Induced Lactation Made Simple
By Jennifer Ritchie, IBCLC, Owner of Milkalicious
Believe it or not, it is not necessary to have been pregnant in order to breastfeed. A common practice in the dairy industry, inducing lactation can be a fairly simple process with the right education and support. During pregnancy a woman's body produces increasing amounts of progesterone and estrogen and prolactin (the hormone from the brain to tell the body to make milk). These hormones ready the breasts for breastfeeding. Once the placenta is delivered, progesterone and estrogen levels drop and prolactin levels increase, resulting in lactation. It is possible to simulate the increased progesterone and estrogen with the use of birth control pills.
The first step in inducing lactation would be to request a prescription for the birth control Yasmin. The mom will need to take active pills only, no sugar pills. The longer the mom has to be on the birth control the better, but the advanced protocol requires a minimum of 30 days. Just think, a woman has these elevated levels of progesterone and estrogen for 9 months, so the longer the mom is on the Yasmin, the more milk she will make overall. It is important that the mother's doctor understand that the birth control pill is not being used to control menses but rather to develop the milk making apparatus of the breasts.
The second step would be to obtain the drug Motilium, a GI drug generally used for controlling nausea and vomiting, dyspepsia, and gastric reflux, this drug is necessary to increase prolactin levels.
The third and final step is to see an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant prior to the baby being born. Formula supplementation with induced lactation is very common, and supplementation may be necessary. How you deliver the supplementation, on breast or in a bottle, will be something to discuss with the Lactation Consultant. In addition, a pumping plan will most likely need to be put in place, and the Lactation Consultant can help you with your overall plan of care, and the rental of a Hospital Grade Pump Rental. With induced lactation, a consumer pump that you purchase, may not be enough to establish your supply.
Acupuncture recommended for Surrogates? Yes! Results say it all!
By Dr. Kathleen Albertson, L. Ac., PhD, Holistic Nutrition
Couples encounter many fertility options, and surrogacy is a wonderful choice. Several studies indicate acupuncture produces a 40-60% improvement rate, increasing the success of take home babies even more! I have successfully treated many, many surrogates over the course of my 15 years in practice. This includes prior to IUI or IVF transfer, same day as, and throughout pregnancy.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) includes acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. It has successfully treated infertility, gynecological, male factor, as well as many other illnesses and health problems for over 5,000 years. Western medicine, by comparison, is just over 200 years old. Now is the time for integration of Western and Eastern thought to enhance patient care.So how does it work?
TCM treats holistically, balancing, nourishing and supporting your blood and organ systems. A balanced body system is necessary to make good follicles, good eggs, sufficient uterine lining and to help prevent miscarriage. TCM stabilizes our systems. Your body is like a "circuit board connecting with your brain". Life is busy and stressful for most of us ...so it is easy for our bodies to "shut down" and be unbalanced. It is as if some of the switches on our "circuit board" have been turned off creating blockages causing physical or emotional imbalances. TCM restores balance and blood flow, and opens up our "circuit boards" so that the body functions better without stress or duress. The body and endocrine system feel safe, in better working order to conceive, implant, carry, and deliver! The stress on the couple and the surrogate is overwhelming at times.“Any protocol that can reduce that stress is beneficial to the couple, the surrogate and of course…to the baby! Luckily, everyone has the same goals in mind and that is to deliver a healthy baby.
My experience is that acupuncture has a significant, positive impact on the mental and physical state of the surrogate...and yes… the couple (many come in for treatment as well)!”
Does it hurt?
No, acupuncture is a very gentle and relaxing protocol! The needles are very thin -hairline.
You may feel a tiny pinch or nothing at all. It is safe with little or no side effects. In fact, I treat children. Women are treated all the way through pregnancy in high-risk cases, or to counter the effects of morning sickness, fatigue, headaches, edema, back pain, etc. during pregnancy. If there is less stress and fatigue on the Mom's body; the Mom, and baby benefit.What can I expect at my first visit?
We discuss your medical history and current symptoms and goals. Tongue and pulse diagnosis is part of the consultation. Nutrition, diet and lifestyle are also an important part of becoming and maintaining pregnancy, and are discussed. I will explain an appropriate treatment plan for you. TCM practitioners work closely with fertility specialists, therapists, and surrogacy centers, and are an important part of IUI or IVF cycles.
So, we know that pregnancy and delivery are a journey, and I am here to help each and everyone of you succeed. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email or call me.
PS: Many insurance companies now cover acupuncture! Your first wealth is your heath!