Dr. Tinsley Keefe Tells Why Brides Who Are Transgender Should Breastfeed Their Babies

Finding your soul mate and someone you can spend the rest of your life with is an unparalleled feeling, which goes beyond the norms of gender that have been developed by society. Thankfully, as we move towards greater transgender acceptance, transgender brides are experiencing fewer issues in finding a wedding officiant who would be willing to make their big day possible. Moreover, there is a wide array of wedding officiants in OKC that are open to providing their services to transgender couples. The role of these wedding officiants is to make sure that the couple is able to establish a life-long bond between them through the marriage ceremony. While it is certainly heartening to witness that barriers towards transgender marriage such as finding suitable wedding officiants in OKC are becoming more and more scarce, there are some aspects of her married life that a transgender bride may still feel anxious about when she becomes a mother and breastfeeding is one of those primary concerns.

Breastfeeding is an experience which establishes an emotional bond between a mother and her child. Accordingly, there is significant empirical research to support the view that mothers who breastfeed their child have greater maternal sensitivity which means that they are better equipped to respond and read their infant’s cues. Apart from these positive psychological consequences, breastfeeding is also linked with physical benefits for the child as well.

The Physical Benefits of Breastfeeding

Infants who have been breastfed by their mothers have a lower risk of developing various illnesses such as asthma, childhood leukaemia and diabetes in addition to reducing their chances of becoming obese. Owing to the unparalleled advantages that are associated with breastfeeding, health practitioners strongly advise new mothers to naturally nurse their offspring and the same should be applicable for transgender brides. Unfortunately, societal norms and expectations which are yet to transform have completely tangled the roles that transgenderwomen are expected to follow and adhere to and this includes attitudes towards breastfeeding.

However, it is important to understand and recognize that transgender brides are mothers, which is why they should be encouraged to experience this emotionally bonding process with their bundle of joy just like any other mother-child relationship.Thankfully, advances in medical science and progress in the area of transgender health have renovated the extent to which transgender women can choose to undergo safe and effective physical surgeries to facilitate their transition and experience less body dysphoria for reaching a stress-free state of mind.

From gender reassignment surgery, breast augmentation to facial feminization surgery, transgender brides can now experience a greater alignment between their body and their mental state. However, despite of these developments the concept of transgender women breastfeeding their babies has remained elusive as many seek to pin down how that could be ‘biologically’ or ‘physically’ possible.

The Medical Breakthrough

Nonetheless, a testament of the wonders or miracles of medical science recently emerged at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital where a 30-year-old transgender woman who had been undergoing hormone replacement therapy, was naturally able to breastfeed her baby by producing enough milk that allowed the infant to meet six weeks’ worth of developmental requirements. The transgender woman adhered to a similar plan that is implemented to induce lactation in cis women wherein a breast pump is used for promoting milk production. The successful outcome was the culmination of consuming domperidone which is a drug that is known to fuel the production of female hormones namely Progesterone and estradiol in addition to spironolactone which creates a barrier towards the production of testosterone.

The case has left endocrinologist, health practitioners and members of the medical community stunned and hopeful regarding the bright future of transgender brides who will now be able to experience this emotional bonding experience with their infants just like non-trans, cis and genderqueer women.

Transgender Identity and Breastfeeding

The goal of transgender women breastfeeding is hindered by physiological capabilities which only allow transgender men and non-trans women to be able to nurse their babies naturally. When a trans couple decides to conceive, it is important for transgender brides and grooms to be understanding of the sensitive situation which is expected to emerge as a result of this decision. In certain cases, trans individuals who have severe dysphoria because of their chest may not choose to breastfeed their infant because of mental health issues that the activity is bound to trigger.

In such a situation the couple is faced to choose from several options to nurse the infant which include bottle-feeding and supplementation which must be performed under the guidance of lactation professionals. Accordingly, transgender women can support their partners in this journey by inducing lactation under the care of seasoned endocrinologists and healthcare professionals who can make this wonderful yet daunting phase more comfortable and secure for the couple.

The Road Ahead

Once the planning phase of a wedding such as buying a ring, hiring a wedding officiant in OKC and selecting a place for the marriage ceremony amongst countless other decisions is finally over, the couple ventures into their new life hand in hand. For many transgender brides, the next step is to start a family.

With a team of practitioners that you can trust, it is definitely possible for transgender brides to experience the amazing bond of motherhood with their baby through breastfeeding. The decision to breastfeed will not only strengthen the love that you have for your infant but also allow the relationship with your partner to undergo a positive shift by supporting their own transgender identity which may have been negatively impacted by the dysmorphia caused by breastfeeding. Moreover, transgender women are also advised and encouraged to attend support meetings with other women who have been through the same situation to share their feelings and emotions while opening up about the uphill but rewarding climb of coming to terms with breastfeeding as a transgender women and undergoing the necessary therapy which is needed to support the realization of this ultimate goal.

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