A transgender man who gave birth after his transition, and who had breast tissue removed via surgery, now breastfeeds his children using a special tube and donated milk.
Canadian Trevor MacDonald and his husband Ian had their first child in 2012 while MacDonald took a break from testosterone therapy. During the break, he learned he was still capable of lactating with a little help from a supplemental nursing system, or SNS.
“An SNS is a bottle with a tube going into it. You put one end of the tube next to your nipple and then latch the baby onto your nipple and the tube at the same time,” MacDonald explained. “This way, the baby gets both the milk that the parent can produce and supplement from the bottle at once.”
MacDonald said it first took three people to position his son, Jacob, during the first few weeks of breastfeeding.
“We struggled through the exhaustion of sitting up through nursing sessions day and night,” MacDonald said. “[Now], I can nurse him to sleep when he is overtired, or latch him on to calm him when he’s had an unfortunate adventure with the corner of a coffee table.”
MacDonald said that nursing has taken on a new dimension with the SNS that he never thought would be possible. He and his husband have since had a second child, and breastfeeding has been a breeze.
Since the first pregnancy, MacDonald has kept a blog called Milk Junkies dedicated to educating trans parents and potential trans parents about birth and breastfeeding. MacDonald shared his story during a HuffPost Live interview in which he spoke about his breastfeeding experiences.