Inducing Lactation: It’s Working.

Breast Pump
As I’ve written about previously, I’m currently in the process of inducing lactation. I’m following the accelerated Newman-Goldfarb method, and I’m excited to announce that it is working!

Early on in my wife’s pregnancy, I had no idea that inducing lactation or co-nursing were possibilities. Like pregnancy, I thought breastfeeding was going to be exclusively her domain. I had been struggling with my lack of connection to this baby when our midwives mentioned that my body could do something many male bodies cannot – I can produce breastmilk.

I picked up the book Breastfeeding Without Birthing to learn more. I learned that inducing lactation is possible. I can be a supplementary food source to my child (or even a primary food source), and I can achieve that closeness, attachment, and bonding that comes from breastfeeding. Furthermore, as ethical vegans it is very important to my wife and I that we supply Baby with vegan breastmilk. Having two potential sources of milk increases the likelihood that Baby will be exclusively breastfed.

The first step in the accelerated protocol is to take birth control for at least a month. Birth control pills mimic pregnancy hormones and stimulate breast tissue growth. I got my birth control from Planned Parenthood, and I took only active pills for about five weeks. I also took Goat’s Rue, an herb that promotes lactation. I ordered a breast pump through my insurance. As those five weeks progressed, I noticed significant enlargement in my breasts. On one hot day, I even found myself leaking colostrum!

After five weeks, I stopped the birth control and started pumping. I pumped every three to five hours, even in the middle of the night. I also introduced galactogogues, such as Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle. Domperidone is also a commonly consumed glactogogue for those inducing lactation, but it is only available in the States through compounding pharmacies. I drank copious amounts of water and made sure my diet included oatmeal and Brewer’s Yeast.

The First Week

Day 1 Thursday, 6/29/17 Pumped for 30 minutes each time on high setting, clear droplets formed on the tips of my nipples.
Day 2 Friday, 6/30/17 Pumped for 30 minutes each time on high setting, clear droplets formed on the tips of my nipples, slight white mixed in with the clear. Started to get sore.
Day 3 Saturday, 7/1/17 Pumped for 30 minutes each time, started with gentler setting and progressed to higher setting over the course of the pumping, very small amount of milk produced, not very white. Very sore.
Day 4 Sunday, 7/2/17 Pumped for 30 minutes each time, started with gentler setting and progressed to higher setting over the course of the pumping. Produced approximately 1/8 ounce in the morning, 1/3 ounce in the evening. Very white. My wife said, “It smells like milk!” Began saving (freezing) production. Got a bad blister on my areola. Ouch!
Day 5 Monday, 7/3/17 Pumped for 30 minutes each time, started with gentler setting and progressed to higher setting over the course of the pumping. Produced approximately 1/3 ounce in the morning, 1/2 ounce in the evening, and 1/2 ounce at night. Ordered a smaller flange size.
Day 6 Tuesday, 7/4/17 Pumped for 30 minutes each time, started with gentler setting and progressed to higher setting over the course of the pumping. Produced approximately 1/2 ounce every time. Started to feel like I needed to pump if I went too long in between pumping sessions. Started to feel less sore. My breasts filled up and I had to go pump after watching a friend’s baby nurse.
Day 7 Wednesday, 7/5/17 Pumped for 30 minutes each time, started with gentler setting and progressed to higher setting over the course of the pumping. Produced approximately 1/2 ounce every time. Milk flow moved from drops to spray!

Shortly after my first week, I began to chart my pumping and production amounts.

Early Pumping Schedule

We are still about four weeks away from my wife’s due date, and already we have over 40 ounces of breastmilk in our freezer. This process is exhausting, but I hope it will be worth it. I cannot wait for the day I’m actually nursing Baby!

Frozen Milk 7.12.17

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4 thoughts on “Inducing Lactation: It’s Working.

  1. Wow, awesome! Are you using anything on your nipples when pumping and after? Also, wearing too tight of a bra can send the body a signal to decrease production, so I’d wear loose clothing if you aren’t leaking. To help with letdown, I used fennel oil in coconut oil and rubbed it on my breasts. I found that powdered moringa baked into things was my best galactogogue (fennugreek helped but caused us both GI issues, and brewer’s yeast caused us both GI issues). You might like the book The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk, as it really breaks down home milk production works and what is going on when it doesn’t work. Massage and hand expressing before pumping might help bring about your letdown. Also, no need to go above your comfort level with the pump speed as pain will decrease your supply. Hopefully something in there is new info for you that you find helpful. I’m very impressed and look forward to seeing how this works for all three of you.

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    • Thank you! I’m using Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter after, but I haven’t tried using anything during pumping. Thank you for the additional tips! I really appreciate it. It would be a sad day if Baby couldn’t tolerate any of that frozen milk because of Fenugreek upsetting her GI tract!

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      • Just cocnut oil during pumping is what I used, though you’ve already made more pumped milk than I did in 2 years trying to pump! If it turns out it does effect her, you can always donate that milk. There are a lot of babies who are dairy intolerant. We had 8 wonderful people donate milk to us as I had all kinds of supply issues.

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  2. This is awesome to see! By the time baby comes you’ll have lots stored up and maybe you’ll have gotten through most of the painful nipples part before baby starts sucking. Can’t wait to see the how it goes… 🙂

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