Essential Tips On How To Induce Lactation Quickly
Under normal circumstances, lactation is only associated with those who have been pregnant and delivered at least their first bouncing baby. Naturally, three hormones trigger breast milk production. These are estrogen, placental lactogen and progesterone.
During delivery, progesterone and estrogen levels decrease in the body. The reduction of these hormones facilitates the increment in prolactin hormone which increases breast milk production. All these occur naturally in pregnant women.
What if you wanted to produce breast milk and breastfeed a baby but you have never been pregnant? Like, let’s say you want to breastfeed your adopted baby because you hate the idea of feeding him on baby formula. This is where induced lactation comes in handy. This process is an exact replication of the natural process and might take months to take effect.
Since this mimicry of the natural process takes time, you might be wondering if there are ways in which you could speed things up a little bit. The good news is that there are ways on how to induce lactation quickly. We shall be discussing these ways in today’s post.
What Is Induced Lactation And How Does It Work?
Induced lactation is also called adoptive breastfeeding. It refers to the artificial stimulation of the breasts to produce milk without one being pregnant. This process gives women a chance to breastfeed newborns even though they were never pregnant with the baby they are breastfeeding.
To understand this concept, it is essential to know that the prolactin and oxytocin hormones govern lactation. The pituitary glands are responsible for the production of these hormones, and not the ovary. What this means is that even if you have had a hysterectomy, then you can still lactate provided you stay healthy through the process of induced lactation.
The prolactin hormone is responsible for making milk, while oxytocin hormone is for releasing the produced milk. When the nipples are stimulated, the body responds by releasing these two hormones hence facilitating lactation.
Back in the days, there used to be a limited number of ways of inducing the lactation process. Besides using hormone therapy, there exist mechanical ways of tricking the breasts into producing milk.
These mechanical stimulations include breast massage, sucking and nipple manipulation. If milk production is induced, you start to notice only milk drops and this milk production will increase as time goes by. Some women also notice some change in the color of the areolar tissue and the nipples.
How To Induce Lactation Quickly
There are several ways in which you can get your milk supply in full flow. Some women prefer to use mechanical stimulation methods, while others prefer to use more advanced medicines.
Correctly latching your baby to your nipples can aid milk flow and prevent sore nipples. Since the baby spends a lot of time close to the mother, touching skin to skin, it encourages good latching. There are several breastfeeding positions that can be adopted to fix a shallow latch. All of this will help stimulate the milk supply.
Here are some of the methods which you can use.
1. Nipple Stimulation The Natural Way
Using this method may seem like a pretty straightforward idea at first thought, but it is not always so. It takes different times for different women to take full effect and may result in frustrations here and there along the way.
The whole process takes longer, even months for those doing it for the first time. The idea behind it is very simple; you just have to stimulate the areola and nipple to produce milk. After a while, your body starts to recognize the signs and assumes that it needs to start supplying milk.
For a quicker achievement of results, you may want to consider having a nursing partner (s). You then have the latching partner latch on you as an infant would do. Ideally, you would want to dry breastfeed them for about 20 minutes for eight times in a day.
However, this may be too much for some of you. If it is so, then you might want to consider toning it down to twice or thrice for about 20 minutes per day. After a few weeks or months of patience from you, you will start to get the rewards of breastmilk supply.
Finger stimulating the nipple and areola area produces the same effect as a latching baby. This trick is then sent to the brain, which stimulates the pituitary gland to produce the oxytocin and prolactin hormones.
Always remember to use a lubricant to prevent the nipples from feeling sore and crackling. Additionally, use both your hands to tickle both breasts at the same time. The milk production and releasing of milk takes place gradually as you continue to provide the stimulation. You need to provide the stimulation until there is a steady milk supply and not just drops.
2. Hormone Therapy
First of all, this is one of the methods that need the go-ahead of a qualified professional before you proceed on with it. This care should be taken as it involves taking medical prescriptions that releases the pregnancy hormones.
This method of quickly getting induced lactation underway involves taking medications with estrogen and progesterone hormones. The increased hormones in the body mimic the state of high estrogen levels experienced during pregnancy.
After a while, the estrogen intake is stopped abruptly as this mimics the rapid hormonal decline immediately after delivery. Then, a prolactin enhancing drug is then administered to facilitate milk production. In this way, you would have succeeded in performing induced lactation quickly.Look, I know you really need that milk supply desperately. But resist the urge to self-medicate as the hormonal responses might trigger something else if you use the wrong medication. Always consult a lactation professional for the right prescription.
3. Use Herbal Supplements
Herbal supplements are another way of inducing lactation quickly. It is very simple; you just ingest herbal products such as fenugreek to boost the milk supply. Other popular and effective supplements are mother’s milk tea and blessed thistle.
In most cases, these herbs are most effective after you have started producing considerable amounts of milk. The fenugreek herb is thought to be the most effective. You can find it in the capsule form in a health food store near you.
When using supplements, you need to ensure you take a proper diet. Consumption of foods rich in energy and iron are highly encouraged. You remember the eight glasses of water per day? Well, you have to drink that too. Remember to avoid indulging in alcohol or even smoking when using these herbal supplements to induce lactation quickly.
4. A Breast Pump To The Rescue
When you cannot find a latching partner, or if the baby cannot latch properly and is not interested in dry breastfeeding then a breast pump can step in. Technically, this method is almost similar to the first one; only that the stimulation method is different.
Conditioning of the breasts is also necessary here. It is suggested that you schedule pumping sessions for about two hours during daytime and three hours at night. These sessions are only for the initial forty-eight pumping hours.
Afterward, you can gradually increase the sessions to around 8-12 times in a day. The sessions should not last for more than 15 minutes and should be on the medium/low pump setting.
It is my hope that you have learned a thing or two from this post, and it has helped you figure out how to induce lactation quickly. The processes might not be easy, but once the milk starts flowing, you will get all the satisfaction you have ever dreamt of.
In this way, you can still breastfeed your adopted baby or that born of a surrogate mother. All the best as you bring up your precious little one.