Understanding the Challenges of Induction of Lactation and Relactation for Non-Gestating Spanish Mothers

Gemma Cazorla-Ortiz, Paola Galbany-Estragués, Noemí Obregón-Gutiérrez, Josefina Goberna-Tricas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    © The Author(s) 2019. Background: Induced lactation and relactation are the processes that enable breastfeeding in non-gestating mothers. Research aim: The aim of this study was to describe and interpret the challenges faced by mothers who undergo induced breastfeeding and relactation for adopted infants, infants born via surrogacy, and infants born to same-sex female partners. Methods: A qualitative study was performed using in-depth interviews conducted with Spanish women (N = 9) who had decided to undergo induced lactation or relactation. The data were collected between October 2014 and May 2017. The length of the study was due to the difficulty in locating and recruiting the sample. Interviews were transcribed and coded with the ATLAS.ti v.7.5.7 software. We performed a deductive thematic analysis, creating categories based on the interview questions, which we developed on the basis of previous literature about induced lactation and relactation. Results: Participants described the following challenges: the physical hardships of the process; breastfeeding problems; difficulty with accessing information about induced lactation or relactation; and lack of support from health professionals. Breastfeeding periods lasted from 1.5 months to 4 years. Participants reported that breastfeeding increased the closeness between the mother and child and that this feeling of closeness tended to decrease after breastfeeding cessation. Conclusion: We offer data and analysis that can improve our understanding of the lived experiences of women undergoing the process of relactation or induced lactation and may help guide intervention strategies to support women in this situation.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Human Lactation
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


    • breastfeeding
    • induced lactation
    • qualitative methods
    • relactation


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