World Breastfeeding Week 2021: Is it Possible To Breastfeed Without Giving Birth? Know About Induced Lactation

Did you know it is possible to breastfeed without actually giving birth? Here's all you need to know how to produce breast milk with induced lactation

Vani Malik
Written by: Vani MalikUpdated at: Aug 05, 2021 16:45 IST
World Breastfeeding Week 2021: Is it Possible To Breastfeed Without Giving Birth? Know About Induced Lactation

Breastfeeding is an elixir for the child and the mother. It provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs. It is safe, clean and contains antibodies which help protect against many common childhood diseases. Indeed, it is a close physical and emotional relationship between a mother and her baby. It is much more than just breast milk. As surrogacy is getting more commonly performed in Assisted Reproduction, the commissioning mother who enjoy parenthood through surrogacy should also get an opportunity to breastfeed their babies. Here's what Dr Mayura Soregaonkar from Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Pune has to say about induced lactation. 

INDICATIONS TO INDUCE LACTATION –

  • Surrogacy
  • Adoption

Same sex couple in which a woman who is in a lesbian relationship wishes to also help in breastfeeding the baby born to her partner who is pregnant.

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Also Read: World Breastfeeding Week 2021: The Need To Remove Stigma Around Breastfeeding for Indian Women

The commissioning mothers (adoptive mothers or intended mothers through surrogacy) are going through the remorse of not having given birth themselves and so an opportunity to be able to breastfeed gives them great joy and satisfaction. Breastfeeding through induced lactation gives an opportunity for maximum bonding with the baby and fill up this gap. Lack of breastfeeding also deprives the baby the advantages of breast milk which includes improved nutritional, emotional and cognitive development (Rogan 1993) as well as protection against infections.

NEED FOR INDUCED LACTATION 

  • Bonding
  • Nutrition
  • Sharing breastfeeding responsibility

Milk produced during lactation can be different for all. The necessary component to induce lactation is to drain and stimulate the breasts. the same can be done with breast pumps graded by the hospitals

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HOW TO INDUCE LACTATION –

Lactation inducing can be done by connecting with a lactation expert and requires complete knowledge of the mother's health history. Breast is prepared by estrogen and progesterone which cause proliferation of the ductal and alveolar system just like the way it happens during pregnancy. These hormones basically tries to make the body of the woman inducing lactation “behave” that she is pregnant.

  • STEP 1 –PREPING FOR LACTATION: Preparing the breast is essential, that can be done with the help of hormonal therapy as well. This step mitigates the changes in breasts during pregnancy. 
  • STEP 2 – STARTING TO MAKE MILK BEFORE DELIVERY: It takes time to get induced milk, hence the procedure is started weeks and months before the arrival of the baby. Frequent pumping and drainage of breasts is the main component of this step.
  • STEP 3 – FEEDING BABY AND CONTINUING TO GROW MILK PRODUCTION: This is when the induced milk is given to the baby after delivery. 

Also Read: World Breastfeeding Week 2021: Is Your Baby Not Latching? Here Are Useful Expert Tips To Make It Work

The most important intervention is dedicated pumping of the breasts using a hospital grade electric breast pump and it requires dedicated efforts by the mother. All the women undergoing induction of lactation need thorough counselling to understand that exclusive breastfeeding is not the aim of this induction and that the baby does need formula supplementation. It is the affective and emotional bonding of the mother and the baby. 

With inputs from Dr Mayura Soregaonkar, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Pune 

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