Adoptive breastfeeding/ Induced lactation has begun to receive more attention in the recent years.
But if you are like me, you probably don’t know anyone personally who has induced lactation. If you do know someone I would love to hear about it.
It really isn’t anything remotely new. Women have done this out of necessity for hundreds and hundreds of years. Early American history refers to the wet nurse which was simply surrogate or adoptive breastfeeding. Sometimes this was a woman who was already lactating, but certainly not always.
Mass produced formula has only been around since the mid-twentieth century, and in the absence of formula this was frequently the only option. There are various stories from other countries of grandmothers breastfeeding their grandchildren in a normal community setting.
Lactation can be induced simply through stimulation from a suckling baby or a good quality/hospital grade breast pump. Adding drugs and/or herbs greatly increase success. Some women lactate more easily than others and will produce more milk, many mothers will need to supplement to some extent until the baby is eating solid food.
When nursing my two homemade boys, I certainly had plenty of milk. I joked that I could have nursed triplets without any problems. I decided for various reasons, bonding issues being the most important, to breastfeed Alexis.
Not surprisingly, I have chosen to go the herbal route. J
I have been using my own
More Milk Tincture– taken 4-6 times daily
Fenugreek, Fennel & Goats Rue
Mama’s Milk Tea- 1 quart a day
Red Raspberry Leaf
Along with some alfalfa tablets and foods with lactogenic properties.
Some of the most significant food sources are oats, barley, dried beans, green drinks & dark leafy greens, carrots, healthy oils (butter, coconut oil and olive oil) and Brewer’s Yeast. You can read the whole list here:
I did not have any time to prepare in advance, so we started in immediately nursing with the Lact-aid system.
The fine tube is placed right next to the nipple and inserted with the nipple into the baby’s mouth.
As the baby suckles it stimulates milk production and is fed through the tube of the nursing unit. As your milk supply builds the baby receives both your milk and the supplement at the same time.
This continues until you reach a point that you have enough milk for the baby to nurse happily without the Lact-Aid, then at the end of the feeding the baby may be offered the Lact-aid to finish feeding, if needed.
In my next post I will share our story from the beginning, Monday will mark 8 weeks of breastfeeding. J
If you have questions, I will be happy to try to answer them.