Q & A with LMM
My husband and I have been inducing since last fall, and (much to our surprise and happiness) are making milk. Unfortunately, when I am on my period, my milk seems to dry up. This is really frustrating for both of us. Is there anything we can do about this? Thank you!
Because a woman’s blood calcium levels gradually decrease from ovulation (the mid-point of the menstrual cycle) until the first day or two of her period, it is possible that she may also notice a drastic decrease in her milk supply. As frustrating as this is, it’s very important that she continue to nurse on her regular schedule to avoid interrupting the lactation process. One thing that may be helpful is the addition of a combination calcium/magnesium (or calcium/magnesium/zinc) supplement to the daily inducing routine.
The recommended dosage is between 500 milligrams of calcium and 250 milligrams of magnesium to 1,500 milligrams of calcium and 750 milligrams of magnesium taken during ovulation through the first three days of your period. If you aren’t sure when you’re ovulating, you can begin taking the supplements 14 days after your period stops and continue taking it through the first three days of your next period. Some women simply prefer to use calcium and magnesium on a daily basis.
Usually, the higher dosage is more effective, but it is important to take both supplements to be sure that your body is properly absorbing these high amounts of calcium. Dosage also depends on eating habits; a diet high in fat and animal proteins may require more calcium and magnesium than a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
I hope this helps!
My husband and I began an ANR about a month ago, and it started really well. (After two weeks, I was producing a few little drops and it was very exciting!) Unfortunately, I began to experience breast discomfort. It has gotten so bad that we have stopped nursing. We are both very frustrated and disappointed, but have decided not to proceed until my breasts heal. ANR is one of the best things that ever happened to us. Do you have any advice for us? What can we do?
While nursing should never be painful, mild discomfort is very typical in the early stages of the adult nursing relationship, particularly during the inducing process, as the breasts begin their transformation into beautiful new nursing breasts. As long as you are not experiencing cracked, enflamed, or bleeding nipples, there really isn’t a way to heal your breasts. If you are experiencing common inducing discomfort, this will pass as your body begins to adjust to its new role. As long as your husband is properly latched and effectively suckling, nursing is actually one of the best methods of relieving inducing discomfort.
You can read more about breast change and easing common nursing discomfort by clicking HERE.
While doing some research on breast massage, it was suggested that women tape their nipples during the process. Now that I am inducing, I was wondering if this is something you would recommend?
Nipple taping is sometimes very common during Natural Breast Enhancement exercises because it is said to prevent the nipples from unwanted enlargement while encouraging the growth and/or firmness of the body of the breast.
When using these NBE massage techniques (such as Chi or acupressure)–or any other method that may be beneficial to the milk making process, a change in the nipples and/or areolae is not only common, but also a very good indication that lactation has successfully begun. This change may include an enlargement and/or darkening of the nipples and areolae. This enlargement is often very helpful when your partner is learning to latch, as it will sometimes make it easier for him to take in more breast tissue and provide him the ability to draw the nipple forward and further into his mouth, both which make for successful suckling and milk production.
I would not recommend taping the nipples during the inducing process. Allow your breasts to transform as nature has designed, and enjoy each beautiful new change! Nursing breasts are fabulous!
Thank you for the question!
I have recently started inducing lactation, and I noticed I have little dark dots (like freckles) on my nipples. Is this normal? What can I do about them?
During the lactation process, the breasts can go through a lot of changes, and freckling is sometimes one of them. This usually occurs due to skin pigmentation as the areolae darken and increase in size, preparing to become beautiful brand new nursing breasts. There really isn’t anything you can do about the freckles (except to love them as a sign of all that your body is accomplishing! 🙂 ). Sometimes, they will fade on their own, other times, they don’t.
Thank you for the question!
I’ve been taking the two herbal capsules Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek, and it seems no results on my ANR so far. I take these amounts listed with plenty of water for the past 3 weeks. I continue to read up on different Herbals to take. The question is i have purchased the herbal Goats Rue lactation aid support and it says to take 2 capsules twice a day, breakfast and after lunch. My question is should I continue to take all three different Herbals to achieve my results? Can you help please Thanks, and God bless!
