If you had your child through surrogacy, you are probably looking to find an answer to the question how to induce lactation. The other option is that your baby was born prematurely hence, you are trying to find out about induced lactation. This article provides information regarding the same.
Induced lactation refers to breastfeeding without pregnancy. This can be possible with considerable dedication and preparation. In pregnant women, the changes that the pregnancy hormones undergo at birth cause a woman’s breasts to start producing milk. There are a number of reasons why a mother is not able to carry her own baby. If the baby has arrived through adoption or surrogacy, the mother can still produce milk by inducing lactation.
The milk produced with induced lactation is comparable to the breast milk of a biological mother ten days after the delivery. Since the inducing mothers are unable to produce human placental lactogen, they are unable to produce colostrum. However, it is important to note that the amount of antibodies and other immune factors remain the same throughout the lactation process. In pregnancy, due to the influence of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones, the breasts are able to produce milk. But, there are other ways which can help in inducing lactation.
Stimulation increases the prolactin secretions which is necessary to stimulate the milk production. You may choose to stimulate your breast yourself or rope in your partner. According to some, the best method of nipple stimulation is suckling by an adult partner. A hand massage given to the breast along with nipple stimulation is also said to be useful. Breast pump can also be used for breast stimulation. After a few days, you will have to increase the stimulation time for better effect.
There are some herbs, which will help in inducing lactation without pregnancy. The herbs which can be used include fennel, fenugreek, cumin seed, anise seed, blessed thistle, hops, etc. Before you start taking these herbs, you need to consult your health care professional about the dosage of these herbs for best results.
There are a couple of drugs that help increase the production of prolactin, which is necessary for lactation. Strategic use of birth-control pills is also said to be useful in inducing lactation. The method in which these pills are taken, fools the body into believing that it is pregnant. This method may be effective, but remember there are many known side effects of this method. You need to consult your health care professional before you start the medication.
Warm compress helps in inducing lactation. You may choose other heat sources like sunlight or heat lamp as well. Sessions of hot tub bath are also useful. All these methods increase the blood circulation in the milk ducts. This method should especially be applied, if you are using the nipple-stimulation method.
Hormone therapy is also said to be useful. Initially, estrogen hormone is administered. After these hormones reach the required mark, the hormones which induce prolactin are administered. It then leads to induced lactation. However, this method should ‘never’ be taken up without the help of your doctor.
The basic principle you should remember when you are inducing lactation, is that ‘more the demand for milk, more will be the supply’. Another principle is that nipple stimulation by the baby is the best to induce lactation.
Disclaimer: This AptParenting article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.