Getting your breasts ready for inducing lactation

I belong to a Yahoo! Group:  Mysticism, Magick & Lactation and every once in a while a great piece of information will come across the message boards.  The following was written and posted by “Hudson”, who graciously allowed me to share with my followers.  The last paragraph was a very important note for me…..during the first few weeks of trying to induce, I was never allowing myself to just take in the moment of peace and serenity.

If you have never been pregnant or induced lactation before, you need to condition your breasts, nipples and areolas before you start seriously trying to induce lactation. Before you can lactate and breast feed for the first time, (or successfully pump milk), minor physical changes must occur in both your mammary glands and in the skin of your nipples/areolas. If you try to induce too quickly without first conditioning your breasts, you can become very sore. 

Before pregnancy, (or before breast feeding for the first time), the milk producing cells in your mammary glands are very small, and before fluids essential to process of making milk can pass through the walls of the cells, they must grow larger. This is physical growth within the mammary glands, and it does take time; however, the growth occurs naturally while you are inducing. You don’t have to do anything special to develop the milk producing cells in your mammary glands, just be aware that it does take longer when inducing for the first time. The length of time required to relactate depends on a number of conditions unique to the individual; however, relactation is generally quicker that inducing for the first time.

The more immediate issue is the skin on your nipples and areolas. Before pregnancy, (or before breast feeding for the first time), the skin on your nipples/areolas is still thin and sensitive, and if you try to stimulate too quickly, they can become very sore. The solution is to take it slow and let your breasts condition themselves for extended stimulation and/or pumping. When your nipple/areolas are ready to be stimulated on a regular schedule, the skin will feel thicker and kind of rubbery. Your nipples may also appear noticeably larger after a time.

To condition your breasts for lactation, begin slow, with perhaps no more than a few minutes of pumping or stimulation once or twice a day, then increase both the duration of stimulation and the number of sessions as comfortable. If you feel yourself becoming sore, slow down for a bit, or even skip a day or two until the pain goes away. Skipping a day or two won’t cause you to lose any of the progress you have made. Continue increasing the time of stimulation until you can comfortably pump for approximately 20 minutes uninterrupted, for as many sessions as you wish each day. Your body can’t focus on making milk if your nipples are sore all of the time. It can help to massage your nipples/areolas just before pumping to speed up conditioning.

Particularly if you feel a sharp pain when you initially start pumping that might indicate a cracked nipple, stop and let it heal. A cracked nipple can lead to mastitis. It’s dry in most areas this time of year, and low humidity can make your skin even drier and more susceptible to cracking. When massaging or pumping, use lubrication. Olive oil is inexpensive and works well, but there are other nipples creams on the market. Whatever cream or oil you choose, make sure it isn’t the kind that will dry into the skin and clog a milk duct. A clogged milk duct can be very painful also. When using lubrication, make sure to keep the pump apparatus, (particularly the shield and connectors clean. Don’t let bacteria hide in the pump shield that might infect your nipples.

I know that you don’t want to hear this is going to take longer, by the truth of the matter is that it may take months. When a woman is pregnant for the first time, it takes months for her breast to become fully developed for continued breast feeding. When a woman is pregnant, her breasts develop unnoticed because she is focused more on the baby than the development of her mammary glands. When a woman is inducing lactation for the first time, her mammary glands still take time to fully mature for breast feeding. The good news is: once you are able to pump or breast feed as well as a nursing mother, your mammary glands will never go back to their previous state, and relactation will always be easier. 

Inducing lactation is a journey of self-illumination and self-awareness. Your body already knows how to lactate; let your milk glands develop naturally as you stimulate or pump. When you begin to pump, (if you are doing it right), after a couple of minutes, you will feel yourself slip into a state of serenity. This is the emotional state where your breasts and mammary glands start to develop the ability to lactate. When you feel yourself slip this state of serenity, open yourself emotionally and let the inner-peace fill you. 

5 thoughts on “Getting your breasts ready for inducing lactation

  1. Lynn says:

    I found this really helpful, thank you. However I a somewhat frustrated with the pain I experienced the first time. I have so many questions!

  2. I love the feeli.g of let down I don’t have milk yet but I love thT feeling when I am pumping I feel like; am nursing a baby. I can’t wait for milk to leak out of my breasts@have that wet feeling @milkdripping out.

  3. Brenda says:

    I have started this process a week ago and I wish I had this information- as it is nice to know that I do not need to pump as my nipples have been very tender but was afraid after everything that I had read to skip a day and lose momentum – I will now indulge in a warm oil bath and not pump for a day. Although I have to admit that pumping before bed time puts me into a very tranquil sleep – something I have not had in a very long time-

    • No you don’t need to only pump. It is hard on your breasts and nipples when you are first starting out. If you have a partner, you want to have them nurse on your as much as possible. If you don’t have a partner, use the marmet method to try and give your breasts a break from the pump. Use a combo that works well for you.

      • Brenda says:

        Thank you – I do not have a regular partner and the one that I tought I could count on was way to hard on my breasts I tried to explain that I needed gentle suckling but did not sink in so he has not been invited back –
        Do you know of a site that I might go to that people are interested in truly helping?
        Thank you

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