Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lesbian, Transgender & Breastfeeding, Oh My!

I was reading an article about Iron Chef regular Cat Cora the other day on the Celebrity Baby Blog. Cat is 8 months pregnant and her wife, Jennifer, gave birth to a baby boy in April (Jennifer also gave birth to their first two kids, ages 5 and 2). Like many successful career women, Cat doesn't plan on quitting her job after the birth of her baby. In fact, she and Jennifer planned their babies to be born so close together so they could be sort of like twins and Cat could return to work shortly after their birth and Jennifer can breastfeed them both!

Is this not the ultimate set-up? How many of us in hetero relationships wished our husbands or boyfriends could take over some of the breastfeeding? What if you could be like Cat and bypass pumping and storing milk and know your baby could still have breast milk? I know there are milk banks and friends who cross-nurse, but this arrangement is so easy and beneficial to all. Has anyone ever heard of another lesbian couple who has done this?

Cat is living the dream of successful business women the world over who are always wishing they had a wife. Most men who are successful and wealthy and have kids have a wife at home who is holdin' it down, cooking, cleaning and raising the kids. Women at the top of their games either don't have kids or have a husband who is a stay-at-home dad. Cat is seriously getting the best of both worlds. (Although imagine your partner pregnant at the same time as you...who is going to bring you ice cream and rub your feet when your partner is just as tired and swollen as you are?)

Anyway, I also read that the "Pregnant Man" Thomas Beatie gave birth to his second baby today. His wife Nancy is breastfeeding the baby boy, just as she breastfed their first baby who was born last June. Not the same situation as Thomas had his breasts removed and can't breastfeed, so his wife is taking on all of the nursing duties, but it's wonderful that they obviously believe breastfeeding is important. Nancy had to have gone through induced lactation to nurse originally, but she may still be breastfeeding their first baby and tandem nursing.

I think both of these situations are incredibly cool. I love the idea of people creating non-traditional families on their own terms. Perhaps because I was raised in a non-traditional home, I like the idea of kids in the future not having to feel weird or get picked on because they have two moms or their parents are different colors or their dad was born a woman. It makes me optimistic when I see stories like this treated with respect on mainstream sites like Celebrity Baby Blog that we're moving in the right direction. And of course any plug for breastfeeding is always a bonus in my book!

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