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Inducing Lactation

What is "Induced Lactation" and "Re-Lactation"?

Newborn Baby

Humans are mammals and mammals make milk.

The amazing thing about our bodies is that women, and men, can make milk, without even being pregnant or giving birth. 

Relactation is when a biological woman has previously lactated or breastfed, and wants to lactate again, generally for the purpose of breastfeeding a baby.

This re-starting of their lactation cycle can be for a child who has weaned, an adopted child, or even a grandbaby. Obviously, the stories of how this comes to be are fascinating, as is the story of how her breasts re-activate.

Love makes milk, literally. When a woman cuddles a baby and they spend time together, it produces the hormone oxytocin in both of them. And oxytocin is the hormone that causes you to feel loving feelings. If she stimulates her nipples whether by hand, pump or the baby suckling, she will begin to make milk. How much milk she makes depends on her capacity, and the amount of stimulation she is receiving.

Induced lactation is when a biological woman, or a biological man, who has never lactated, and/or been pregnant, wants to start lactating, generally for the purpose of breastfeeding their adopted, surrogate or biological baby. 

Who does this?

  • Parents who are adopting, or having a baby through a surrogate

  • Lesbian couples who want to co-nurse

  • MTF and FTM transgender parents who want to breastfeed, or co-nurse

  • Grandmothers raising their grandbaby

While the family configurations are endless, the goal is singular: You want to breastfeed your baby.

The good news is that you can definitely breastfeed your baby if you don't care on how much milk you will make. Obviously everyone would love to be abundant and bounteous, because that's a good feeling, but that's not realistic.

  • If you previously lactated or breastfed with good milk production, your chances are good that you will bring in good milk production again.

  • If you have been pregnant or lactated, you may produce enough, or you may not.

  • If you have never been pregnant or lactated, you may only produce small amounts, but it's also possible you might make more.


Breastfeeding is so much more than providing food. In all cases, it's better to go into it having your goal being to nourish at your breast and expecting to supplement, at-breast or by bottle. It's far healthier for you and your baby to define your own success, rather than trying to meet a textbook definition of breastfeeding.

If you agree with this, I can help you. All options are available: medical, stimulated, and supplemented induction and/or relactation. It starts with a consultation to understand your medical history, your baby's medical history, and to explore how you see yourself breastfeeding. 

Simply schedule an appointment. I look forward to helping you!

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