Inducing Lactation Resources
Here are some links for sites, blogs, and a chatroom about starting or inducing lactation.
You can order Domperidone (a well known lactation-inducing drug) online without a prescription.
Some women induce lactation for their partners; here are some of their stories and experiences.
Reach out to others by using our local online community list.
- Inducing Lactation Chatroom (requires Telegram app to sign up. It uses your mobile number to do SMS verification (no spammer robots, please). Afterwards you can put in whatever username you want. Your number isn't shared with anyone. It also has a web browser version.)
If you are planning on breastfeeding a partner, working as an (adult) wet nurse, or adopting a baby, you may wish to induce lactation. A similar process may be used to encourage milk production if you fear a low milk supply. You can induce lactation with medicine and electric pumping or a TENS unit. To encourage your milk supply, pump when needed, nurse frequently, and take care of your health.
A breast pump will stimulate the hormone prolactin, which causes your body to produce milk.  Begin by pumping 3 times a day for 5 minutes at a time. Do this for at least two days.  Slowly increase the frequency of your pumping until you are pumping for 10 minutes every 4 hours. Set an alarm so you can pump at least once during the nighttime. Once you feel comfortable with this, increase the frequency slowly until you are pumping every 2 to 3 hours for 15 to 20 minutes.
There are many ways to signal to your body that you would like to nurse. Apply a warm compress or towel soaked in warm water to your breast. Stroke your breast lightly with your fingertips. This will relax you and can stimulate your milk-ejection reflex. You may also massage your breast much in the way you would conduct a self-exam. Press your fingers flatly and firmly against your milk glands and milk ducts. Massage them in slow, firm circles. Massage from the outside in a spiral towards the areola. Lean forward and lightly jiggle your breasts. Gravity should help draw milk into your nipples.
Medicine and Diet
You may be able to take medications to help induce. Medicines that stimulates prolactin are called "galactogogues."  If you live in the United States, you can order Domperidone online without a prescription.
Oats may help you lactate, and they are easy to take! You don't need to talk to an expert before introducing oats to your diet. Just have oatmeal for breakfast. The most traditional approach is to start the day with a bowl of oatmeal. However, some nursing parents find that oats in other forms, such as granola, cookies, and oat bran also help. You can buy most supplements at health stores, or order them online. Visit a lactation consultant before you buy any supplements, or talk to your doctor to make sure the supplements you are interested in won't interfere with any of your existing medications. Fenugreek is a traditional galactagogue (prolactin stimulator). Its effectiveness has not been scientifically proven, but some people report success using it to increasing milk supply. Blessed thistle and alfalfa may help on their own or paired with fenugreek.
Drink water, juice, and milk to stay hydrated. Aim to drink about 8 8 fluid ounces (240 mL) glasses of liquid a day. Eat fruits and vegetables, protein, and plenty of whole grains. Eat produce in a variety of colors, such as dark greens and bright citrus fruits. Ask your doctor or dietician about vitamins and supplements. If you are a vegan or are likely to be missing vitamins for another reason, talk to your doctor about introducing B12 or a multivitamin into your diet.
Limit your use of medications that interfere with milk production. If you take a medicine that contains pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed or Zyrtec D, it may decrease your milk supply. Some kinds of hormonal contraception may also interfere with your ability to lactate.
Many mature woman and their partners are becoming interested in ANR and, as a result, the question of whether you can induce lactation after menopause comes up frequently. The short answer to the question is a definite YES!
- Induced Lactation After Menopause
One of the earliest writings on the Marmet Technique, a form of manual expression used to drain the breast milk reservoirs, was published in 1978 by Chele Marmet and the Lactation Institute of Ventura, California, and some women are now using this as a form of inducing lactation...
- The Marmet Breast Massage Technique
Here's a quick video on the technique.
