Drug-induced milk from transgender women who were born male is as good for babies as breast milk, an NHS Trust has claimed.
A leaked letter from the Medical Director of Sussex University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust describes both as “human milk” and says they are the “ideal food for babies”.
The letter was sent on behalf of the Trust’s chief executive in response to a campaign group’s complaint about the Trust’s gender policies.
She defends the controversial practice of “induced lactation” using powerful medications that allow trans women to simulate breastfeeding. She also states that the term “human milk” “has to be neutral and not have gender bias.”
But responding to the letter, Labor MP Rosie Duffield said: “Babies cannot be used as guinea pigs for someone else’s lifestyle.”
A leaked letter from the Medical Director of Sussex University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust describes both as “human milk” and says they are the “ideal food for babies”. Stock Image
The letter was sent on behalf of the Trust’s chief executive in response to a campaign group’s complaint about the Trust’s gender policies. Pictured: The Royal Sussex County Hospital
Labor MP Rosie Duffield (pictured) said: “Babies cannot be used as guinea pigs for someone else’s lifestyle.” in response to the letter
‘When a man has not and cannot have a baby, why are we indulging in this? Who benefits does he benefit? Not the children. We wouldn’t do any more medical experiments on babies. Breast milk made by a baby’s biological mother is tailor-made for that baby.’
Ms Duffield also warned about the “ethics of untested chemicals in children”.
She added that the NHS Trust’s use of “human milk” for the milk of both mothers and trans women risks erasing women.
In the letter, the chief medical officer states that “there is clear and overwhelming evidence that human milk is the ideal food for babies,” referring to both breast milk and “induced lactation” of biological men.
The Director continues: “The available evidence shows that the milk is comparable to that produced after the birth of a baby.”
The document was revealed as part of a report by the Policy Exchange think tank.
Lottie Moore, director of equality and identity at the organisation, said: “This letter is unbalanced and naïve in its claim that hormonal secretions produced by a man can nourish a baby in the same way that breast milk does.”
Ms Moore added: “A child’s wellbeing must always take priority over identity politics and contested belief systems that are not evidence-based.” The NHS should not indulge in this nonsense. It is compromising women’s rights and the protection of children.’
In explaining its policies, the Trust cited a five-month scientific study conducted in 2022 that measured “testosterone concentrations in infant milk” and found “no observable side effects in the infants” of breastfeeding transgender women. But experts rejected the claims, pointing to a general lack of scientific studies on such side effects. “There have been very few publications and the vast majority have not analyzed the content of the milk,” said one medical expert.
In fact, some of activists’ concerns have to do with the safety of drugs given to men to produce milk, drugs that can cause heart problems. They also point out that the result produces very little milk. “There is barely enough for one feeding” per day, the same expert told The Mail on Sunday.
University Hospitals Sussex Trust is a member of Stonewall’s controversial ‘Champions of Diversity’ programme. It admitted its policy was derived from advice from “external organisations”, but declined to clarify which ones.
However, the Trust rejected claims by campaigners that its policies are “clearly biased towards the demands of trans people rather than the welfare of children”.
She added: “The Trust takes the welfare and protection of children very seriously.”
Meanwhile, the Trust has refused to reveal how many births in its hospitals have been to trans women, acknowledging only that it is a “very small number”.
Milli Hill, author of The Positive Birth Book and Give Birth Like a Feminist, said: ‘Breastfeeding is not about the experience of the person feeding, but about nurturing and caring for the baby.
‘No newborn should be used as a prop to affirm an adult’s identity as ‘female’, when it clearly is not. If they were really women, they wouldn’t need to take medication to try to induce a small amount of milk from their nipples. No man has been able to produce enough milk to exclusively feed a baby, and there are no studies on 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 support such abuse is an absolute disgrace.”
A spokesperson for University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust said: “We stand by the facts in the letter and the evidence cited in support of them.”