First there was the pregnant man. Now there is a breastfeeding man. Well, sort of.
Trevor MacDonald is transgender. He transitioned to male at 27 with breast tissue removal surgery and the help of testosterone. But still, MacDonald was born a woman, and thus the father was able to give birth to his son. Now, if there's ever a case for giving a parent a break on the use of formula, you would think it would be this one. But against all odds, MacDonald has done it!
He has been able to produce some breast milk on his own for his now 16-month-old son, and MacDonald turned to his local La Leche League in Canada for help with the rest. The result is a feeding tube like contraption that delivers breast milk from a donor bank from MacDonald's chest (you can read more about the actual process on his blog, Milk Junkies).
I'm not sure whether to applaud him or break down in tears.
I think I'm on the applaud side. This man is trying to do what he thinks is right for his child.
And yet, I'm a mom who struggled mightily with breastfeeding and ended up failing. I'd be lying if I didn't admit to a little jealousy here. I'm a woman who has never tried to change her body (at least not in the way MacDonald has ... I'm always trying to lose weight), and I failed.
Now here we have a legal man, a person who identifies himself as a father, doing something that has always fallen under the "mom" purview. You'll pardon me for feeling as though a piece of our place in the world has been encroached upon. If dads can breastfeed, that's just another thing in this world that moms aren't needed for.
I know it's silly. Dads can (and should!) bottle feed after all! And I feel guilty even saying this because I'm a proponent of making all things equal in parenting. My husband and I tried to split it all right down the middle, from diaper changes to bedtime stories and beyond. When I stopped breastfeeding, he pitched right in with making bottles and feeding our daughter, and I was both grateful for the help and happy to allow father and daughter the extra time to bond.
Maybe a "breastfeeding man" would bother me less if I had been able to make my own breasts work the way nature intended? I'm not sure.
How about you? Does the news that there are now breastfeeding men make you feel uncomfortable?
Image via fifikins/Flickr