Did A Man Really Breastfeed A Baby?

Did A Man Really Breastfeed A Baby?

Stream: Did A Man Really Breastfeed A Baby?

Something’s not right.

A paper in the journal Transgender Health reports that a man injected with a myriad of chemicals was able to temporarily breastfeed a baby.

The press is not surprisingly reporting the event uncritically. For instance, The Guardian calls the event a “breakthrough”.

There are reasons to doubt the study, however, as we shall see.

Reported Details

Here are the salient details. A thirty-year-old man desirous of breastfeeding presented at the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery.

The man was at that time was in a “feminizing hormone regimen”, taking spironolactone, estradiol, and micronized progesterone. He was also taking occasional clonazepam for a “panic disorder”
and zolpidem for insomnia.

Presumably because of the long use of hormones, and without augmentation surgery, the man’s breasts appeared well developed.

To induce lactation, the researchers:

(1) increased estradiol and progesterone dosing to mimic high levels seen during pregnancy, (2) use of a galactogogue [a lactation-inducing drug] to increase prolactin levels, (3) use of a breast pump with the speculation that it would increase prolactin and oxytocin levels, and (4) subsequent reduction in estradiol and progesterone levels, with the intention of mimicking delivery.

Potentially Dangerous Drugs

The galactogogue was domperidone, which is now banned in the United States. The FDA said:

The serious risks associated with domperidone include cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, and sudden death. These risks are related to the blood level of domperidone, and higher levels in the blood are associated with higher risks of these events. Concurrent use of certain commonly used drugs, such as erythromycin, could raise blood levels of domperidone and further increase the risk of serious adverse cardiac outcomes.

Domperidone is used on-label as a digestive aid. A listed side effect is “swelling of the breasts or discharge from the nipple in men or women.”

The man was able to secure domperidone from Canada.

How Much Milk?

After one month of treatment, the man “was able to express droplets of milk”. His drug dosages were increased, and after three months of treatment “the patient was making 8 oz [one cup] of breast milk per day.”

The baby in question finally arrived weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces.

Here are the reported results:

The patient breastfed exclusively for 6 weeks. During that time the child’s pediatrician reported that the child’s growth, feeding, and bowel habits were developmentally appropriate. At 6 weeks, the patient began supplementing breastfeedings with 4-8 oz of Similac brand formula daily due to concerns about insufficient milk volume. At the time of this article submission, the baby is approaching 6 months old.


This is were the suspicion we haven’t learned the whole story begins.

Newborn babies weighing 6-7 pounds require about 14-17 ounces of breast milk per day. This is double what the paper reports the man capable of producing.

Normally developing babies at six weeks need somewhere north of 24-30 ounces of milk daily. The paper reports the baby’s diet was only then supplemented by 4-8 ounces of formula. This means the man must have consistently been producing at least 20 ounces of milk per day!


Pull up a bottle, and click here to read the rest.


  1. Jim Fedako

    Sad. A thirty-year old man is encouraged to act on deranged impulses, by so-called health professionals, nonetheless. This is similar to the sordid history of Bethlem Royal Hospital, where folks with mental disorders became entertainment for the masses, who were allowed to literally yank the chains of the inmates in order to arouse and incite their injurious and unwholesome behaviors.

    How will these so-called healthcare providers be viewed by history?

  2. John B()

    Will they keep this information from the child?

    Whose child was it?

    If this is such a “normal” “natural” thing likening it to a “wet nurse”, why the Panic disorder drug and the sleep aid (for insomnia)?

  3. Sander van der Wal

    One wonders how much of those chemicals were in the milk the baby was fed with.

  4. pkh

    What about the baby? No mention at all about whether the liquid was healthy, free of drugs, or otherwise equivalent to natural milk. I bet the same cast of characters would argue endlessly that formula is better than milk, and go on about the dangers of cows milk from cows that grazed on inorganic hay.

  5. pkh

    I meant non-organically grown hay.

  6. Harold

    Reminds me of a passage in a book by Alexander von Humboldt

    “In this village lives a labourer, Francisco Lozano, who presented a highly curious physiological phenomenon. This man has suckled a child with his own milk. […] In every age examples are cited of very young girls and women in extreme old age, who have suckled children. Among men these examples are more rare; and after numerous researches, I have not found above two or three. One is cited by the anatomist of Verona, Alexander Benedictus, who lived about the end of the fifteenth century. He relates the history of an inhabitant of Syria, who, to calm the fretfulness of his child, after the death of the mother, pressed it to his bosom. The milk soon became so abundant, that the father could take on himself the nourishment of his child without assistance. Other examples are related by Santorellus, Faria, and Robert, bishop of Cork. The greater part of these phenomena having been noticed in times very remote, it is not uninteresting to physiology, that we can confirm them in our own days.”

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