How to Induce Lactation without Pregnancy

What to look for in a breast pump: is it a double pump?

Are you adopting a baby? Did you know that you can breastfeed your adopted baby? You might be wondering how to induce lactation without pregnancy. Here’s how you can use your Spectra breast pump to induce lactation without pregnancy.

Use your breast pump to induce lactation without pregnancy

You can use your Spectra breast pump to induce lactation without pregnancy. How this works is that the action of using the breast pump works to stimulate your breasts, just as a baby’s suckling does. We recommend using a hospital grade pump like the Spectra S1 or S2 because of their wide range of customisable settings and motor strength. If you’re using a breast pump to induce lactation, you’ll want your pump to, as closely as possible, mimic the suckling patterns of a newborn baby. With your breast pump you should plan on playing around with the settings to find what’s most comfortable for you, and even change the settings a few times during each pumping session.

How to induce lactation without pregnancy: use your hospital grade breast pump to induce lactation
The Spectra S2 hospital grade breast pump can help you induce lactation without pregnancy.

How often should I pump to induce lactation?

We spoke to Teresa from Lilly of the Valley Doula about her experience helping mums induce lactation without pregnancy and she suggests that if you’re using a breast pump, you should plan on pumping every 2 hours or more often. It’s important to keep the frequency up, especially during these first few weeks as milk supply is being established.

A pumping schedule is very important. It is time consuming, and can be frustrating because your output at first is only a few mls. But you have to look at those few mls as an absolute victory. It means that your breasts are making milk! I said at least every 2 hours at least, optimally and hoping for no time restrictions a schedule of an hour and a half.

– Teresa, Doula

It can take a couple weeks to start producing milk. And any milk – even a small amount – is worth celebrating. It means your body has learned how to produce breastmilk, and you’ve successfully induced lactation without pregnancy!

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Breastfeeding and nipple stimulation to induce lactation

You can induce lactation without pregnancy via the act of breastfeeding itself. Like pumping, breastfeeding stimulates the breasts to encourage milk production. You can try as soon as your baby comes home, or perhaps you have a friend with a baby. We spoke to Teresa from Lilly of the Valley Doula about her experience helping mums induce lactation without pregnancy and she recommends using a supplemental nursing system (SNS) with expressed breastmilk while attempting to induce lactation by breastfeeding.

Depending on the time frame between inducing lactation and the time the baby is home, put baby to the breast as soon as possible. Using an SNS when baby is on the breast, means that baby is getting enough milk whilst stimulating the breast to produce milk.

– Teresa, Doula

An SNS is a small tubing that you tape to the breast near the nipple. As baby latches to the nipple, the SNS ensures she is still getting the milk she needs while also stimulating your nipple to induce lactation without pregnancy.

Breastfeeding and nipple stimulation can induce lactation

Inducing lactation with supplements

Many women have had success inducing lactation without pregnancy by using the above methods alone, however, there are a few supplements on the market that can help with milk production. There are many options available – referred to collectively as galactagogues – that you can purchase online or over the counter without a prescription. Some of the more popular choices include alfalfa, blessed thistle, and fenugreek. We encourage you to work with your care provider or find a doula that specialises in postnatal services if you want to use a supplement to help induce lactation without pregnancy.

Using hormonal birth control to induce lactation without pregnancy

The hormonal birth control pill works to help induce lactation without pregnancy. In as simple terms as possible, the birth control pill works to prevent pregnancy by putting pregnancy hormones into your system which ‘trick’ your body into ‘thinking’ its pregnant. These same pregnancy hormones – estrogen and progesterone – encourage milk production in the breasts. Using the pill to induce lactation without pregnancy generally involves taking the pill for a few cycles, so your body ‘thinks’ its pregnant – and then stopping taking the pill so your body ‘thinks’ its ‘given birth’ – and thus begins lactating (along with the help of nipple stimulation and other prescriptions).

You can induce lactation without pregnancy with the help of the hormonal birth control pill. Talk to your care provider about inducing lactation with birth control pills.

If you want to use hormonal birth control to help induce lactation without pregnancy, talk to your care provider. Even if you’re already on the pill, they can help you make sure you’re on the best version of the pill, and help you with selecting other supplements or prescriptions you might need to successfully induce lactation without pregnancy.

What Spectra mums are saying about inducing lactation without pregnancy

We asked Spectra mums to share their tips about inducing lactation without pregnancy – here’s what they had to say:

Work with an IBCLC who is knowledge in this area and create a plan together with your doctor. Generally you need to go on a high dose contraception pill and pump frequently, when timed correctly you drop contraceptive pill and start Mottillium.

– Leonie


If you know someone with a newborn, try and get in as many cuddles as possible to stimulate those hormones.

– Sam

Cuddling with a baby can help induce lactation without pregnancy.

Keep your baby close when you pump. That feeling of love releases oxytocin and your milk will flow better.

– Kimberly, Doula


Find an IBCLC and develop a plan.

– Kristy


Start pumping ASAP. Doctors can prescribe medication to help induce lactation as well

– Rebecca


Since you’re inducing lactation you want to pump at least every 2 hours. Your mind is a very powerful tool, use it, think and meditate on your production of milk. If you believe it, it will happen. Also talk to your doctor about hormones to help you along. Good luck!

– Teresa, Doula

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5 thoughts on “How to Induce Lactation without Pregnancy

  1. Jina says:

    Nice post! Thanks 👍! I used domperidone (to induce lactation) for my first two boys. I was so happy ❤️ I found ‘DOMBF365’ in Google and got Dom so soon. While I never had to supplement, I worked full time from two months and am not a great pumper. I saw results from the meds within a day or two, and stayed on it with my first for six moths. With my second, once my supply increased, I weaned myself off the meds and my supply stayed strong. I’d also recommend directly breastfeeding as much as you are able, as that works wonders as well!!!

  2. Jen says:

    On my fourth time pumping, I got a little droplet of milk. Is that normal to get some production that quickly? It could not have been anything else.

  3. Michelle says:

    Is it possible to eventually, induce enough breast milk to not have to supplement feed anymore? I have tried feeding my first adopted child, and though I had good milk production, it was never enough to satisfy her needs. I would love to be able to feed our baby, breast milk exclusively.

  4. Mara says:

    Does the every two hours thing go through sleep time? I’m trying to develop a plan, I travel a lot so I can swing the every two hours part but I’m unable to get to a professional so I’m taking this into my own hands.

    • Spectra Team says:

      Hi Mara, With mums who have just had a baby and are exclusively expressing, we say every two to three hours with no more than one five hour break at night.

      With inducing lactation, I would think the more you mimic the feeding pattern of a newborn, which would be every two to three hours, sometimes even more, the better your outcome might be. Most newborns will not sleep for five hours and will want a feed, so see how you go. 🙂

      Good luck!

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