Thank you for the question! As long as you are showing no adverse side effects or allergic reactions to your herbal supplements, it should be perfectly fine for you to incorporate Goat’s Rue into your daily lactation routine; both Blessed Thistle and Goat’s Rue can be taken in conjunction with Fenugreek, but it is sometimes recommended that after these additions, a woman drop her daily Fenugreek intake by one capsule. Goat’s Rue is a very powerful lactogenic, but whether it will make a noticeable difference in your personal supply depends on how well your body responds to it. It is often recommended that women allow about 6 weeks before determining whether or not a particular herb is working.
For more in-depth information on the 21 most effective lactogenic herbs, proper dosage and how to safely and effectively use them, please CLICK HERE.
Dear Loving Milk Maid,
First, I would like to begin by saying that your site is THE BEST! My husband and I follow your posts every day. You’re so knowledgeable! I was just wondering, how did you learn so much about lactation and ANR? Your advice is amazing and we thank you for sharing!
Thank you for the question! I could write an entire blog post on why I began this site (actually, I think I have 😉 ) Basically, it all began when I realized how little “real” information was available to adult nursers. I am extremely passionate about all varieties of nursing–both maternal and non-maternal, infants and adults, and have always been an advocate for breastfeeding.
A lot of what I know about lactation and nursing just comes from 15 years’ worth of experience. The entire process of opening a nursing relationship and making lots of lovely breast milk has, as a matter of fact, been one big beautiful learning experience–with a bit of trial and error along the way!
When I decided to write more comprehensive articles on facets of the lifestyle, I wanted to share detailed and accurate information with others, so I assembled a little team of lovely ladies, a Labor and Delivery RN, two board certified lactation consultants, and one certified herbalist, who guide me on subjects that need more professional advice (such as birth control and lactation, nursing after hysterectomy and menopause, and the best ways to use herbal supplements). Between us, we have 10 breasts, 14 breastfed children, 27 years of nursing experience, and 66 years of personal, practical, and professional training…that’s a lot of magical milk-making mammary power! 🙂
Thank you again for your question and kind words! And thank you for making me smile today!
Hello, LMM! I love your website, and all the information you provide on lactation has been very helpful! My husband and I decided to induce about a month ago, and he is now getting some milk every time he nurses, which we both love, but I have a question. My breasts aren’t changing. They aren’t firmer or fuller…and they don’t feel “hard”. Is this normal? Or will I need to make more milk to notice a difference? How will I know if I’m fully lactating? Thanks!
Breasts are as unique as they are beautiful, and each responds differently to the process of lactation–even when they belong to the same woman. Some women experience very little change during lactation, and breast capacity has a lot to do with this. There is no correlation between breast size and capacity; some women simply have more natural “packing room” and can hold and contain more milk than others. Personally speaking, now that my body has adjusted to its beautiful transformation, and even though I am enjoying full lactation, my breasts are still very soft.
I think all of us, when new to nursing, have expectations of what lactating breasts “should” be; I went through this many years ago when I was a new breastfeeding mother, but I soon learned to follow my body’s cues rather than compare my breasts to others. They are responding to non-maternal lactation just as they did to maternal lactation, so this is my “normal”. 🙂
Now that your husband is able to enjoy milk while nursing shows that you are well on your way to achieving your personal lactation goals, and that is a wonderful thing! No matter how much milk you produce, you may find that your breasts remain just as they are, and this is perfectly natural. You’ll know that you’ve reached full lactation by the amount of milk you’re producing through pumping and/or manual expression, and by how frequently your husband swallows during every nursing session.
I hope this helps!
In an ANR, what about mammograms? My wife does not want to miss any of them, and she says that the doctor wont do them if she is lactating. What do you do?
This is an excellent question!
A lactating woman can have a mammogram; as a matter of fact, it is during this time that an annual mammogram becomes even more important because lactation can make small lumps harder to detect during routine breast self-exams.
