How a same-sex couple can both breastfeed twins

A same-sex couple has gone viral for sharing a photo of both of them breastfeeding their twin babies.U.S. couple Jaclyn and Kelly Pfeiffer welcomed their children Jackson and Ella in May after trying to conceive for nearly three years. Despite the fact that Kelly carried the twins, wife Jaclyn is still able to breastfeed.

Jaclyn (left) and Kelly (right) Pfeiffer breastfeeding their twins. Courtesy of Melissa Benzel.

Jaclyn (left) and Kelly (right) Pfeiffer breastfeeding their twins. Courtesy of Melissa Benzel.“Being able to breastfeed our children together is so surreal, and we love it,” Kelly told Yahoo! News.“We had no idea what our options were for having a baby when we first started out.”The photos were taken by photographer Melissa Benzel, who said she is happy the parents can share their journey “with as many people as possible.”So how can both parents breastfeed their babies? Through something called induced lactation.

Jaclyn (left) and Kelly (right) Pfeiffer breastfeeding their twins. Courtesy of Melissa Benzel.

Jaclyn (left) and Kelly (right) Pfeiffer breastfeeding their twins. Courtesy of Melissa Benzel.
Story continues belowWhat is induced lactation?Induced lactation is when a woman is able to make breast milk despite never being pregnant or giving birth, for example.According to Joan Bordash, a registered nurse and certified lactation consultant at Markham Stouffville Hospital, induced lactation may be useful for women who adopt babies or have a baby born to a surrogate carrier.READ MORE: Sharing breast milk — Should you ever nurse someone else’s baby?“Also, some same-sex couples choose to induce lactation to share in the experience together,” Bordash told Global News. “It requires careful thought, gathering information and understanding it will take commitment and some ‘hard work.’”How does induced lactation work?When a woman is pregnant, the hormones prolactin, progesterone and estrogen prepare breasts to make milk. But prolactin on its own can create milk when the nipples are stimulated, the Australian Breastfeeding Association points out, as in the case of baby suckling.WATCH: What is mastitis?

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