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Inducing Lactation

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
Hi there!
It seems as though there may be a lot of us who are inducing or have induced in the past in order to co-breastfeed. Can we start a thread to chat about it? (well, I guess I have already, right?)

I'm bout nine weeks into the process and have another 14 weeks before the baby gets here. I don't really know what the beginning will look like for us, but the general idea is that eventually H will be the day feeder and I will be the night feeder.

post #2 of 69
I'm totally going to go for it as well! I'll start pumping in a few weeks. I won't be using any medication since I've lactated in the past with a bountiful supply, but I'll probably try a little blessed thistle or fennel or something to jumpstart things when the time comes.
post #3 of 69
Ooh, my DW is inducing lactation. Our baby will be born any day. (Today is my EDD!) We used the Newman-Goldfarb protocol. She's been pumping for about two weeks now and she's getting about 4 ounces of milk per day, total. We are psyched. Her supply keeps increasing and I'm guessing she will do awesome once she is actually able to nurse the babe. For the first few weeks it will be just me nursing her, so I can establish my supply, her latch, etc. But as soon as everything is really solid, DW will start nursing too. We will both be home with the baby for the whole summer, so I'm hoping to get into a good co-nursing routine then.
post #4 of 69
Thread Starter 
KS, happy due date! Wowie! How long did your DW take the meds before she started to pump? I've got six more weeks of meds before I start pumping, and I hope I'm able to get four ounces a day so quickly! Had she ever lactated in the past?

Andrea, that's great! How exciting to know that you've had tons in the past!

I'm thrilled that we're all here and able to discuss the ups and downs of all of this. This board is so great for that!
post #5 of 69
I think that she was on all the meds for about 3 months and no, she has not lactated before. We have a Medela PISA and she is pumping 6x per day for 15-20 minutes. She pumps a little bit more frequently on the weekends. I did not think that she would make so much so soon either!
post #6 of 69
We're planning on co-breastfeeding as well, although we aren't pregnant yet. The general plan will be for the first several weeks, like KS, it will be just the bio-mom breastfeeding, but especially once I go back to work, DW will feed during the day, and I will do more in the evenings (DW works from home). Nighttime feedings will probably fall to bio-mom, which right now is planned to be me, but we'll see how it goes.

post #7 of 69
The next phase in co-nursing our baby girl... Little Gracie was born on the 17th. That makes her one week old today. After she was born, my uterus was not contracting back up well and I was preoccupied on the bathroom floor with my midwife after fainting (haha, not so fun!) Because I was not able to nurse her right away, my DW did! It was actually really comforting to know that our little girl was able to nurse and be comforted right away, and she still did just fine nursing with me later after I was a bit more recovered.

Immediately, DW had a jump in breastmilk production, just from the stimulation of one nursing session and the presence of a baby! The plan was still for me to feed for the first few weeks to establish my supply and her latch. Turns out she's a total rockstar nurser with an awesome latch, even on my flat nipples. We decided it would be good for DW to be able to do one feed per day (and I'd pump one time per day.) Grace latched on great and had a little nursing marathon this afternoon. We will limit it to one feeding per day until after her two-week growth spurt.

So far, so good... but boy do we have a lot of frozen milk now. Luckily I think we've found an awesome mama to donate some of it to!
post #8 of 69
My wife and I are both nursing our 11-month-old baby (she gave birth to him). I did not induce lactation because I was still lactating (and nursing), after giving birth 2.5 years prior to our baby's arrival. That said, I have never felt like I've had enough milk for our baby to cover a feeding (and I really have no idea how much milk it's been). I've never noticed especially obvious swallowing while he nurses me, or anything else to indicate that I am really influencing his intake. BUT, my goal was always to be able to comfort nurse him, not to nurse him for nutrition. And, in that I have been quite successful.

I nursed him for the first time when he was about a week old. At first I would only nurse him immediately after he'd already nursed my wife, and after I had already nursed our toddler (thus intentionally minimizing his intake from me). He never hesitated about latching on to me vs. my wife, and it was a very smooth transition. I continued to nurse him about once a day (sometimes more, sometimes less) until my wife went back to work, 3 months pp. At that point, I began nursing him more frequently: to tide him over between feedings, and to help him fall asleep in the sling.

When he was about 4 months old, he refused to nurse me for a couple of weeks. I was not as disappointed as I thought I'd be; by that point I already felt like his mother, regardless of our breastfeeding relationship. But I was relieved when he did go back to accepting my breast (just because it's such a great tool!). Still, he was never especially eager to nurse me, and would mostly only do it to fall asleep (and I'd have to be standing, wearing him in the sling).

Around 8 or 9 months, he started "asking" me to nurse (nuzzling into my breast, etc.), latching on to me in bed in the morning (he likes to go back and forth between dw and me), and readily accepting my breast most anytime I'd offer. Now, at 11 months, he is nursing me more than ever, and it's really great. I think my milk supply has really dwindled since his birth (mostly because I am not nursing my 3.5-year-old hardly at all anymore), but that hasn't been an issue.

I do wish that we had introduced the LACT-aid (at breast supplementer) because that would have made things easier (as it was, I had to bring the baby to dw every 2-3 hours for her to nurse him for many months, since we did not use bottles at all). But otherwise, I couldn't be happier with this experience and would encourage any two-mom family to consider it, regardless of milk supply in the non-gestational parent.

Good luck!

post #9 of 69
Thread Starter 
Question for those of you who had never nursed before... what pump are/did you use?

