Father of two, Trevor MacDonald, gave birth and chestfed his own children, and has written a book about the experience.
“Breastfeeding is a relationship, and for me it is a whole way of parenting. I was able to produce some milk (maybe about a quarter of what my baby needed), and I used donated breast milk for the rest.”
The 31-year-old author said he didn’t plan on having children, until he became a man.
“Having kids became possible for me after I transitioned. As a result of my transition, I was much more comfortable with myself and happy as a person, and I then had the desire and space in my heart to want to guide a child,” said MacDonald.
His new book, Where’s the Mother: Stories from a Transgender Dad, tells the his story about fatherhood from a transmasculine perspective.
Although MacDonald had chest surgery as part of his transition, he was still able to breastfeed his children.
Trevor MacDonald with his family. Image supplied.
"I assumed early in my first pregnancy that we would bottle-feed our baby with formula. However, a close friend and La Leche League Leader loaned me a copy of Diana West’s book, 'Defining Your Own Success: Breastfeeding After Reduction Surgery'.
"Reduction surgery is not identical to male chest contouring surgery, but there are some similarities. Reading the book helped me realise that it might still be possible for me to make some milk, but that even if I didn’t, there is more to breastfeeding than just the milk, " he said.
The father found many "incredibly generous parents" who helped by donating breastmilk to top up his supply.
"We are still friends with many of them today – it was really a special experience to find that kind of support in our community," said MacDonald.
The international breastfeeding peer support group, La Leche League, were "extremely helpful" says MacDonald.
"Without them, I’m sure I would not have been able to have a nursing relationship with my kids."
Like many, the Canadian found breastfeeding a challenge.
"I used an at-chest supplementer to feed my baby at my chest. It was challenging to learn to use this device at first, although many parents who have low milk supply for any reason use one of these."