- Color discharges when first inducing (Reddit thread)
First, time is imperative. A couple should set aside between six and eight weeks to have the best chance of bringing in her milk. While some rare women have accomplished full lactation in four weeks, others need ten, thus six to eight is the most reasonable expectation.
- A Guide for Couples' Lactation [an example protocol to follow]
...a change in the nipples and/or areolae is not only common, but also a very good indication that lactation has successfully begun. This change may include an enlargement and/or darkening of the nipples and areolae.
- Questions and Answers with the Loving Milk Maid
- One Woman’s Journey from Natural Breast Enhancement into Lactation: Carolbrigid’s Story
The effects of Fenugreek, Fennel and Blessed Thistle actually delay how long it takes to start lactation... To induce lactation is increase prolactin which is suppressed by both Estrogen and Dopamine. Domperidone massively reduces Dopamine in the body which is the primary method it uses to induce lactation. As for temporarily lowering estrogen? Oatmeal is actually great at cleansing excess estrogen from the body. Once lactation starts and hits its main phase (basically as soon as the milk turns white) go ahead and start back on the supplement(s). It will probably be about a week or two after you start getting drops, and it will help increase your supply.
Excerpt from this Reddit thread.
Many moms with PCOS have no problems with breastfeeding, but recent research is showing that mothers with PCOS are at greater risk for insufficient milk supply. On the other hand, about one-third of women with PCOS report problems with oversupply...
- Breastfeeding and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
"Forms of birth control with estrogen can lower milk supply, so we try to avoid them in breastfeeding moms," explains Cristina Perez, M.D., ob-gyn at the Women's Specialists of Houston at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women. "Estrogen isn't dangerous to the baby, but most moms would rather not take something that can potentially decrease their supply."
- Parents.com - Birth Control while Breastfeeding
Most likely. It depends on the kind of surgery you had, but most approaches are compatible with breastfeeding. Incisions made under the fold of the breast or through the armpit shouldn't cause any trouble. A "smile" incision around the areola increases your risk of having breastfeeding problems. ... You won't know exactly how your milk supply has been affected by breast augmentation surgery until you try to nurse. If you still have feeling in the nipple, you have a much better chance of having a full milk supply...
- Breastfeeding after breast augmentation (implants)
...Avoid herbs like fenugreek, which have an effect on blood sugar levels. If you have type 2 diabetes and are on oral medication, you should discuss with your doctor about the healthiest medication that can be taken for you... Do not drink alcohol, as it can decrease milk let down and also increase your risk of hypoglycemia if you take insulin...
- Breastfeeding and Diabetes
There are a lot of opinions and methods to get any number of desired results. Everything from just a few drops, to several ounces per session can generally be achieved by following whichever method posted here that you feel comfortable with.
- Methods of Inducing and FAQ on Reddit
- Relactation and Induced Lactation Resources
- MilkMaidens Forums
Frequently Asked Questions
About Inducing Lactation
Can I induce lactation/lactate without a pregnancy? If so, what supplements should I use and when?
Are there health concerns from breastfeeding?
- Mayo Clinic: Can I produce breast milk if I haven't been pregnant? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/expert-answers/induced-lactation/faq-20058403
- Ask Lenore:Pumping Instructions to Accompany the Protocols for Induced Lactation https://www.asklenore.info/breastfeeding/induced_lactation/pumping_instructions.shtml
- PubMed: Galactogogues: medications that induce lactation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12192964
- Cleveland Clinic: Breastfeed Longer: The Whys and Hows (Article assumes child breastfeeding; for adult breastfeeding similar principles apply) https://health.clevelandclinic.org/breastfeed-longer-the-whys-and-hows/
- Breastfeeding Basics: Will Fenugreek increase my milk supply? (Article assumes child breastfeeding; for adult breastfeeding similar principles apply) https://www.breastfeedingbasics.com/qa/fenugreek
- WebMD: Drinking Enough Water - Topic Overview https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tc/drinking-enough-water-topic-overview#1