A Breastfeeding Transgender Dad? Parenting Challenges Take New Meaning For Trevor MacDonald
Trevor MacDonald, 31, was born female, but he started his transition as a man in his early 20s in his desire to identify with the gender he's most comfortable. However, when he and his partner, a gay man, decided to start a family, doing it naturally was the most logical choice after giving adoption some consideration.
Trevor MacDonald still has the anatomy and the reproductive organs of a female body, despite taking testosterone for his transition. Thus, it was possible for him to get pregnant with his partner. He did so twice and he also breastfed both the babies, who are now aged 5 years old and 19 months.
Expectedly, his experience came with many challenges, especially in explaining his situation to other people. This has inspired him to write the book, "Where's the Mother? Stories from a Transgender Dad."
Trevor MacDonald also took part in a study about transgender males who breastfeed, or as they call it "chestfeed," in the hopes of understanding and improving the challenges of being transparent. The study helped shed light on some of the misconceptions about individuals choosing to change genders in that not all opt to get sex reassignment surgery despite their gender alignment.
However, Trevor MacDonald doesn't consider himself a "mother" despite giving birth and breastfeeding. He does not feel that this experience defined his gender at all. "A baby doesn't know what your pronouns are," he said, per The Guardian.
The Canadian-born trans keeps a breastfeeding blog, Milk Junkies, that charts his experience raising two children. In the beginning, he actually struggled with milk production due to his breast surgery as a trans man.
But after reading about breastfeeding, consulting with experts and pressing on, Trevor MacDonald became a breastfeeding proponent. He opened a Facebook group, Birthing and Breast or Chestfeeding Trans People and Allies, to guide and assist others, as well as introduce the concept of milk sharing.
"Breastfeeding is about far more than the food," Trevor MacDonald wrote on his blog. His story on nursing has become an inspiration, even for moms who struggle at breastfeeding. Learn more about Trevor's story in the video below: