Lactation is the production of milk in female mammary glands, and occurs naturally during pregnancy and post-pregnancy breastfeeding. Women may want to induce lactation if they are planning on adopting a baby or if they agree to be a surrogate nurse for a baby whose biological mother cannot breastfeed. Lactation is governed by pituitary hormones (as opposed to ovarian hormones) and, therefore, any woman can stimulate lactation, regardless of her obstetric or gynecological history. You do not necessarily have to go to a doctor or to take any special medications to start producing your own breast milk. Just follow these instructions for how to induce lactation.
Understanding Induced Lactation
1. Understand how induced lactation is possible. Although it may seem surprising, it is indeed possible for women who are not or have not been pregnant to produce breast milk. This is usually undertaken by a mother who wishes to feed her adopted baby.
2. Understand the pros and cons. Inducing the production of breast milk is a huge undertaking, so the pros and cons should be carefully weighed before any final decisions are made.
3. Prepare for the changes that will take place in your body. Before you begin the process of inducing lactation, it's important to aware of what will happen to your body, and the possible side effects.
Stimulating Milk Production
1. Start taking hormones. There are a number of different hormones that can be used to simulate pregnancy and stimulate the production of breast milk.
2. Use an electric breast pump. If you are using the hormone method of inducing lactation, you will also need to use a breast pump. However, it is sometimes possible to produce breast milk using the pump alone, although it can take a little longer.
3. Stimulate milk production manually. Instead of using a breast pump, it is possible to induce lactation by hand, using nipple stimulation and breast massage.
4. Allow your baby to suckle. If your baby has already arrived but you still have not produced any breast milk, don't worry. Allowing your baby to suckle on your nipple, even if they are not receiving any milk, will help to speed up the process.
Increasing the Volume of Milk
1. Take herbal supplements. Many women recommend herbal supplements to naturally increase the supply of breast. The most popular and effective herbs are fenugreek seed and blessed thistle herb.
2. Drink lots of water. Water is used in the production of breast milk, therefore it is very important to stay hydrated throughout the breast feeding process.
3. Eat oatmeal. A common recommendation for breastfeeding mothers is to eat oatmeal in order to increase milk supply.
4. Get into the right frame of mind. If your baby has not yet arrived and you are finding it difficult to increase your milk supply, then you may need to work on the psychological side of lactation.