If you are adopting a child, having a child by way of a surrogate or are having trouble getting your body to lactate on its own after you have given birth, it can be difficult to get your body to lactate. There are, however, a few exercises and rules you can follow to help your body lactate. Even if your body has not been through pregnancy, most girls and women who have menstruated are capable of lactating provided your body is given the correct stimulation on a daily basis.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- B vitamins
- Brewer's yeast
- Hospital-grade breast pump
Change your diet. According to K.G. Auerbach's study in the "American Journal of Diseases for Children," eating lots of food containing B vitamins, such as meat, eggs and dairy products will help induce lactation. Drink plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day, and take 1,000 mg of brewer's yeast supplements once a day. Brewer's yeast supplements are available at your local drugstore or vitamin store.
Practice the Marmet Technique. The Marmet Technique, created by Chele Marmet and the Lactation Institute, is recommended by most hospitals in the United States to induce lactation. The Marmet Technique is a series of rolling, gentle tugging and pressing on the nipples to induce lactation. The Marmet Technique is outlined at the Medela Breastfeeding website (see "Resources").
Have your baby suck for 10 minutes on each breast every day. The sucking motion will stimulate the pituitary glands to produce milk.
Invest in a hospital-grade breast pump. Use the breast pump for 10 minutes on each breast every day to stimulate the pituitary glands.
Take hormone therapy. Lactation is stimulated by the pituitary glands, not the mammary glands. Talk to your gynecologist or family doctor if you are interested in inducing lactation medically. Usually during hormone therapy, an oestrogen reducer is given, followed by a prolactin-enhancing medication, like metaclopramide.
Tips and warnings
- Mothers who have lactated previously can often lactate more easily.
- Side effects associated with lactation hormone therapy include diarrhoea, decreased energy, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, headache, tiredness, restlessness and trouble sleeping.
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