Why is the NHS indulging ‘breastfeeding’ men?

Discharge from a transwoman’s nipples is not breast milk. Stop pretending otherwise.

Jo Bartosch

Jo Bartosch

Topics Identity Politics UK

Men cannot breastfeed. You might have thought this was obvious, but apparently the NHS is unaware of this fact of basic biology.

Over the weekend, an astonishing letter from the University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHSx) was unearthed, advising that biologically male transwomen can ‘breastfeed’ their babies. Men are able, the letter states, to take a combination of drugs to produce milk that is ‘comparable to that produced following the birth of a baby’. Such advice is not only a punch in the tit to mothers, but also a grotesque inversion of the very purpose of the NHS – namely, to keep us all in good health.

It is deeply disturbing that our health service is apparently so biologically ignorant. It is technically true that men can be given drugs to help them first grow breast ducts and then to lactate. But this is far from risk-free. The consequences for children fed in this way remain unknown. The UHSx attempts to defend the practice by citing a number of questionable studies. But the fact remains that men are not supposed to breastfeed in the first place. Discharge from a man’s nipples is overwhelmingly a sign of ill-health.

Unsurprisingly, the NHS’s promotion of transwomen ‘breastfeeding’ has provoked a furious backlash. With Women (WW), a campaign group of midwives and breastfeeding experts, points out that ‘breastfeeding is for the baby, not the baby for breastfeeding’. ‘There are plenty of ways to bond with a baby’, a WW spokeswoman told me, ‘but breastfeeding is something only the mother can or should do’. In other words, infants do not exist to prop up the egos of delusional men, to affirm their sense of themselves as ‘women’ and ‘mothers’.

The trans activists at the UHSx are clearly in denial about this. Lottie Moore of Policy Exchange, the think-tank that uncovered the UHSx letter, has said the trust ‘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’. Indeed, the actions of the UHSx point to a disturbing wider culture within the NHS, in which the demands of gender ideologues reign supreme over both common sense and the interests of mothers and their babies.

Still, the UHSx is refusing to back down. In response to the wave of criticism, the trust said: ‘We stand by the facts of the letter and the cited evidence supporting them.’ This is hardly surprising, given that the UHSx has form when it comes to pushing trans ideology. In fact, it was the first NHS trust in Britain to adopt the term ‘chestfeeding’ in place of breastfeeding to avoid upsetting the sensibilities of trans or nonbinary ‘birthing parents’.

Sadly, such pandering to trans ideology is now rampant across the NHS. Until relatively recently, men (including male sex offenders) were being placed on female wards in line with their self-professed gender identities. And in hospitals across the country, trusts have replaced the word ‘woman’ with euphemistic phrases like ‘individuals with a cervix’ or ‘people who menstruate’.

Beneath the phenomenon of male breastfeeding lurks an unpalatable truth – that there is often a sexual or fetishistic element at play when men seek to emulate women’s bodily functions. If you peer into the darker corners of the internet, you’ll find a host of pornography sites that cater to the fantasies of transwomen ‘experiencing’ menstruation, childbirth, menopause and the like. Might the woke dullards at UHSx, by pushing the myth of male breastfeeding, be unwittingly pandering to this particularly grotesque fetish?

Though not all cases of ‘breastfeeding’ transwomen are sexually motivated, the NHS is nonetheless catering to a delusional fantasy. Ultimately, we should be able to rely on healthcare professionals to have at least a rudimentary understanding of human biology. We should be able to trust that doctors know what’s best for us, not to obfuscate the truth lest it hurts some patients’ feelings.

The NHS exists to serve the best interests of patients, to make the sick better or at least to ease their suffering. It shouldn’t be too much to ask that NHS staff put the needs of babies and their mothers above the fantasies of men.

Jo Bartosch is a journalist campaigning for the rights of women and girls.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Identity Politics UK


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