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Thread: Can Comfort Nursing Cause Lactation?

  1. #1

    Question Can Comfort Nursing Cause Lactation?

    Hello!

    I am a new godmom for a new born that is 2 weeks old tomorrow. His mom is doing solely breast feeding and I was told if I wanted to allow him to comfort nurse that I could but at the same time it could cause lactation.

    Is this true?

    I have tried to look it up but I keep finding articles about comfort nursing in general rather than if someone who isn't lactating allowing the child to nurse and it causing it. If anyone can help please let me know.


    If so what are the risks that it does?
    Thanks for your time,
    NC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Can Comfort Nursing Cause Lactation?

    I expect the problem/confusion is the term "comfort nursing"

    This is just another term for nursing. When a baby is nursing, it does not matter why baby nurses- whether baby is nursing for food or comfort, milk is still going to come out if the woman nursing the child is lactating. To a baby, nursing is nursing, and is usually for both comfort AND food. it is all the same to baby.

    A baby nursing on the breasts is possibly going to induce at least some lactation in the woman baby is nursing from, even if that woman has not recently given birth. Whether any milk production occurs, or how much, will depend on many factors. It is probably most likely to occur if the woman has given birth and /or lactated previously (not necessarily recently) and is probably dependent on how frequently the nursing occurs. But yes, it is possible that regular stimulation of the breasts in this manner may induce some lactation in any woman.

    Assuming you do not have some disease that is communicable via breastmilk ingestion, (rare) or take a medication that is contraindicated for breastfeeding, (also not common but since we are talking a newborn you may want to talk to the folks at infant risk if there is any question) I do not think there is any risk to baby from getting milk from you.
    The risk to you might include engorgement (breasts getting very full of milk) during the times you cannot nurse baby. In the unlikely event you made that much milk with occasional nursing, you could pump or hand express just enough to soften the breasts to relieve that discomfort.
    Of course you would also want to be sure baby's latch is comfortable for you or you might risk soreness and even possibly some injury to your nipples, whether or not you make milk.

    For more info, I suggest reading up on inducing lactation and adoptive nursing. Of course in those cases the women, usually baby's mom, are trying to induce lactation. But it may give you a better sense of this area of breastfeeding.

    For questions about meds and breastfeeding: http://www.infantrisk.com/
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; November 14th, 2014 at 07:24 PM.

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