ETA: We splurged and got the Medela Symphony. I started pumping using a single small pump on Saturday after finishing the birth control pills on Friday. Today, Tuesday, I started with the Symphony. By the second pumping session, literally the eighth time I've pumped, I am producing milk! OMG! I did NOT think this would happen so quickly! I'm so excited!!
post #10 of 69
Thread Starter 
Frustrations? Anyone?
I've been pumping for about four weeks now. After the first week I was getting about 2 oz a day and I was thrilled. Now, three weeks later, I'm getting next to nothing and I'm feeling so frustrated. I started a new job last week, and it has been moderately stressful (in the whole something-new way) and I haven't been able to pump every three hours as I was before.
Add to that, on Tuesdays I have to spend an entire day without being able to pump. I haven't figured out how to change this, if it's possible. I meet up with three other people to car pool at 9am, we're in the car together for two hours, then we're in meetings/seminars from 11-5 with only ten minute pee breaks in a bathroom with a flimsy door and eight other people lined up waiting. Then, I get back in the car and ride for another 2 hours home. By the time I got home last week my breasts were full and angry. By the time I got home this week they couldn't have cared less.. which freaked me out.
So now I feel like I have no milk, I'm not doing what I should be, and I know of no one IRL who is also doing this to go to for support. Also, the babe is not here yet, so I feel like there's no one even potentially benefiting from this situation. And when she does get here, DW will be nursing her non-stop to get her milk flowing for the first six weeks or so.
Does anyone understand my frustrations? Is there anyone who induced and is now loving nursing their co-mothered baby? When do you nurse? Do you find it to be a positive experience? Are you pumping every three hours with a newborn???

I just spent 20 minutes pumping while writing this and got not a drop.
post #11 of 69
I'm so sorry for your frustration Osker. I wish I had some advice to offer or experience to share, but I haven't induced lactation (or even had a baby yet!).

Have you tried speaking with Lynn or Gail over at First Time Second Time?

Good luck! I'm thinking of you!
post #12 of 69
First of all, I'm sorry I didn't notice you post in June and tell you congrats for lactating!!

Secondly, have you tried herbal supplements to help up production? If no, I can give you some suggestions if you like.
post #13 of 69
Originally Posted by osker View Post
Does anyone understand my frustrations? Is there anyone who induced and is now loving nursing their co-mothered baby? When do you nurse? Do you find it to be a positive experience? Are you pumping every three hours with a newborn???

The new job thing sounds VERY frustrating, especially the day that you can't pump. Any way you could run out to the car and pump during the potty break? Even if it is just 5 minutes, it is still something. It was hard when DW was pumping around the clock with no baby yet because it does feel like no one is benefitting, but now that DD is ten weeks old she is really VERY glad that she is able to nurse her, and I am too! A few things to keep in mind:

---You will most likely be able to nurse before 6 weeks... really! After two weeks your partner's milk supply will mostly likely be good to go, assuming that she's got a good latch. (That being said, if the latch seems off, DO see a LC sooner rather than later...)

---Once you are able to nurse, the stimulation from an actual baby is likely to improve your milk supply.

---Even if you are only able to produce a small amount of milk, baby can benefit from nursing from you! Nursing is so much more than just an exchange of milk. It provides comfort and I think you'll find that being able to comfort your baby in this way will be a wonderful experience.

I know that for me, having my partner be able to nurse, even just for comfort, made me a lot calmer about things in the beginning. We started letting Grace nurse with her when she was one week old, just once a day. (My milk supply had come in nice and strong so we weren't too worried.) Much easier to bathe postpartum when you don't have to worry that your baby might need you at a moment's notice- her needs were taken care of, at least for a bit. Also, it's nice now that she's a little older because I can go to the gym by myself. DW's milk does not always provide a whole feed, but it does provide lots of comfort, holds her over until I am available, and she is happy to suck and suck and suck which in turn makes more milk!

And to answer the other questions:

DW typically lets me sleep in in the mornings, and she pretty much nurses DD nonstop between 7am and 10am. She sometimes nurses for 1-2 short comfort sessions during the rest of the day.

DW says she has found it to be a very positive experience in that she gets a very intense physical connection with a baby who is hers but she didn't physically carry during pregnancy. She feels a lot of bonding with our daughter and likes to be able to comfort her by nursing.

When DD was a newborn, she did pump every three hours. She went down to every four hours at night after a while and these days she gets up once per night to pump. She still pumps every three hours during the day.

Anyway, I hope this was helpful! I hope you hang in there for a while at least. I think it will probably be worth it once your baby is here and in your arms. It is SO difficult to imagine what things will be like before you actually meet your babe.
post #14 of 69




I had just bathed our baby and thought the wetness over my nipple was just from the bathwater soaking through the towel a bit, but then I decided to try to express on the off chance, and... I LACTATE!!! joy.gif

post #15 of 69

WOO HOOOOOO! Is right! Congrats!

post #16 of 69
Good Job, mama!! joy.gif
post #17 of 69

Thanks!! I feel great!!!

post #18 of 69
Thread Starter 


post #19 of 69

Wow...I'm not co-breastfeeding but I couldn't help but respond.  Congratulations mamas!!!  rall doing an awesome job...

post #20 of 69

Thanks! We are hardly having to supplement at all now! We used donor milk and raw goat milk for supplementation via SNS; baby loved it, but hopefully soon we'll be done with that since Ms. Milk Donor is not going to be able to keep it up much longer for a variety of reasons.

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