Information on how to induce lactation abounds in recent years as compared to when I first learned about such a thing being possible back in 2004. A major contributor to this currently, which I had not realized, has been a sharp increase in lesbian couples now opting both partners to breastfeed their child (also a surprising number of gay men). This has increased awareness of induced lactation and thus awareness in general of this as a kink. :o)
I am older (47), so successful induction for me includes an awareness of my body and health status and an understanding of how those two can help or hinder when inducing or lactating. If you are young (under 30) and generally healthy with a certain level of physical fitness and who are at a BMI that falls in the acceptable range, you can follow the protocols out there and they will almost certainly work. But many women today are not at their optimal health due to obesity and/or chronic health conditions. These women need to adapt their strategy to succeed. For these women, it can’t be a cookie cutter one sized fits all option. Yes I agree women have always had breasts and yes throughout the epochs they have breastfed (they also only lived to be like 40 -ish too). But I say modern women have on a daily basis been exposed and potentially have many endocrine disruptors in their system. Environmental exogenous endocrine disruptors can impact lactation induction adversely. A barrier which our ancestors bodies never had to deal with.
Galactorrhea is a common occurrence for some women, and has been for myself throughout most of my adult life independent of childbearing. Some women tend to have a natural hormonal balance and amount of glandular tissue favorable to lactation. Abundance of the right hormones triggers hyperplasia of milk producing glandular tissue within the breast. Use of certain medications also can increase presence of galactorrhea for some women. These medications range from Antidepressants to gastrointestinal agents like Domperidone and the less often used Reglan.
To illustrate how a woman’s individual health factors can come into play with regard to induction, I will share about my own self. In 2001, I had a raging case of mononucleosis at age 28. Everything in my body seemed out of whack for years after that, especially my hormones. Mono affects the thyroid significantly because of its role in the signaling the body to produce monocytes. The thyroid is kicked into high gear so to speak causing hyperthyroidism. Since thyroid function impacts estrogen levels, this is the impetus for those changes in my breasts, though I did not know that at the time. I experienced a succession of ovarian cysts which on two occasions required surgery. Very unfun. But since that time, I have always noticed a small amount of fluid present in my breasts in varying amounts at different times during my menstrual cycle. Also some months, I notice more is present than others for whatever reason diet, medications, stress level (or absence of stress). I have put an article link at the bottom that has a nice explanation of the HPA and its hormonal role in lactation. Most of what we want to do in regard to forced induction here is to modulate the hormones secreted from the HPA to trigger feedback/ inhibition loops in the body for the effect we want
I am now hypothyroid and have been diagnosed as such since 2009. I take the thyroid hormone replacement armor thyroid and vitamin D3, 2000 IU a day. Vitamin D acts similar as insulin within the bloodstream. So it serves as a carrier for thyroid hormone to go into the body tissue cells from the blood stream. Ladies, if you take thyroid hormone and are trying to induce you should also take vitamin D3 to encourage thyroid hormone to be optimally used by your body. Increasing efficiency of the thyroid will increase estrogen levels.
SO if I did not know I was hypothyroid at this point in time, I could be trying all the right supplements and pumping away around the clock to no avail. This example is what I mean when I say there has to be consideration for the individualized health history of the person wanting to induce.
I am including below the link to the protocols for inducing lactation from the Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation for additional resources and specific timetable type guidelines for those “type A” personalities out there reading this who like to regiment and log everything . That’s not this organizationally challenged girl here. I am one of those persons who view a recipe as a suggested guideline not as a strictly followed protocol. Meaning I often approximate or vary from what is called for. I do not have this perfect regimented routine which I follow in all this for induction and increasing milk production. I just do what occurs to me at the moment and what feels good to my body.
-Breastfeeding without birthing: https://womenshealthtoday.blog/2017/09/22/breastfeeding-without-birthing-making-
-Canadian Breastfeeding foundation: milk/https://www.canadianbreastfeedingfoundation.org/induced/accelerated_protocol.shtml
-Medications that cause galactorrhea listed in this article from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/galactorrhea/symptoms-causes/syc-20350431
-an explanation of the HPA involvement in lactation:
**Any advice in this article is intended to be just that plain old advice for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be Medical Advice or replace Medical Advice from you Primary healthcare provider. Always follow your primary health care provider’s advice first and foremost.