How This Same-Sex Couple Is Taking Turns Breastfeeding

A lactation consultant tells us how it's done.
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Mar 2017
Female couple holding and nursing their baby
Photo: Lacey Barratt

Maybe your partner helps you prep bottles. Maybe he or she even gets up in the middle of the night to feed baby a bottle. But Claire Eden-McIlroy and Steph Eden-McIlroy are #relationshipgoals: They’re taking turns breastfeeding their 4-week-old daughter.

The Australian couple, who has been together for five years, welcomed baby LJ in January with the help of a sperm donor. Claire, who gave birth, says Steph began looking into how to breastfeed as soon as she learned it was an option.

“Even without carrying a child you can still nourish and feed your child from your body,” Claire tells Daily Mail Australia. “It’s a way for her to bond with the baby and ease my load.”

So just how do you coach your body to produce milk when you haven’t produced a baby? We asked a certified lactation consultant.

“It is definitely possible!” says Stephanie Nguyen, RN, MSN, WHNP-C,IBCLC of Modern Milk. “I consult with a lot of moms who are planning on adoption and we come up with a plan to induce lactation.”

While the Daily Mail reports Steph pumped every two hours and took the herb fenugreek to stimulate a supply, Nguyen says that’s usually not enough.

“I typically come with a prescribed plan of care which includes a schedule of birth control pills, galactagogues, Domperidone (a prescription medication available from Canada) and lots of pumping with a hospital grade pump,” she explains. “Once baby arrives, putting baby to the breast as well as additional pumping if necessary can help maintain and increase the milk supply.”

For the Eden-McIlroys, co-breastfeeding seems to be smooth sailing so far.

“It’s totally natural and comfortable and something we do every day in our house and we wanted to raise awareness of same sex couples,” Claire says.

Photographer Lacey Barratt is helping them raise that awareness. See her photos of the couple below.

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