Lactating breasts can make it more difficult to read the mammogram’s results because milk production causes the breast tissue to become denser. It’s recommended that women nurse just before their mammograms to empty their breasts, or even request a radiologist who specializes in reading the x-rays of lactating women.
Due to increased tenderness and sensitivity, mammograms may be slightly more painful for nursing women, but the x-rays are perfectly safe and do not harm the quality of breast milk.
So, not only is it perfectly fine to have a mammogram during lactation, it is highly recommended. Your wife should definitely keep her scheduled mammograms, even while enjoying a healthy ANR!
Will taking prenatal vitamins help to increase my breast milk supply now that I am inducing lactation?
Not exactly, but they certainly won’t hinder or harm the lactation process. 🙂
While there is no specific recommended dosage regarding the amount of vitamins and minerals required to produce a healthy supply of breast milk, there is a connection between lactation and a healthy diet, and because a nursing woman has different nutritional needs than a non-lactating woman, eating a balanced diet and receiving proper nutrients is very important–both for her body and her milk supply.
Although prenatal vitamins won’t make breast milk for you, you can certainly incorporate them into your daily inducing routine for their nutritive properties.
Would it be okay for a woman to tandem breastfeed child and husband? While I imagine that she would naturally feel strange for it, I wonder, about it. Suppose she were to lean into that weird feeling, claim it… Own it…To truly relax into it…. ?
Tandem breastfeeding is a question I am asked about quite frequently, and there is really no concrete answer as to whether suckling a husband and child simultaneously is right, wrong, or okay. This practice depends on the couple involved, their personal lifestyle choice, and how they view the experience.
For many people, “breastfeeding” and “nursing” are two very different situations; most adult nursers do not suckle for sustenance and nourishment–instead, they do so as a pleasurable means of connecting on a highly intimate level. The practice of adult nursing (or breastfeeding) is not always sexual, so if a woman chooses to suckle her husband and child together, this does not mean that she is sexualizing the experience–and if she is completely comfortable with the very normal and healthy act of using her breasts as nature intended for her to do, there should be no reason that she would feel “strange” for doing so, and I don’t believe that there would be anything to claim or own…except maybe the incredibly empowering feeling that she is able to lovingly nurture and bond with two people who mean so much to her.
I heard that lactation will make my period change. My husband and I have been trying to induce, and I think we’re making progress, but my period hasn’t really changed. Will it, or are we doing something wrong?
Essentially, during the non-maternal inducing process, a woman is attempting to “trick” her body into believing it is pregnant, creating a need for breast milk, and she does this by carefully re-arranging her hormones, in which she will encourage higher levels of progesterone and suppress estrogen levels. Nipple stimulation is the best way to do this, and it often does slow or lessen the ovaries’ function, which can cause a woman’s period to grow lighter, shorten in length, or stop entirely. But this doesn’t always happen, and your menstrual cycle won’t always show you a true “sign of success”. Women are very unique, and so are their bodies, and each responds to lactation differently. I exclusively breastfed three children (and one husband ;)), and never experienced a change in my cycle.
The best way to measure your success is to gauge changes in your breasts, and note the amount of milk you’re expressing–or by having your husband let you know of any changes in flow he is noticing during suckling sessions.
My husband and I have started anr 4 weeks ago and we’re very happy with our results so far; he nurses 3 times a day and I was producing about 1 teaspoon per breast each session, until last weekend when he went camping for 3 days…we made a decision to use a pump and even pumped and extra session (4) , I could feel the difference within a day and by the time my husband got home their was only a few drops, what went wrong?
This is something that I often refer to as “the ups and downs of lactation”, that noticeable decrease in breast milk supply that is a perfectly normal–and very common–part of the journey into lactation.
