Pregnancy is not essential for lactation
Yes contrary to popular belief women can breast feed without being pregnant. It’s possible for a virgin woman to be a wet nurse. When mother can’t lactate wet nurses can be helpful. Even in some cases adoptive mothers successfully lactated her baby. Dr. Grabrielle Palmer, Lecturer in Human Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine says, There is no medical reason why women should not lactate indefinitely or feed more than one child simultaneously (known as ‘tandem feeding’)… some women could theoretically be able to feed up to five babies.
Regular breast sucking can trigger neural reflex of prolactin or luteotropic hormone which helps women to produce milk. Women including adoptive mothers can start to lactate by using breast pump repeatedly. Wet nurse is very useful where maternal mortality rate is very high. In ancient Rome there were some wet nurses by profession.
Getting the first drop of milk takes some time, it may be weeks and even months. Massaging breast and nipple is advised and regular use of breast pump is also needed. Improved diet and hormone therapy may also be needed.