How to Start Breastfeeding Your Adult Baby

Throughout human history there have been infants both young and old who have been nursed by wet nurses or surrogate mothers. During the medieval period, it was not uncommon for physicians to prescribe human milk for direly ill patients. Since sanitation and storage was poor to non-existent, the best type of feeding was directly from the breast of the wet nurse.

The Victorian distress (which has continued until today) with exposed body parts and breast-feeding wasn’t an issue at that period. Many men suckled at their wife’s breasts during pregnancy to induce a healthy flow of milk for their expected son. Non-maternal lactation supplements ordinary occurred at that period as a result of maternal death or illness, or because of the feudal position and duties of the birth-mother, or because of simple adoption. Usually, the wetnurse was already breastfeeding another baby, (either hers or another baby of the noblewoman) and her milk supply simply increased due to additional demand to meet the growth needs of two (or more) babies. If the father was poor and could not find or afford a lactating woman to serve as a wet nurse for the baby, goat’s milk was usually substituted in societies that raised sheep. Goats were usually raised with sheep to provide a substitute mother for an orphaned lamb in need. It is interesting to note that goat’s milk is the more similar to human milk than any other milk among the animal world.

Many women who have never had babies of their own immensely enjoy the intense physical pleasure of breastfeeding, even if the volume of milk they produce is relatively small in volume. The pleasure of breastfeeding is hard-wired into the Limbic area of the brain and is strongly tied to the sex drive of the R-brain. In the most concise words possible, it is entirely natural and normal for a woman to achieve climax by virtue of breast feeding alone.

The volume of milk produced varies considerably from individual to individual and it is difficult to predict the results of induced lactation. It is unusual in the United States to find women who can express a full supply of milk from induced lactation, but it is also rare to find women who cannot produce any milk at all.

Preferably, a woman should be able to induce lactation through mere manipulation or stimulation of her breasts. Playing with, manipulating or sucking on her nipples will usually produce an increase in both prolactin and oxytocin without having to resort to chemical or medicinal therapy. The volume of milk that is produced will not be as great as that produced after a pregnancy and delivery, but lactation will usually begin in and of itself. Mechanical stimulation via hospital grade breast suction pumps have also shown themselves to be effective in producing lactation without medication.

How does induced lactation work? Lactation is governed by two pituitary (not ovarian) hormones; prolactin and oxytocin. Therefore, even if a woman has had a hysterectomy, she can lactate, assuming her over-all health is good. Note that estrogen, in the form of birth control pills or for hormone replacement therapy, is a lactation suppressant.

Hormonal therapy to induce lactation generally consists of administration of estrogen to resemble the high-estrogen state of pregnancy. The estrogen is then abruptly withdrawn to mimic the rapid hormonal changes following delivery. A course of a prolactin-enhancing drug such as metaclopromide is then started. Once the prolactin, the milk-making hormone, is at a high enough level, then oxytocin, the milk-releasing hormone, will be produced in response to nipple stimulation. Sucking stimulation by the baby (or by a mechanical breast pump) is begun at this point. One study of induced lactation using medications describes beginning of milk production as occurring between 5-13 days.

If only manual or mechanical stimulation is employed, milk production typically begins between 1-4 weeks after initiating breast manipulation or vacuum evacuation and stimulation by breast pump. During the time that milk production is building, the woman may notice a darkening in the color of their nipples and areolar tissue. This is normal. Women who breastfeed may expect the areolas to double in size as well as darken in color. It is not abnormal for a woman’s breasts to become very tender and somewhat fuller or several sizes larger. Some women report increased thirst, and changes in their menstrual cycle or libido. All of these symptoms are normal and to be expected as a consequence of lactation.