A fluctuating supply happens to every nursing woman, even those who are producing maternal breast milk; it can take six weeks or longer to establish an adequate supply of breast milk–and even then, women will often notice a dramatic change in their flow, sometimes, on a daily basis, even when they have remained true to their set inducing routine. A fluctuation in milk can be attributed to many things, including a natural shift in hormones, or the woman’s menstrual cycle, but it can also be your body’s way of preparing to make more milk. 🙂
I honestly don’t think anything went wrong. I think your body is simply growing accustomed to its new routine. You can re-boost your supply by using a variety of simple and effective methods, including areola massage and the deep nipple stimulation provided through the Marmet Technique, or by following these suggestions for coping with breast milk fluctuation.
Hello LMM.. We’ve recently begun a nursing relationship and it’s a very sensual activity we share and immensely enjoy together. My wife has diabetes and injects insulin daily to regulate her numbers. Any idea on whether diabetes effects the production of milk..??
Hi, and congratulations on the opening of your beautiful new ANR! 🙂
While it is perfectly safe (and often encouraged) for a diabetic woman to share a healthy and loving breastfeeding relationship with her partner, due to the fabulous benefits nursing can provide for her health and well-being, as long as a few extra precautions are taken, diabetes can affect breast milk production, particularly in the very early stages, before lactation is established. Many diabetic women find that it takes a bit longer for their breast milk to come in during the inducing process, but once lactation has occurred, she should have no problem building or maintaining a lovely supply of healthy breast milk.
Best wishes to both of you!
You can read the in-depth answer to this question by clicking HERE.
Our life right now doesn’t provide time for us to set aside to nurse however we have decided I will use my electric pump twice a day in place of nursing along with herbal supplements. And once my milk comes in we will re-evaluate our time and try to nurse. Is it possible to bring in my milk that way?
When nursing is not a viable option, it is wonderful to know that inducing can be achieved by employing a set routine of alternative inducing methods–including the stimulation provided from a breast pump, even without the addition of herbal supplements. While your pumping schedule will need to be carefully regulated, and this form of inducing sometimes take a longer period of time than other, more effective inducing methods, breast pump stimulation is the preferred–and successful–technique for many women.
You can read the in-depth answer to this question by clicking HERE.
I am very interested in starting an ANR with my husband. I’m on birth control, the pill, and concerned with my husband consuming my breast milk I don’t want it to affect him. Do you have any advice or knowledge on that? Thank you!
All medications (and herbal supplements) pass through breast milk to some degree, but, generally, healthy nursing adults can safely metabolize the components of any medications, including the synthetic hormones found in estrogen and/or progestin-containing birth control pills, that they consume through breast milk. Normally, the concern of a contraceptive’s compatibility with nursing has more to do with the effects it may have on lactation rather than the effects it has on the nursing partner. 🙂
You can read the in-depth answer to this question by clicking HERE.
Just wondering if you’ve ever run into a problem with mr S falling asleep at the breast and therefore not helping as much as u need him to? Thanks….
Hi, and thank you for the question!
Yes, he does fall asleep on the breast–a lot. 🙂 This typically happens when he’s nursing from the second breast, and is a lot more common during our bedtime nursing sessions than our morning sessions. Sometimes, he catches himself, and stirs to begin actively suckling again, and sometimes, I have to wake him up by running my fingers over his cheek. This normally triggers his instinct to suckle. If he’s especially sleepy after a long day at work, I plan for a longer nursing session because of his drowsiness and dozing off. I let him rest for a moment or two, and then wait to see if he stirs on his own; if he doesn’t, I coax him awake with a tickle.
Time of day makes a difference to effective nursing because of the shift in breast milk components. If you find that your partner is falling asleep more often during a particular nursing session, you can adjust your schedule (if possible), and see if the change makes any difference.
I have noticed that I’m leaving hickeys on my wife’s breasts during suckling. Is this normal, or am I not doing something quite right?
This can actually be really common. Depending on their skin texture, some women are actually more prone to little love marks than others, particularly on the areolae, and this can be even more common if the nursing partner has facial hair. Suckling is actually gentle oral massge using the lips against the areola tissue, so it doesn’t require much force. You can decrease your suction or the pressure of your lips to see if this helps. 🙂
Is it unusual for a woman to orgasm during breastfeeding? Is it a different experience/feeling breastfeeding your child compared to your partner?
