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The Easiest Way to Induce Lactation for Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be a very stressful process that comes with many challenges along the way. But thousands of women choose to feed their babies this way every year, fully aware of the issues that they may face.

Their bodies have been preparing for this vital task for nine months and do it almost automatically after birth. However, what about those who did not go through those months like adoptive or foster mothers?

Do they still have the option to breastfeed their new babies? The answer is yes, they do.

Through the use of techniques, schedules, drugs, or herbal remedies, these women can have the opportunity to feel that bond between a mother and breastfeeding baby.

We will explore the easiest ways to induce lactation and some of the problems you may encounter.

What Is Induced Lactation?

The short answer is this – induced lactation is helping a woman who is not pregnant to produce milk. Many ways can be accomplished, such as stimulation, herbal remedies, or medication.

This is not an easy or quick process and requires a real commitment not just from the woman but from her support network.

Why Is It Important?

Lactation, like breastfeeding, can provide baby and mom a fantastic bonding experience. It’s a great way to get that skin to skin contact that babies need in the first few months of their lives.

Lactation is a tough and time-consuming process, and you should be fully aware of what it does and does not involve.

Firstly, you should be aware that you usually can not exclusively breastfeed your baby when lactating. This is because you will not usually produce enough milk to meet their feeding needs.

Most mothers in Western countries will only produce around 25% to 75% of the milk that their baby needs. Some mothers have had great success with induced lactation and have provided 100% of their baby’s nutritional needs.

mother breastfeeding baby

How To Induce Lactation Quickly

Many different methods can be used to induce lactation quickly and effectively. Here are a few necessary steps and techniques that ideally need to be followed to induce lactation successfully.

Preparing the Breast

Lactation revolves entirely around your breasts, and they need to undergo some preparation before undertaking inducing lactation.

Just as with a regular pregnancy, your breasts need to be prepared before they can produce milk. With a normal pregnancy, nine months of preparation is in place for your hormones to do the work of preparing your body for birth.

In the same way, before attempting to induce lactation, you need to do some prep work. Breast massages and nipple stimulation will help your breasts prepare for lactation induction.


If you have been preparing to breastfeed for some months, there is a chance that your doctor may prescribe medications that can produce hormones that will fool your body into thinking that you are pregnant and so helping your body to produce milk.

When a woman becomes pregnant, they have very high levels of hormones called estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, gonadotropin, and other hormones.

So the medicine that women need to induce lactation also needs to have high levels of these hormones present. That is why many women have prescribed the progesterone-only pill.

The use of such medication does come with its side effects, such as the sudden unexpected blood loss – this is usually nothing to worry about. Still, if you do have concerns, then you should consult your medical professional immediately.


Many women decide to try herbal remedies that can help induce breast milk production and increase milk supply.


This is a herb that grows to around 2 to 3 feet tall and has small white flowers. Studies have shown that this herb can increase milk production by up to 49%, although this was a herbal mix that included fenugreek and other herbs.

It is not clearly understood why this herb works, but many think that it may be to do with the phytoestrogens, which are plant chemicals similar to estrogen that it contains.


This is a common herb often used in cooking and healing. It has been used to treat digestive problems and menstrual issues. Fennel is believed to be a galactagogue that brings about an increase in breast milk production.

It may have these positive effects on milk production due to its estrogen-like properties.

Blessed Thistle

This herb is native to the Mediterranean. It can easily be recognized by its hairy dandelion-like leaves and fuzzy yellow blossoms. It has been used since the Middle Ages to treat conditions like bubonic plague, to promote digestive health.

It also prevents infection. This is another herb that is a galactagogue that is believed to stimulate lactation. It is believed to increase the production of hormones prolactin and oxytocin, which boost milk supply and enable the let down of milk.

If you are taking any herbal remedies, ensure that you are aware of any allergic reactions that it may cause and consult a medical expert.

Suckling Partner

This is the more natural way to induce lactation, although many may feel uncomfortable with it.

By stimulating the breast and nipple area with the help of a nursing partner who suckles your breast in the same way an infant would. This needs to be done at least eight times a day for around 20 minutes at each session.

If you feel that eight sessions a day may be difficult to accommodate, especially if you are both working and depending on your individual schedules, it is possible to decrease the sessions to just two to four times a day again for around 20 minutes per session.

An example of how these reduced sessions may fit into your schedule:

  • Morning Session: You could have your suckling partner suckle your breast for around 20 minutes before going to work.
  • Afternoon Session: This may be best left to the end of the workday as your partner can’t come to your work in the middle of the day to suckle.
  • After Dinner Session: After dinner, but before you go to bed, you can have another session with your partner for 20 minutes.
  • Midnight Session: This session will require commitment from both of you to maintain. But if you can commit a 20-minute session at midnight would be ideal.

Of course, you can change these to whatever times best suit you and your partner’s schedule. Just be aware that this technique does require a time commitment from both partners for it to be successful.

breast pumping mom


Breast pumps have been a massive help to many breastfeeding mothers.

It helps them increase their milk supply and even continue to feed their babies breastmilk even if they can not physically breastfeed them. So it is no surprise that they can also assist in helping women to induce lactation.

There are some great pumps available that will help you to induce lactation. It is advised to try an electric pump as these will help induce lactation and help reduce the time that you need to pump for.

Here are some of our favorite electric breast pumps:

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Soreness with Induced Lactation

By using suckling, pumping, or breast stimulation to induce lactation, there is a chance that you may experience some soreness. This can be from relatively mild to extreme.

It would help if you did not ignore this soreness, as it needs to be addressed for you to continue comfortably with your induction program. There are creams available, especially for this type of soreness that will help to ease the pain.

Such as:

Does Induced Lactation Produce the Same Quality of Breastmilk as a Birth Mother?

It almost does but not quite.

There is one main difference between a birth mother’s milk and a woman who has gone through induced lactation. That is, it does not contain colostrum; this is the liquid produced before breastmilk is released.

It is highly nutritious and contains very high levels of antibodies from the mother. It is vital for growth and to help fight infection.

This lack of colostrum is because there is a lack of some pregnancy hormones when you induce lactation.

The Final Word

Inducing lactation can be a considerable time commitment by the entire family, and everyone needs to be fully aware of what their roles are before you start. If your partner needs to prepare dinner so that you can pump, they need to know.

This will help to ensure that there is no confusion or stress. Stress can inhibit milk production!

As a mother who has breastfed, I can honestly say that it is an amazing experience and something I am thankful that I had the opportunity to do. It not only nourishes your baby. It creates a strong bond between mother and baby.

Induced lactation gives those mothers that are not birth mothers and their babies the chance to start a fantastic journey together!