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Can a woman produce milk without actually being pregnant?

Answered by: Dr. Sangeeta Saxena
Assistant Commissioner (Child Health)
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India
New Delhi

Q. Can a woman generate milk in her breasts without actually being pregnant? How can a mother breastfeed an adopted child?

A.  Yes a woman can generate milk and breastfeed her adopted baby. For this however, you need to be in very close contact with your baby, stimulate your nipples through your baby, and have good counselling. It has been done in the west, although it is not a routine practice even there. It has, to the best of my knowledge, not been done here in India. You may need hormonal support. You would need to be clear about your determination on this account, as there is no contraindication on your side to breast feeding, and as it has enormous advantages in all respects, you may try for it. Best of luck!

A.  Yes a woman can generate milk and breastfeed her adopted baby. For this however, you need to be in very close contact with your baby, stimulate your nipples through your baby, and have good counselling. It has been done in the west, although it is not a routine practice even there. It has, to the best of my knowledge, not been done here in India. You may need hormonal support. You would need to be clear about your determination on this account, as there is no contraindication on your side to breast feeding, and as it has enormous advantages in all respects, you may try for it. Best of luck!

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