These are very good questions! Women are fabulously unique beings, and their bodies respond to the act of breastfeeding in very different ways. While nursing is not truly a sexual act, it is an undeniably sensual one, and new studies have shown that nipples are often erogenous zones for many women, and when they are stimulated, the sensations travel to the same path of the brain as the sensations brought on by vaginal, clitoral, and cervical stimulation, so, no, it is not uncommon for some women to orgasm while suckling. While some women do not experience true orgasm during a breastfeeding session, they will feel very strong uterine contractions while nursing.
The experience of feeding a child as opposed to a partner varies, depending on the individual involved. For some women, the practice of nursing their partners is done solely for the purposes of nurturing and bonding (as in my particular case), and this experience is identical to the act of breastfeeding a child. Others participate in adult breastfeeding as a sexual practice, separating sexuality from nurturing. The physical sensation of nursing is much different than the emotional one. If the nursing partner is properly attached and suckling to feed (rather than sucking for sexual gratification), the feeling of the draw, pull, and suction against the breast is the same as the one achieved from breastfeeding a child.
Is it okay to continue breastfeeding if I have a cold? Or will I pass the germ to my husband?
Thank you for asking such a great question! Although many infectious diseases can pass through breast milk, the common cold and flu bugs that often keep nursing women a bit under the weather cannot. As wives and mothers, there will be times when we get sick; we can’t help it, but isn’t it wonderful to know that there is very little that can hinder us from nurturing and nourishing our little ones and partners with our breast milk? This makes me realize all over again how fantastic our bodies truly are! It is perfectly fine and acceptable for you to nurse your husband if you have a cold, so continue to do so if you feel up to it. Just be sure to drink adequate amounts of fluids and get plenty of rest!
Is it safe to breastfeed during pregnancy?
In most instances, as long as your pregnancy is progressing well and you are healthy, it is perfectly fine to breastfeed while pregnant. I nursed throughout the entirety of three pregnancies without issue.
During early pregnancy, a woman may experience sore nipples due to hormonal changes that might make nursing a bit uncomfortable, and although her body will continue to release oxytocin to aid in lactation, she may see a change in milk sometime around the fifth month as it reverts back to colostrum. Another important thing to remember while nursing during pregnancy is nutrition–women need to be sure that they and baby are receiving adequate nutrients and calories.
Nursing while pregnant is often not encouraged if you have issues with premature labor, have suffered miscarriage, or experienced bleeding while pregnant.
As always, you should check with your health care professional to be sure that breastfeeding during pregnancy is safe for you!
Hi, Loving Milk Maid!
Does it hurt to nurse an adult? Is it painful?
Believe it or not, I get asked this question a lot, and the answer is no, it does not hurt to nurse an adult–provided that the adult is nursing properly, that is.
Nursing an adult feels very similar to breastfeeding an infant, as the suckling required to draw milk from the breast is identical, and requires only the tongue and roof of the mouth as well as the same amount of force and pressure. Although the lips create a seal around the areola, they provide none of the suction and cushion the nursing partner’s teeth during feedings, which prevents nips and bites, and inevitable ouchies.
Dear Loving Milk Maid,
I recently started nursing my husband, and even though we’ve only done it three times, he’s gotten an erection each time. Is this normal?
Since breasts are the main feature in a healthy and loving ANR, it’s perfectly natural that your husband would be aroused by the sight of yours, not to mention the fact that it must be overwhelmingly stimulating to practice such a beautiful and giving act within your marriage! Enjoy every moment of your nursing sessions, and welcome each new experience.
There is no right or wrong way to share an ANR as long as it is pleasing to both of you. While nursing will sometimes lead to sex, remember that if, while feeding, your focus is to induce lactation, your husband will need to concentrate on the task at hand to ensure proper milk production. Don’t let him get side-tracked until he has sufficiently nursed from each breast.
