Canadian Trevor MacDonald was born a woman. In his early twenties he began the transition into a man, but kept all his female reproductive organs.
Then he became pregnant — with an interest in breastfeeding.
He sought support from the La Leche League, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and educating women who want to breastfeed. He admits he was nervous at first — him being a man, visibly pregnant, seeking help from an all-woman organization. But La Leche welcomed him in with open arms — for the time being.
After giving birth to a healthy baby boy, Trevor began the difficult task of breastfeeding, but his dilemma was made a little more challenging, as he had little breast tissue for the baby to latch onto. But Trevor persisted, as did his baby boy. Trevor partially credits the support from the La Leche League with his success at breastfeeding.
Because of the help he received through La Leche, MacDonald said he wanted to give back. He wanted to become a leader, but the La Leche League policy states that a man cannot hold a leadership position. According to MacDonald, their policy is poor and outdated.
La Leche League is rethinking its policy:
This is the first time in La Leche League’s 56-year history that we have had an inquiry about leadership from a breastfeeding father, so we have had to consider carefully La Leche League’s prerequisites for leadership, policies and the societal issues of gender identity.
…LLLC is not able to make a decision on such a complex issue without a process in which all parts of the international organization can participate.
Should these policies be reconsidered in light of our changing society? Many believe they should; however, it may take considerable time, effort and discussion to reach an international consensus. All the suggestions, concerns, and comments being made will be taken into serious consideration. In the meantime, we will continue our essential work of serving breastfeeding families wherever they are and whatever their needs.
Although our present guidelines will not allow Trevor to work towards LLL leadership at this time, we very much appreciate his support of LLLC, his participation as an LLLC Group member, and we respect his commitment to breastfeeding and to supporting breastfeeding families.