British Healthcare Provider: Trans and biological women’s breast milk “comparable”

The LGBT lobby

Published 21 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The LGBTQ movement has long argued that there are no differences between trans women and biological women.

The University of Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, part of the UK’s tax-funded public health system, claims that breast milk produced by trans women is “comparable” to the milk of biological women who have actually given birth.

In a letter to a group of activists, officials write that after taking a combination of hormonal drugs, a trans woman’s milk is “comparable to the milk produced after a baby is born”.

The health authority, which runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Worthing Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, among others, was also the first in the UK to use the term “chestfeeding” instead of “breastfeeding” which trans activists say is more inclusive.

In 2021, the hospital created what it called the “first clinical and language guidelines supporting trans and non-binary birthing people”.

The guidelines included claims about trans women’s ability to produce milk for babies – which became the subject of complaints from Children of Transitioners, an organization founded by a woman whose father had undergone gender reassignment surgery.

Hormones and drugs

In its August 2023 response, the hospital defended its claims, citing five articles from 1977 and pointing to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and alleged “overwhelming evidence” that “human milk” is better for babies than formula.

It also referred to a 2022 study that found “milk testosterone concentrations” were less than one percent and that “no observable side effects” were seen in infants. The study lasted five months and did not provide long-term data.

For people to breastfeed, they need to develop milk-producing glands by taking the hormone progestin. A lactation drug is also required, such as domperidone, which is often prescribed to women struggling to breastfeed and helps stimulate the production of prolactin – a separate hormone that tells the body to produce milk, notes The Telegraph.

“Men can’t breastfeed”

Lottie Moore of the conservative think tank Policy Exchange, which recently published the letter to the public, says the caregivers are “is unbalanced and naïve in its assertion that the secretions produced by a male on hormones can nourish an infant in the way a mother’s breast milk can”.

The health care provider has since removed the web page where the advice was posted and instead links to an external website, La Leche League, which states that it “supports everyone who wants to breastfeed or chestfeed in reaching their goals”.

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– For a chief executive and medical director of an NHS trust to prioritise trans identities over what is best for mothers and their babies is deeply disturbing, said Maya Forstater, director of the campaign group Sex Matters.

– Male people, however they identify or describe themselves, cannot breastfeed, said Milli Hill, a campaigner for women’s birthing rights.

However, the health care provider stands by its comments, saying they are based on “facts”.