Relactation after almost 2 months
My son was 4 weeks 2 days early and had breathing problems so he was moved to the NICU. While in the hospital I tried pumping and eventually breastfeeding. When we got home he refused to latch and I had no pump. I finally got one and it didn't work very well at all. I then got a Medela a few weeks ago but couldn't get anything at all. I know have a Hygeia and still can't get anything. I wanted to breastfeed/pump until he was at least one or two. I have completely dried up and want more than anything to be able to breastfeed again. A lot of people judge me for formula feeding and it makes me feel even worse that I can't give breastmilk like I wanted to. Does anyone have any tips? How long will it take to build a supply up again? Is it even gonna be possible? Please help:sob!
Re: Relactation after almost 2 months
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!
Relactation is definitely possible. Unfortunately, it's impossible to give a "one size fits all" answer to the question of how long it will take- every mom's journey is going to be unique.
it may still be possible to get your baby to the breast. This link covers techniques: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/. If you can get the baby to nurse, you may be able to restore your supply by nursing alone. However, pumping is going to be a large part of the experience for most moms.
In order to make more milk, you want to drain the breast as completely as possible, as often as possible. A nursing newborn will typically feed approximately 10-12 times a day in order to bring its mother's milk in and create a good supply. You want to aim to pump at least 8 times a day, shooting for more sessions if possible. Don't feel like you've failed if some days you can only squeeze in 5 sessions, or whatever- pumping in addition to caring for a newborn is a very heavy workload and sometimes you end up having to choose between baby care and pumping- not a choice that is friendly to pumping schedules!
You want to make sure there are no physical inhibitors to milk supply. Things like thyroid problems, retained placenta fragments, PCOS, pregnancy, and hormonal contraception can all put a damper on supply.
You also want to use the best possible pump. For a mom who is exclusively pumping, that means a hospital-grade rental with correctly sized shields. The Hygeia is an acceptable second-best option, but if you can afford that hospital-grade rent-a-pump, go for it!
Finally, ditch any bad feelings that are coming from feeling judged. First of all, breastfeeding may be the first aspect of mothering you've been judged on, but it sure won't be the last. You have to develop a thick skin and not let other people get to you. Second, there are a lot of moms out there who have struggled in one way or another to feed their babies. You're not alone in this!