Can you women produce milk breastfeed without being pregnant?

The baby is there, milk production is stimulated and nothing can stand in the way of a hopefully good breastfeeding partnership. Can you women produce milk breastfeed without being pregnant? But what is it like with adopted babies breastfeeding partnership.? Does the production of milk also work without pregnancy in women?

Can you women produce milk breastfeed without being pregnant

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Can you women produce milk breastfeed without being pregnant?

The answer is yes, but with a lot of patience, strength and endurance, and a lot of help, and understanding from your partner, and family. Even for women with a baby’s belly, breastfeeding after birth sometimes proves to be a great challenge. For mothers with non-birth children, it is a particularly big hurdle. But the wish to breastfeed the new family member can come true – provided the baby wants to be breastfed. The timing also plays an enormous role. The earlier the soon-to-be mothers find out when they can take the adopted child home with them, the sooner they can begin with the preparations.

Are you an adoptive mother and breastfeeding to an infant? No problem

For many mothers, it is the epitome of happiness to be able to breastfeed their child. It strengthens the intimate relationship between mommy and baby – and breast milk is still considered the healthiest food for the baby. Even adoptive mothers often want nothing more than to be able to breastfeed their babies themselves. And that really works! Even women who have never been pregnant before can breastfeed their babies. We explain how this works.

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Every woman can breastfeed – induced lactation makes it possible

Can you women produce milk breastfeed without being pregnant?  Every women can breastfeed, Induced lactation is the scientific term for breastfeeding without a previous pregnancy. What sounds unbelievable, but is possible: Every woman can breastfeed. No matter whether she was pregnant or not.


The reason: every woman has mammary gland tissue in her breast. During pregnancy, this tissue is already hormonally prepared for breastfeeding and the mother can therefore place her baby directly on the breast and give him milk. But also the stimulation of the nipple by the baby causes the woman to produce the hormone prolactin and produce milk.

Induced lactation is a very difficult process that should go with by an expert lactation consultant, who is a lactation consultant herself. This process is also partly supported by hormonal medication, but according to Imlau, this is controversial.

Can the baby be fully breastfed?

Women who have never been pregnant before will have to give the bottle in addition. Mothers, on the other hand, who have already given birth to a child, can certainly manage to fully breastfeed the baby.

What do women who are willing to breastfeed have to do?

The baby should ideally be breastfed ten times a day at different times of the day for ten to 30 minutes. In the best case, the breastfed baby has never drunk from a bottle. Then it takes between six days and six weeks until the first drop of milk flows – depending on how quickly the body reacts to the stimulation.

Stimulation with a breast pump in advance often does not have the desired effect:  A breast pump can never have the same effect as a real drinking newborn baby because binding plays a significant role in this breastfeeding hormone release. When the women think about their baby, the milk bubbles up. If there is a plastic pump lying around, usually nothing happens.

Why can all women breastfeed?

There are evolutionary reasons for this. In the past, when there was no powdered milk, it was important for a baby’s survival that foreign women could also feed it. Maternal mortality was significantly higher than today.

Can any woman breastfeed?

Again, and again we hear from many sides that every woman or every mother can breastfeed, but why are there so many stories and reports to the contrary? Let’s take a closer look, maybe we will find a different result than generally known?

Can you women produce milk breastfeed without being pregnant?

First, we should ask ourselves: What happens during pregnancy?

Many pregnant women notice a pulling in their breasts at the beginning of pregnancy. Some women also report an increase in size, which can be one or two cup sizes. The color of the nipples also changes, as does the size of the areola: this can increase. The areola shows small elevations on the areola.

These are the first signs of milk production and the ability to breastfeed. The increase in the size of the breasts is due to the branching of the mammary gland tissue, which is responsible for milk production. The stronger pigmentation of the nipples makes the tissue more durable.

The small elevations on the areola are the so-called Montgomery glands, which nourish the nipple and protect it from infections of the mother’s breast and in infants. They react to the germ load in the mother’s environment and form the necessary antibodies.

From the 16th week of pregnancy onwards, milk is produced and this changes frequently, so that in the event of premature birth, breast milk that is adapted to the baby’s needs is available.

What happens after birth?

During birth, many important hormones are produced which prepare mothers and child for their new relationship, stimulate circulation and control the production of milk. After the placenta is born, the signal is given to the breast that the milk can flow. Then the infant has access to the newborn/premature baby milk, which is very rich in antibodies, promotes the first defecation, and still contains very small amounts (approx. 2-5 ml/meal on the 1st day) in order not to overburden the small stomach.


Around the 3rd day after birth, the situation changes, as the placental hormone drops sharply in the meantime and breast milk is produced. Many mothers suddenly notice a full breast and a changed sucking behavior of the baby. The baby’s excreted stool changes color from green to yellow and the babies suddenly drink 8-14 times a day.

The anatomy of the female breast

The female breast consists of connective, fatty, and mammary gland tissue and smooth muscles. The mammary glands are a hormone-dependent organ whose task is to produce milk (lactation). Can you women produce milk breastfeed without being pregnant?

Galactorrhea is the pathological secretion of milk or secretion from the female breast outside of pregnancy and lactation. The cause is usually an increased level of the lactation hormone prolactin or an organic change in the milk duct.

Galactorrhea can be diagnosed and treated by means of a milk duct endoscopy.

Definition: Galactorrhea

The galactorrhea is defined as abnormal milk discharge from the nipple outside pregnancy and lactation, or spontaneous lactic secretion from the mammary gland outside the lactation period (lactation)

In most cases, galactorrhea is caused by an increased blood level of the lactation hormone (prolactin) for various reasons or as a result of organic changes in the milk duct (e.g. polyps in the milk duct, etc.).


A low milk secretion from the nipple during pregnancy and in women who have recently given birth during the breastfeeding breaks is considered normal. In case of doubt, medical help or advice should be sought from a midwife even in such cases.


Age peaks and frequency of galactorrhea

The age peak for galactorrhea is between 30 and 40 years of age. Approximately one percent of all women before menopause will eventually develop galactorrhea. This proportion increases even more in women who have already had several children.


One in four of these women who have given birth to more than one child will develop galactorrhea at some point outside the breastfeeding period. In breast disease, galactorrhea generally appears as a symptom in 1 to 33 percent of cases, depending on the literature.

Anatomy of the breast and causes of galactorrhea

The female breast has the function of a gland. Glands form secretions (i.e. liquid secretions), which have special tasks, such as

  • Nutrition (milk)
  • Heat balance (sweat glands)
  • Hormone production (hormones are messenger substances, they mediate effects via the bloodstream)

Why is breastfeeding so good?

Both mother and baby benefit from breastfeeding: The risk of infectious diseases, allergies, and asthma are reduced when the baby is breastfed. For the mother, the risk of breast or ovarian cancer can be reduced.

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Can you women produce milk breastfeed without being pregnant, But if breastfeeding does not work, women should not blame themselves: Today’s baby food is balanced so that babies grow up healthy.

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