If you’ve heard the term “chestfeed” before, it probably had to do with the erasure of women in their unique role as mother — however, this bizarre phrase has another new definition thanks to advice from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the governmental agency, “chestfeed” also includes artificial measures for “trans and nonbinary” individuals to nurse infants…but is this really safe for that child? Here’s what you need to know:
According to reports, the official CDC website published advice on how to “chestfeed” infants. The section was intended for men who are taking hormones to grow breasts and women who have had much of their breasts removed during operations. It reads, “Transgender and nonbinary-gendered individuals may give birth and breastfeed or feed at the chest (chestfeed).”
The CDC went on to pose the question, “Can transgender parents who have had breast surgery breastfeed or chestfeed their infants?” According to their site, that’s a yes through different means such as “maximizing milk production” and “medication to induce lactation.” The Daily Mail pointed out that this advice may also apply to biological men taking hormone drugs that mimic the changes a woman’s body undergoes during the late stages of pregnancy and shortly after the birth of a child — something that is not always approved by the Food and Drug Administration, as in the case of Domperidone.
Beyond this, however, doctors are highly critical of their advice as they claim the CDC has ignored or underestimated the risks infants may incur. Such milk would be produced via chemicals from “sex-change” operations — what exactly would this milk do to a baby? That’s the questions doctors are asking, and in interviews with the Daily Mail, it is long-term effects which they find most concerning for both “physical and mental illness.”
Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons Dr. Jane Orient shared her disgust over the health agency’s failure with The Daily Mail, saying: “The CDC has a responsibility to talk about the health risks, but they have been derelict in doing that.”
Such apprehensions won’t come as a surprise for any woman who has ever breastfed and thus asked herself a million times over, “Can I eat this food or take this medication without affecting my baby?” That’s because foods and drugs do affect breastmilk.
Breastfeeding mothers are told to avoid alcohol, high mercury fish, and even their morning cup of joe almost entirely. Beyond that, certain foods should also be tiptoed around due to documented (albeit less severe) effects on babies. These include spicy foods (may cause diarrhea, gas, or colicky behavior); dairy milk (potential skin problems); herbs like peppermint, parsley, and sage (can negatively affect milk supply); beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage (can cause gas); etc.
On medications, the Mayo Clinic also reports, “Almost any drug that’s present in the blood will transfer into breast milk to some extent.” This exposure can be particularly risky for premature babies and babies under six months. While many common drugs are safe to use, some medications can be highly dangerous for a child’s health.
Unfortunately, time will tell whether this includes the drugs the CDC is recommending for “chestfeeding,” but this is for certain: what you put into your body affects your breastmilk, and that affects your baby. Is our society really okay with endangering children just to promote an agenda?
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