CARE: Christian Action, Research and Education

For what you believe
Open menu Close menu

NHS Trust defends use of induced lactation milk from trans women as beneficial for infants

23 February 2024
Newborn being held baby feet

University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust has stated that milk produced through drug-induced lactation by transgender women is as beneficial for infants as milk from biological mothers.

This comes after a controversial letter by the Medical Director was leaked.

The letter, intended to address complaints from a campaign group, defends the practice of 'induced lactation' in trans women and advocates for the use of the term 'human milk' to avoid gender bias.

Labour MP Rosie Duffield expressed strong opposition, arguing against using babies to validate lifestyle choices, and questioning the benefits to children. She said, “babies can’t be used as guinea pigs for someone else’s lifestyle choice.

“When a man has not and cannot grow a baby, why on earth are we pandering to this? Who does it benefit? Not the children.

“We wouldn't do any other medical experiments on babies. Breast milk made by a baby's biological mother is tailor-made for that baby.”

Duffield also raised concerns about the ethics of exposing children to untested chemicals.

The Medical Director's letter highlights evidence suggesting that the nutritional value of induced lactation milk is ‘comparable’ to that of postpartum breast milk.

However, critics, including Lottie Moore of Policy Exchange, argue that the Trust's stance overlooks potential risks to child welfare and women's rights.

Moore said, “This letter is unbalanced and naive in its assertion that the secretions produced by a male on hormones can nourish an infant in the way a mother's breast milk can.”

She add, “A child's welfare must always take precedence over identity politics and contested belief systems that are not evidence-based. The NHS should not be indulging in this nonsense. It is compromising women's rights and child safeguarding.”

Referencing a five-month scientific study in 2022, the Trust confirms there are no adverse effects on the infant from the milk of transgender women, but experts caution against the limited research on this topic, while others have questioned the safety of the drug on the men using it.

Milli Hill, author of The Positive Birth Book and Give Birth Like a Feminist, said: 'Breastfeeding is not about the experience of the person doing the feeding – it is about nourishing and nurturing a baby.

“No male person has ever been able to produce enough milk to exclusively feed a baby and there are no studies into the long-term safety of offering such a substance to a baby.

'There is no reason for an adult to do this to a baby, and I would go so far as to describe it as abusive. For an NHS Trust to be supporting such an abuse is an absolute disgrace.'

A spokesman from University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust said: 'We stand by the facts of the letter and the cited evidence supporting them.'

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

Receive news from CARE each week

By signing up stay in touch you agree to receive emails from CARE. You can change your mailing preferences at any time either by getting in touch with CARE, or through the links on any of our emails.

Recent news in Transgender

Microsoft Teams image 90


The discussion around transgender issues can feel confusing, angry and highly polarised; we want to help Christians to understand what is going on and provide you with resources which will equip you to take part in the conversation.

Find out more about the cause