In the News

This lesbian couple take it in turns to breastfeed their newborn baby

Claire and Steph are both able to breastfeed their daughter

An Australian couple appeared on This Morning today to talk about their newborn daughter - and how they are BOTH breastfeeding her.

Claire and Steph Eden-McIlroy, 29 and 26, spoke to Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on the ITV show via video link.

They discussed how, even though Claire had given birth to their baby daughter LJ, who is just over a month old, Steph is also able to breastfeed her.

Claire (left) and Steph (right) share the task of breastfeeding their newborn daughter (Credit: Facebook/ Claire Eden-Mcilroy)

Steph explained that she had given birth in the past, and researched into whether women who haven't given birth can still breastfeed.

The couple decided quite early on in Claire's pregnancy, which was via a sperm donor, that Steph would also try to breastfeed. Steph said: "We were lucky enough to have a midwife who is also a lactation consultant, so she showed us different ways of expressing.

"I don't know why my body was able to do it, I guess I'm lucky that I'm connected to my partner and we were able to do that."

She then discussed natural remedies and medication she was taking - helped by the fact that Claire has a background in natural medicine.

She said: "I started pumping regularly. I took a lot of fenugreek, breastfeeding tea and breastfeeding biscuits and as many natural things as I could.

"Towards the end of Claire's pregnancy I took Domperidone, which is a drug they give to mothers with low supply. It's an anti-nausea drug and one of the side effects is increased prolactin.

"I've been taking a low dose to boost my supply towards the end and that's it, our bodies are amazing and I can feed."

Baby LJ is able to have a close bond with both mothers (Credit: Facebook/ Claire Eden-Mcilroy)

The couple described how their close relationship might have made it easier for Steph to be able to breastfeed. Claire said: "I guess being in a same sex relationship, Steph understands what's happening in my body and potentially that connection was something that made it a bit easier for her. I'm not sure."

Ruth then asked them how they share the breastfeeding. Claire said: "After she was born, it took about a week for my milk to come in. After that, Steph started feeding.

"At the moment she does two feeds a day, one around 4am which allows me a bit of an extra sleep at that time, and the other will be in the evening when she comes home from work. It's a good time for me to have a few minutes to myself."

The couple are very close (Credit: Facebook/ Claire Eden-Mcilroy)

Talking about the bonding process with baby LJ, Steph said: "That was the main reason I decided to do it, so that I could have that time with her and to be able to provide for her in a way that a mother can. It's been a really beautiful time for us, and I'm very grateful that I've been able to do it.

"It's something that's really important to me to be recognised as a mum, and I can see that she feels that closeness with me too. If she's crying, I can comfort her as well, if she's hungry I don't always have to pass her over to Claire."

The presenters turned to a nurse, Zoe, who said: "Milk production is all dependent on a hormone called Prolactin that's released from the brain, and when you've given birth there's a natural stimulation. The baby suckling can further stimulate the hormone, which is why women can continue to breastfeed for many years.

"By using the breast pump combined with the herbs and the Domperidone, it can benefit.

"Theoretically, it's possible to produce breast milk if you haven't had a baby in a while, but it's not necessarily easy.

"It's also theoretically possible for men to produce breast milk as well, as men have a small amount of breast tissue."

We think it's wonderful that this couple can share the experience!

Would you be happy to let your partner share the breastfeeding duties if it was possible? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

Like this? Now read these:

Peter Andre reveals Tamara Ecclestone inspired him to post Emily's breastfeeding photo

OPINION: I still breastfeed my five-year-old along with her two younger brothers – and don’t plan to quit any time soon

UK has lowest rate of breastfeeding in the world

Closer magazine cover