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Thread: 46 year old, never been pregnant, want to induce lactation

  1. #1

    Red face 46 year old, never been pregnant, want to induce lactation

    Hi! My partner is pregnant but is only about 44 days along. I am 46, never been pregnant, and have had a hysterectomy. I will be the stay at home mommy and would like to try breastfeeding even if I have to supplement.

    When should I start pumping and taking the holistic herbs and such? Am I more likely to need medical drug help? What herbs should I take and starting when?

    Does it usually cost money to see a lactation consultant?

    The good thing is that if my partner pumps, between the two of us we should have enough breast milk.

    Thank you!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 46 year old, never been pregnant, want to induce lactati

    Welcome to the forum!

    Pregnancy doesn't just result in a baby. It also results in changes to the breasts, changes which prepare them for making milk. So, given that you have never been pregnant, I think I would want to start pumping sooner rather than later... maybe once your partner enters the second trimester?

    I would definitely want to talk to your midwife or obstetrician about the drug regimen which is used to induce lactation. Combined with pumping, it's much more likely to result in lactation than pumping alone, or a combination of pumping and herbs. But the drug regimen is not for everyone, so you would definitely want a medical opinion on whether or not it's safe for you.

    I would also want to talk to a lactation consultant, preferably one with an IBCLC credential, and that is likely to cost money. But compared to the price of raising a child, a visit with an IBCLC is chump change.

    Is your partner planning on breastfeeding the baby? If so, there is probably no need for you to also supply milk, unless of course you feel an emotional need to do so.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 46 year old, never been pregnant, want to induce lactati

    Thank you! My partner is not planning to breastfeed, but she would pump while she is home after the birth. I keep telling her she might change her mind once instinct kicks in. So we can supplement with her milk in the Lact Aid device. She doesn't want to pump when she goes back to work though.

    How would I know, I guess there is no way to, if the herbs and pumping would work without having to use the drugs. We wouldn't know until the babies were here and started feeding I guess? How long of pumping and herbs would it take to actually produce milk so I could know if I need the drugs?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 46 year old, never been pregnant, want to induce lactati

    She might change her mind. But go easy on her- the last thing any mom needs is pressure on the subject of breastfeeding. If she does change her mind, I suggest celebrating her in every way possible. If she doesn't... Just keep your silence, right?

    You're absolutely right that there is no way to know if herbs and pumping will be enough to make you lactate, or how long you should wait before you declare the experiment a success or failure. Unfortunately, this is one area where responses to pumping and herbs and drugs are so incredibly variable that there's just no way to give people a good answer!

    What sort of pump do you have?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 46 year old, never been pregnant, want to induce lactati

    You can look at the Newman protocols and use what works for you. This website explains some different protocols: http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeed...rotocols.shtml

    Please note no protocol has a 100 percent success rate and "success" in inducing lactation is a very individual thing. Your age should not be any real barrier. How a hysterectomy is going to change what approach works best is not something I am sure about.

    There are other lactation aids aside the SNS and there are differences, you might want to research that.

    It costs money to see a LC in most circumstances, although there may be free or low cost clinics etc. in your area. I am not sure how insurance would work in this situation, but sometimes insurers cover the consult.

    However, for inducing lactation, you probably want to find an LC who is specifically very versed in inducing milk production. And that may mean searching outside your area. Some LCs will work with moms on Skype etc.

    Local LLL and other breastfeeding volunteer organizations can be very helpful and are of course free.

    But any decent LC should be able to help you with using a lactation aid and getting a comfortable latch etc. Just knowing how to get a baby latched and how to get breastfeeding off to a good start in general is going to help especially if your plan is to nurse your child at the breast from the start, even if you make little or no milk at that point. So for that, any typical resource like the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding will be helpful. That book also covers in detail how to tell baby is getting enough to eat, what is normal behavior in a newborn, etc. This is important because so many cultural expectations in this area are misleading and lead unnecessarily to panic about how or what baby is fed.

    There are many reasons why an expecting mom might not want to breastfeed. Sometimes the issue is as simple as the expecting mom never seeing breastfeeding modeled when she was growing up, and it consequently feels more normal or preferable to bottle feed. Sometimes there is a personal psychological block- perhaps mom has a history of abuse or poor body image, or fears losing control of her body. Some moms have heard all kinds of horror stories and assume breastfeeding is very painful and understandably want to avoid that. Some moms think that low milk production is common and they cannot possibly make enough milk. Some think they will have to give up certain foods or stick to a limited diet or give up other pleasures like moderate alcohol consumption if they breastfeed. Some simply have a concern about the practicalities of what happens when they go back to work or need some time 'away' but are lactating. These concerns are either not a barrier in reality, or usually have a work-around of one kind or another, if mom is interested in exploring that in the first place.

    There is no reason to not go ahead with the assumption you will be the one nursing baby, while at the same time gently encouraging your partner to consider her options and maybe do a little research if there are specific concerns. After all it is not as if it has to be one or the other! Both of you could nurse your baby.

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