Dear Loving Milk Maid,
My husband and I have been dry nursing for three months, but there is still no milk. (I haven’t breastfed in 12 years, but I’ve read that inducing is possible, and we are on a regular schedule, and we do add extra times when we can). Is this normal? I wonder what we are doing wrong…
For some couples, lactation is such an important part of their ANR that it can be difficult to wait for that beautiful liquid gold to make its grand appearance, but aside from employing all of the tried and true inducing techniques (and using them properly) that are available to us, unfortunately, there’s really little we can do to move the process along more quickly. Inducing or re-lactation is a process that involves a lot of patience and perseverance, and, in some cases, quite a bit of time.
You’re right: inducing is possible; regardless of age, stage of life, or whether or not we’ve birthed or fed children in the past, every woman’s breasts have the ability to produce breast milk. But how long it takes to do so depends on the unique and individual woman involved.
Believe it or not, anxiety stemming from the “pressure to produce” can play a very big part in impeding the lactation process. (This was an issue I personally had to face when I first began my re-lactation journey nearly 16 months ago.) Do your best to remain relaxed; try not to think too much about making milk. Instead, focus on the physical act of nursing, the incredible feelings it stirs, and the closeness you and your husband are experiencing. The more you relax, the more oxytocin and prolactin your body will release, and both of these hormones are key to successful lactation. Milk can definitely be a goal, but it doesn’t have to be a priority.
Along with regular nursing sessions, be sure that your husband is latched properly and suckling effectively. These are important factors in nursing. He can also perform breast massage or compressions while he’s nursing, and this might be helpful to you.
Many factors play into how quickly a woman produces breast milk: medical conditions or prescription medications, and some forms of birth control, as well as ineffective suckling, stress, fatigue, frustration, and a change in diet, can sometimes negatively affect lactation, or slow the process down.
So, after three months, should you be producing, and is it normal that you aren’t? When it comes to inducing, there is really no time frame or rule of thumb. Lactation is a personal journey, and what you’re experiencing is your “normal” and that is okay.
And I really don’t think that you’re doing anything wrong. While we can control some aspects of our nursing and inducing journey, such as how often we nurse, and when, helping to put hormones in their proper places, and choosing the method(s) of inducing that work perfectly for us, there are other things, like how quickly we produce, that simply take place on their own, and the best we can do is allow nature to take her sweet course.
For more information, please read:
I hope you’ll find it helpful.
Thank you for the question. I hope your journey is blessed!
Loving Milk Maid ❤️