Dear Loving Milk Maid,
Should I wear a nursing bra while breastfeeding my husband? I’ve never done this before, so I was wondering what you think.
One of the benefits of living the ANR lifestyle is that there is absolutely no right or wrong way to enjoy it, so the decision to wear a nursing bra during feedings should be based on whether or not you want to rather than if you should. Some couples enjoy the visual aid provided by a nursing bra, as it is sexually arousing to them, others do not. I, personally do not wear them while nursing my husband; I didn’t even wear them as a breastfeeding mother, as I could never seem to find one that fit properly or offered enough support.
Do what feels right to you, and your ANR will be the most rewarding and wonderful experience that you and your husband can share as a couple!
Hello, Loving Milk Maid!
I recently began feeding my husband. I am on medication for RA and was wondering if my milk will be safe for him to drink.
To some extent, all medications (and herbal supplements) can be transferred through breast milk and consumed by your nursing husband, although how much medication he is actually exposed to depends on several factors, such as dosage of your medication, how and when it’s taken, and how quickly your body metabolizes it.
To determine if your breast milk is safe for your husband’s consumption, you should check with your doctor or a lactation consultant so they can give you proper medical advice. I hope this helps!
My husband and I recently started an ANR, and my nipples are really sore. It’s getting so bad that I’m dreading his feedings. Is this normal? What should I do?
First of all, congratulations on opening a loving ANR! I hope you and your husband have a long and healthy relationship.
When newly nursing, women will often experience tenderness in their nipples, which is common, and to be expected, as your partner is now giving those little sweeties a workout! However, nipples that are so painful that they cause you to dread routine feeding sessions are not normal, and may signal an underlying problem. Nursing is never supposed to be painful.
You may want to be sure that your husband is latching well and correctly, which you can learn more about by reading The Proper Latch. If he is new to nursing, he may be focused on sucking at the nipple rather than taking your breast into his mouth. He may be sucking too forcefully. Nursing requires a minimum of force.
To help ease your pain, you can try the following things:
- If one breast is less painful than the other, have your husband nurse on that side first. The initial latch is usually the most intense.
- Apply a cold pack to numb the nipples before feeding. But be sure to place a cloth between your breast and the cold pack before you apply it.
- Purchase a lanolin-based OTC nursing ointment, such as Lansinoh’s HPA Lanolin, and apply a small amount to your nipples prior to nursing.
If your nipples have begun to crack or bleed, you can incorporate the above techniques while doing the following:
- Be sure to wash your nipples with a mild anti-bacterial soap after each feeding. Rinse them thoroughly with water and gently (I said gently) dry them with a soft cloth.
- Apply an OTC anti-bacterial ointment like Neosporin to your nipples to aid in the healing process–just be sure to wash it off prior to nursing.
And as always, if your condition doesn’t improve, or you need medical advice, check with your doctor!
I have wanted to breastfeed for a very long time. How do I convince my wife to start an ANR?
Although I can understand and appreciate your desire to nurse, the harsh reality is that you don’t. You simply can’t convince your wife that an adult nursing relationship is right for her. The loving and committed ANR must be desired by both partners. The best you can do is sit down with your wife and openly discuss your need for nursing. For advice on opening the lines of communication, you can click Expressing the Desire for an ANR. I hope it helps!
Dear Loving Milk Maid,
I’ve been trying to induce lactation for almost a month, and I just noticed a couple of little bumps on my right areola. I’ve never breastfed before, so I was wondering if this is normal? Or should I be concerned?
If you are noticing such a change in your breasts, then congratulations! You are well on your way to lactation and nursing! The little “bumps” that are now appearing on your areola actually have a name–they are called Montgomery glands–and are a perfectly normal occurrence in breastfeeding women. Those little glands even have a purpose: they produce a very good, natural oil that cleans, lubricates, and protects the nipple during feedings while releasing an enzyme that kills bacteria and may make breast cream use unnecessary.
Although Montgomery glands are harmless, remember that other lumps and bumps in the breast and areola might not be, so when in doubt, check it out, and see your doctor right away.