How To Induce Lactation
To induce lactation a woman's breasts must be stimulated, by herself and/or her partner, for approximately 20 minutes, (10 minutes each breast), up to 8 times each day. By far the best method of breast stimulation is suckling by an adult partner; however, lactation may also be induced by a combination of hand massage and nipple stimulation. The essential hormones which cause breast milk to be produced are secreted in to a woman's blood stream for approximately 10 minutes and usually stay in her system for no more than 20 minutes. Suckling or stimulating beyond 20 minutes does little good, because her hormone level has returned to normal after that time.
If you have chosen to stimulate your breast by nursing your partner, his ability to latch and suckle correctly is an absolute necessity. Incorrect latch and/or suckling will prevent a woman from lactating. Breastfeeding .com has a web page that explains correct latching and suckling techniques. Breastfeeding.com
There are also more articles in our Files that are helpful in understanding correct latch and suckle techniques. The best method of suckling while inducing lactation is switch nursing. Have your partner suckle one breast for 5 minutes, then switch him to the other breast. Repeat this process until the 20 minute session is completed.
If you choose to stimulate your breasts and nipples by hand massage and milk expression, many women have had excellent success using the Marmet Technique. You may use the technique as described or you may modify it to fit your personal physique and situation. Marmet Technique
Later in the process of inducing lactation, you may want to incorporate breast pumping into your hand stimulation session; however, do not use a breast pump until you have enough milk to pump. Even the best breast pumps give poor stimulation and most often fail to drain the breast completely. When stimulating and expressing by hand, you must be sure to express all of your milk at each session. Milk production will only increase when your mammary glands have used all of the essential milk producing hormones. If you stop stimulating your breasts and nipples before your hormone levels have returned to normal, you milk production will not increase.
Eight, 20 minute stimulation sessions is the optimum method for inducing lactation because it more closely mimics neonatal nursing by an infant. The way milk is made in a woman's breast is the same whether she is lactating as a result of pregnancy or induced lactation. Unfortunately many women find it difficult to stick to such a ridged schedule because of work schedules, social commitments, etc. If you are inducing lactation to produce enough milk to breast feed a newborn infant, it is necessary to stick to eight, 20 minute sessions each day; however, most women are inducing for the purpose of adult nursing. Where adult nursing is concerned, the quality of the relationship is more important than the quantity of milk. This makes it possible for a woman to induce lactation to a lower level of milk production and still enjoy all of the benefits of lactation and adult nursing. If you are inducing to nurse an adult partner, you may reduce the number of sessions per day. A woman can induce lactation with as few as four, 20 minute stimulation sessions each day; however, the more sessions you are able to perform, the faster and better your results will be.
Scheduling your sessions: you should try to space your sessions as evenly as possible throughout the day, beginning with a session at 2:00 a.m. If you normally go to bed at 10:00 p.m., between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m., the levels of milk producing hormones in your system are highest for the day. The 2:00 a.m. hand stimulation or nursing session is very important to your success. You should be able to schedule your second session after you awaken and before you start your day. Performing this sessions while taking a warm shower will help with stimulation and the let-down reflex. A shower is also an excellent way to start your day. If possible, schedule your next session for noon. Often when a woman is working, she can find 20 minutes at lunch time to hand stimulate her breasts and nipples. At the end of the day, in early evening, (usually around 6:00 p.m.), you should be able to stimulate or nurse again. At 10:00 p.m. in the evening is the best time to nurse your partner; it's at the end of the day and both of you are in bed beginning to relax. If you don't have a partner, this is still a good time to relax while you hand massage. As you can see, without drastically altering your daily routine, you are able to incorporate 4 or 5 hand stimulation and/or nursing sessions each day. It is essential that you be consistent, perform the same routine at the same time every day. Key factors for inducing lactation are consistency, self-discipline, and dedication. Inducing lactation and adult nursing are long term experiences and must become a priority in your life.
Expressing your milk and breast pumping. If you already have a breast pump, you may incorporate it into your 20 minute stimulation sessions; however, breast pumps provide very poor stimulation and should not be used in place of hand massage or suckling. If possible you may pump one breast while hand massaging the other; however, you must still complete 10 minutes of hand stimulation on each breast Do not try to short cut your efforts to induce lactation with a breast pump. If you are using a breast pump to express milk from your breasts, after the pump appears to have drained the breast; you must continue expressing your milk by hand. Even the best pumps will not completely drain the breast. Your milk supply will not increase unless the breast is *completely* drained at each session. Draining the breast at each session is essential to inducing lactation.
The real secret behind inducing lactation is your mental and emotional state. During your 20 minute stimulation session, you must not let your thoughts wander; you must focus solely on inducing lactation. You may not think about your shopping list or what you will be doing later; you must relax and focus on letting-down and making milk. Even when a woman's milk producing hormone level is high and she experiences the let-down reflex, a subconscious mental block can still prevent lactation. You must learn to let go of your inhibitions about lactation and adult nursing and let yourself drift in to a state of euphoric tranquility that signals the onset of lactation. Your mental and emotional state is equal to, and perhaps more important than, your physical techniques of inducing lactation. Let go and let your body produce breast milk.
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