Document Type




Publication Date

Spring 6-2015


Induced lactation refers to the production of breast milk in a woman who has never been pregnant. While induced lactation has been practiced developing nations for centuries, it has only recently been introduced to the United States. Induced lactation allows a woman to provide both nutrition and nurture an emotional bond with an infant in cases of adoption, surrogacy, same-sex couples, maternal-infant separation, and emergencies/natural disasters. Many protocols for inducing lactation have been described, though all vary widely in methodology and effectiveness. The current review summarizes the physiology of human lactation, psychosocial factors involved with inducing lactation, non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic techniques for triggering breast milk production, and the composition of induced breast milk.