Induced lactation. A study of adoptive nursing by 240 women

Am J Dis Child. 1981 Apr;135(4):340-3.


Induced lactation is breast-feeding without prior pregnancy. Preparation includes breast and nipple stimulation, supplementing the maternal diet, and occasional use of hormones. Infants younger than 8 weeks are more willing to nurse than infants older than 8 weeks. Previous lactation experience is related to increased likelihood of milk production, decreased need for supplemental fluids, and duration of breast-feeding. Tandem nursing an older biological infant and the adoptive infant does not guarantee an increase in milk production sufficient to meet the adoptive infant's needs. Three fourths of the women who took part in this questionnaire survey evaluated this experience positively, regardless of infant age at weaning or need for supplemental fluids. Most respondents stressed the maternal-infant relationship and its enhancement through breast-feeding, rather than milk production, as the reason for attempting induced lactation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoption
  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lactation*
  • Male
  • Nipples
  • Pregnancy
  • Sucking Behavior