Induced Lactation After Menopause

Many mature woman and their partners are becoming interested in ANR and, as a result, the question of whether you can induce lactation after menopause comes up frequently. The short answer to the question is a definite YES!

What You Need to Know

As long as you have healthy breasts, and the time to devote to the process, you can induce lactation after menopause. A uterus and/or ovaries are not required, so if you’ve had a hysterectomy or other surgery you can still have a successful ANR with your partner – or solo!

Getting Started with Lactation After Menopause

Induced Lactation After Menopause - Dreams of MilkI found it rather slow going (and honestly kind of frustrating) to induce while  experiencing the effects of menopause. There is a lot going on in your body during this time, especially with the hormones required for successful milk production.

My attempts at inducing involved the co-operation of my partner, and a lot of breast suckling to stimulate the milk-making process. This was somewhat successful and I was able to produce some milk, and the odd time, an exciting little spray of milk.

Of course, I was not satisfied with the amount of milk I was making, so I opted to add domperidone into the mix. This turned out to be a great addition, and within a few months I was able to produce almost 2oz of milk a day. This may not sound like a lot, but you should be aware that inducing seldom gives you the amount of milk that you would have if you you had gone through a pregnancy – the two can not be equated – the hormonal changes in the body during a pregnancy are just not something that we can fully duplicate. That being said…

The Newman-Goldfarb Menopause Protocol

The Newman-Goldfarb lactation protocols are designed mimic the hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy. After a period of time, the protocol is abruptly stopped. This sudden change in hormone levels, along with breast pumping, will encourage milk production.

For menopausal women (and/or women over the age of 35) there is a slightly modified protocol that does not use the estrogen/progesterone combination birth control as there are some health risks – the menopause protocol instead relies on using just the progesterone component in combination with domperidone.

Does It Work?

I have tried several different ways to induce lactation and I have had the best success with the menopause protocol. If you choose to go this route, one recommendation that I have is that you make sure that you have a good quality double electric breast pump to support your efforts.

Newman-Goldfarb Menopause Protocol

22 thoughts on “Induced Lactation After Menopause”

  1. Is this milk healthy enough to actually nurse children in need like a wet nurse? Or is it purely a fetishized reason

    Reply
    • Breastmilk is breastmilk. The only thing you need to be mindful of if you want to nurse a child is that many who induce lactation without pregnancy don’t usually produce enough milk to fully sustain a growing child (there are, of course, exceptions) and will likely need to supplement with formula or donated breastmilk. And when you are nursing a child you have to be more conscious on food choices, alcohol consumption, medications, etc. The Newman-Goldfarb lactation protocols were developed initially by a doctor to help support someone that was adopting and wanted to breastfeed.

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  2. I just discovered that lactation can be induced without pregnancy. I’m 46 and it’s been ten years since I breast fed my youngest daughter. To my knowledge , I’m not premenopausal yet and still have a Nexplanon in my arm that is years overdue to be removed (in case that’s significant). I am very interested in re-lactating and have read the protocols, etc but it’s a bit confusing. Perhaps I have just read too many different articles. Do some women start straight with a double electric pump and skip the progestin and domperidone before pumping? Can one start pumping while starting the progestin & Dom or is that counterproductive? I do have a Medela Pump In Style and just ordered a TENS unit that should be delivered in 2 days. I’m really anxious to use the TENS and pump (I can tolerate the highest setting for 20 minute sessions bright off the bat) but am I jumping the gun here?

    Reply
    • The protocols are one route, or you can go the “natural” route (no meds). It’s a personal choice whether you want to use medication or not. Following one of the protocols is definitely more involved, and takes longer to get started on the journey, but some women report more satisfying results.

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  3. Hi, I’m looking to start lactation as a surprise for my partner as he’s really into it. I’m just wondering how I go about starting as I work full time so I’m unable to use a breast pump every few hours. What other methods can I use to help me on my journey. I live in the UK.
    thank you

    Reply
  4. I’ve recently been diagnosed pre menopausal. I am now using testosterone cream and estrogen 1mg tab. I stumbled on this ANR accidentally but am intrigued. Suckling is great. But jus not available as often as needed. I have a tens unit that I have started using for stimulation as well-leaving it on my breasts all day pretty much stimulating with any and all activity. I’ve only been using this for a few days. I only have a hand pump no electric. It hurts when I try and use the medula hand pump. What do I do. Am I impatient?

    Reply
    • Quick answer – yes, you are impatient 😛 But we all are! A TENS is a great way to provide stimulation and to keep on a stimulation schedule even when you are unable to suckle. You don’t need to leave it running all day though – it is preferable to do it for 15-20 mins about every 2 hrs.

      Reply
  5. Can you tell me what age the oldest woman has been to relactate? Or breastfeed? I am a grandma looking to help my granddaughter(long story).

    Reply
    • Hi Sharon. There are many women that produce milk well after menopause. The challenge is (as always) hormones. Have a look at the Newman-Goldfarb protocols for menopause. And if possible you should work with a lactation consultant and physician to monitor your health/progress – playing with hormones can be tricky.

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  6. Hi, I am not menopausal yet but I was recently prescribed progesterone to balance my hormones. I am interested in learning to produce but was wondering if it’s going to be possible with me taking progesterone? I do not take any other medications. Do you know if it’s possible to induce lactation while taking that?

    Reply
    • If you have a look at the Newman-Goldfarb protocols for inducing lactation you’ll see they use progesterone to help mimic a pregnancy state. However, it also requires you to abruptly stop the progesterone at some point in order to instigate milk production. I’m not a medical practitioner but I have gone through menopause and I successfully induced during peri-menopause. You may not get ounces and ounces, but I believe you can make progress.

      Reply
  7. I have a question. I started using domperidone after starting with fenugreek and blessed thistle. I started producing within 3 weeks and seem to produce quite a bit. If I was only pumping I can easily pump almost 2 oz from each breast multiple times a day. I also have enough to get strong sprays over and over. But what I have noticed is I missed my period and seem to have gained weight. Now I know it said it could make you hungry so be careful, which I have been. Is it possible that it is adjusting my hormones enough to actually mimic nursing a child? When I nursed my children I didn’t get my period again until I was finished. Any information would be helpful. Thank You

    Reply
    • Hi Melissa,

      That is indeed the case! When lactating there is a whole shift in hormones, which can cause some weight gain and also missed periods. Not everyone experiences this, but it can happen.

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