When Caitlin’s partner Leah fell pregnant with their son Oakley, the pair decided they would both breastfeed him, despite the fact that Caitlin wasn’t the one to carry the baby.
“I have never been pregnant but I am breastfeeding our son due to a concept called induced lactation,” the mum-of-one reveals.
Caitlin started her journey in August last year when Oakley was just six weeks old and updated her followers on TikTok.
“Oakley is now six weeks old and I have been breastfeeding him, alongside Leah since he was born,” she said.
“We both have full supplies so we’ve been making quite a lot of milk.”
“I’m proud I can get a full supply of milk without delivering the baby”
The young mum was filled with immense pride that she could have that special bonding time with her baby and take some of the pressure off of her wife.
“I’m actually really shocked but also really proud of myself that I’ve been able to get a full supply when I’ve never been pregnant, and I’m actually keeping up with Leah, so I’m really quite proud of myself for that,” she beams.
The comment section was filled with words of kindness and admiration, as well as some who had personal experience with induced lactation for adoptive children.
“That’s so awesome! My mum induced lactation for my little brother through adoption,” stated one follower.
“What a lucky baby Oakley is to have two such devoted mothers,” gushed another.
“I’m so proud to see this, this needs to be a bigger topic in society,” a TikToker stated.
Experts say hormone therapy is the best way to induce lactation
Melissa Kurke, a lactation consultant from the Mayo Clinic in the US, provides her expert advice on induced lactation for mothers who have never fallen pregnant.
- Induced lactation depends on the successful replication of the hormone prolactin to increase and initiate milk production
- Health care providers encourage hormone therapy months prior to the birth of the child
- Two months prior to the start of your breastfeeding journey, stop the hormone treatments and begin to pump your breasts with a hospital grade electric pump. This encourages the production and release of prolactin
- First, pump for five minutes three times a day. Work up to pumping for 10 minutes every four hours, including at least once during the night
- Then increase pumping time to 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. Continue the routine until the baby arrives
- When you begin to breastfeed the baby, your health care provider might recommend continued pumping — including after feedings — to help establish your milk supply
- To learn more about induced lactation and how to increase your chances of establishing breastfeeding, contact a lactation consultant at a local hospital or clinic.