Child-bearing and infant feeding goals vary greatly among individuals. Reproductive options for LGBTQ+ individuals vary based on personal preferences, they and their partner’s reproductive organs, and therapies/procedures that may affect fertility. In terms of lactation, parents may have the biological ability to produce milk or they may desire to induce lactation in the absence of a pregnancy. Some parents may consider co-lactation, and in this case it is important to discuss expectations and goals.
For information on inducing lactation, refer to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine protocol referenced below and the La Leche League webpage on lactating without giving birth, or consult with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with experience in non-gestational lactation.
There are Facebook and other social media groups addressing the needs of LGBTQ+ parents, including strategies for lactation. Please contact the website administrator if you would like to share access information for a local group.
Professionals should familiarize themselves with the many challenges faced by the diverse LGBTQ+ community. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) published a protocol (2020), Lactation Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Plus Patients, that addresses some of the pregnancy and lactation issues unique to their community. For more information on lactation and gendered language, review the American Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Position Statement on Infant Feeding and Lactation-Related Language and Gender.