to Criticisms
At this time, the CDC has not yet responded to the concerns raised by medical professionals regarding potential health risks associated with induced breast milk from biological men. Critics believe that it is the responsibility of the CDC to address these risks and provide comprehensive information to ensure the safety and well-being of infants.
Conclusion: The CDC’s guidance on breastfeeding for transgender and non-binary parents has faced criticism for allegedly overlooking potential health risks associated with induced breast milk from biological men. Critics argue that the CDC should have provided information on the chemicals used in gender-reassignment treatments and their potential impact on infants. Ensuring the safety and well-being of infants is of utmost importance, and further research is necessary to understand the long-term effects of induced breast milk. Ongoing discussions and comprehensive guidance are essential in addressing these concerns and ensuring the health and welfare of all individuals involved in the breastfeeding process.
Read Next: “Exploring New Perspectives on Breastfeeding for Transgender and Non-Binary Parents”