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Adoptive Breastfeeding

Inducing Lactaiton & baby due within a month

Hi All,
I’m Melissa… I’m so happy to have found this group.  I’ve not had much success finding info from women who’ve been there, done that.

I’d appreciate your advice…

My bio daughter is 7.  She was premature, so since she wasn’t big enough to nurse, the NICU had me pump.  I did get her to breast for about 6 weeks, but most of her feeds were bottle.  I had an oversupply with her, so I was able to stop pumping at 7 months and have enough frozen to last till 14 months.

My friends call me ‘lactationally gifted’ since I naturally produce more prolactin than I should and have had to take meds to suppress the prolactin and be able to have menstrual cycles.

I went off my meds a while ago and at my last endo appointment, my prolactin was on the low end of the scale of lactating women. 

We were officially matched with a birthmom about 2 weeks ago.  She’s due Aug 15, but has a history of early deliveries.

Once officially matched, I started pumping…  I do what I can, but it’s usually just 1-3x/day.  About a week in, I started noticing a ‘let down’ sort of tingle, but I have yet to produce more than a few drops… not even enough to drop into the bottle from the valve.

Tonight, I decided to try to express and noticed I had more via expression than I did from pumping.

So, clearly, this time around, my breasts are going to need the stimulation of baby suckling to be able to produce much/anything.

For those of you who’ve had success with this and didn’t start inducing lactation with hormones, did you have a full supply?  At what point did your production catch up to baby’s needs?

Please share your experiences!

Thanks much!


Hey, Melissa. So excited for you and your family! With your previous success at breastfeeding, from what I’ve read, there’s a good likelihood you’ll be able to develop a full supply, at least over time.

I worked to induce lactation (never having been pregnant), figuring we would have a long wait, but we got our son less than two weeks after finishing our home study (a ‘baby born’ situation), so he ended up having donor milk instead. I was/am so, so grateful to the mamas who donated.

I’m studying lactation now (as a career) and can tell you that studies indicate many women have better luck at pumping if they begin with five minutes of hand expression on each breast.

You may also want to consider connecting with milk donor moms through a peer network, so that you have a back-up supply as you build your own. If you do reach out that way, I would encourage you to tell the moms you’re also working to induce. Two groups you can find on Facebook are Eats on Feets and Human Milk for Human Babies, both of which have a variety of groups based on location.

I hope others who have induced successfully can give you lots of good info.

Posted by YeahBaby on Jul 20, 2013 at 6:51am

In my research and talking with a lactation consultant I learned that in addition to deep hand massage, you should pump more frequently. Every 3 waking hours for 5-7 minutes, then hand massage, and pump 5-7 more minutes.  Having your husband around you, skin to skin while you pump may also help.

There is also an herbal preparation that my LC suggested called “More Milk”. It has Fenugree, blessed thistle and something else. She suggested eating oatmeal helps increase supply.

She also said that when the baby comes I can use a supplemental nursing system while my supply comes in.
Hope it helps.

Posted by MarisMaMa on Jul 20, 2013 at 7:10am

If you don’t have time to pump, you can also build your supply with the baby at the breast using the donor milk in a supplemental nursing system. Lact-aid seems to be the most popular brand.

I am sending you a private message with information on another resource.

Posted by Ronda on Jul 20, 2013 at 11:10pm

Congratulations Melissa!!  Some mothers get more milk using hand expression than a breast pump, especially at first.  Do what works best for you! 

I just want to comment that most mothers who induce lactation do not produce a full milk supply.  There are certainly exceptions to that, and I hope that you are one of them.  But, in working with other adoptive mothers, I have found that the mothers who are most satisfied with their breastfeeding experiences where those who felt any amount of milk they made was amazing.

Posted by Alyssa IBCLC on Jul 21, 2013 at 12:52am

Trying to pump to start a milk supply, even with prolactin levels higher than background, is really tough!  It takes up to six weeks to get even a newborn-sized supply from pumping alone, for a lot of the folks I’ve talked to.  Hand expression, especially in the early days, can do more for breast emptying.  It’s the combination of nipple stimulation and breast emptying (as frequently as possible!) that stimulates increased production, so the schedules folks suggest with a combination of hand expression and pumping will likely be most effective.
Also, some women swear by looking at and/or listening to pictures and video and audio of crying babies during pump sessions.  I was one who always zoned out with a book because I needed the mental break, but you might give that a try and see if it helps.

Posted by Thalas'shaya on Jul 21, 2013 at 8:25am

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