Wyoming’s public health agency declined to comment Thursday on national health guidance about “chestfeeding,” a term generally used for transgender or nonbinary people feeding infants with their bodies.
Some national media outlets drew attention this week to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for issuing guidance that says it’s safe for men who have transitioned to women to breast feed, or chestfeed, babies. The agency also linked to an outside paper noting that hormones can cause men to produce milk.
“There is one case report and many anecdotal reports of trans women inducing lactation and producing human milk,” the paper says.
Hormone therapy, the paper says, will increase breast tissue development.
While doctors on the national scene are criticizing the agency for positing under-researched guidance, the Wyoming Department of Health declined to comment altogether, saying the question is “not appropriate to our role.”
The state’s top health agency did not have a recommendation for another state agency to question chestfeeding facts and guidance, a spokeswoman said.
The apparent difference in purview is fairly new. The Wyoming Department of Health generally followed or acknowledged CDC guidelines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and other health events.
Not Likely An Issue For Wyoming
While the Wyoming Department of Health is not commenting on the CDC’s guidance on chestfeeding, one Wyoming lawmaker says he’s hopeful the issue of transgender breastfeeding isn’t something the Cowboy State will have to debate for awhile.
“Apparently, it’s happening out there if the federal government is issuing guidance on it,” said Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, who co-chairs the Legislature’s Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Committee. “But it would be dead on arrival in Wyoming to put anything like that in our statutes.”
Zwonitzer said the discussion will probably trickle down to Wyoming someday, but for now is “probably mostly a coastal issue, and it would probably be three or five years before it made it to Wyoming.”
He also said it’s not likely to be a problem “unless you’re being overt in public.”
In the meantime, Zwonitzer said he’s fine with not having a discussion on chestfeeding babies.
“Let’s just say I’m hopeful and optimistic we’re several years from having to deal with that in Wyoming,” he said. “But I’ll keep an eye out in the big city.”
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.