Women who adopt children are now able to breastfeed them. Thanks to induced lactation which happens when a woman takes a medication to trick the body into thinking its pregnant so the breast can produce milk.
This may lead people to wonder if the process is safe. The answer is yes.
“The composition of milk produced by inducing lactation is comparable to that produced following birth,” according to La Leche League. “The milk does not contain dangerous levels of artificial hormones—in fact, it very rarely contains any artificial hormones at all.”
Lactation consultant Dr. Sharon Silberstein told Insider that this can help a mother bond with her adopted baby.
“Inducing lactation can be beneficial in lots of situations,” Silberstein said. “It helps with bonding and has the same nutritional benefits as breastfeeding after pregnancy.”
The baby will also benefit from the health benefits of breastfeeding the same way they would from their biological mother. Transwomen can also benefit from induced lactation because you don’t need female reproductive organs to go through this process.
Of course, it comes with some side effects. If you have heart problems, you won’t be a good candidate for induced lactation.
“There is a small increased risk of cardiac side effects,” Silberstein added. “When inducing lactation, we ensure that the patient has no heart problems and monitor them throughout. It is also a low dose of the drug.”
Dr. Molly Moravek, a reproductive endocrinologist at the University of Michigan, told them that more research needs to be done around this amazing subject. She said that “we still need to do more research to figure out the right doses of these medications.”
There’s also a possibility that the person going through induced lactation won’t produce any milk at all.
“While some parents make no milk and others make all the milk their babies need, most will make a partial milk supply. Fortunately, breastfeeding is possible no matter how much or little milk is produced—even if it is none at all!,” according to La Leche League.
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