Lactation without pregnancy
Lactation and pregnancy go hand in hand. Lactation is necessary, and expected after a woman has a baby. However, post-pregnancy is not the only time that women lactate. There have been several instances where woman who are not pregnant have lactated. The production of milk before a woman is pregnant is definitely alarming. However, it is not physically dangerous and can happen to any woman who is of child-bearing age. This is usually between 16 and 40 years of age. There are a number of reasons for lactation that is not related to pregnancy. We will discuss them below.
- Changes in Hormones: There are a number of hormonal changes that naturally occur within a woman’s lifetime. The body responds to these changes in a number of ways. One of the indicators of hormonal changes can be lactation without pregnancy. Prolactin is the hormone that produces lactation. If the amount of prolactin rises above its normal limits in a woman’s body, the breasts will produce milk, even when the woman is not pregnant.
- Nipple Stimulation: The breasts are part of a woman’s reproductive system, and are designed to play their part after a woman has delivered a baby. However, the breasts are prompted by stimulation. When a woman’s nipples are sucked on a regular basis, the brain interprets the sucking as a sign that milk needs to be produced. As a result, the mammary glands will begin milk production. Women who are not striving to get pregnant but desire to nurse a baby, take advantage of this natural phenomenon so they can breastfeed their adopted baby. This helps them to form an authentic bond with the child, which usually occurs between the baby and his natural mother. Studies have indicated that sucking the nipples eight to ten times daily for 20 minutes for a three week period can bring about lactation.
- Miscarriage: Some women will lactate even after having a miscarriage. Miscarriage is also brought on by hormonal changes, which can bring on lactation. There are instances where the miscarriage is not immediately detected. Some women experience what appears to be heavy menstrual bleeding, but is actually the loss of the fetus. When this occurs, the reason for lactation is not clear. Women are advised to consult their doctor in a situation like this.
- Drugs: There are medications that can bring on lactation, such as Sulpiride, Reglan and Domperidone. These medicines block dopamine and increase prolactin levels. A rise in prolactin results in lactation. An increased dosage of these medications is recommended when a mother is not producing enough milk to adequately feed her baby.Herbs: There are also certain herbs that can prompt the breast to produce milk, even when a woman is not pregnant. Anise seed, fenugreek, fennel, blessed thistle, cumin seed, hops and goat’s rue are examples of herb that promote lactation. Therefore, it’s important to only take these natural supplements in the recommended dosage.