Possible to start breastfeeding?
I gave birth almost 9 months ago and occasionally my breast will leak. Not a lot and it's only my left breast. I tried very hard to breastfeed but my milk never came in. My breast never felt heavy or full like they said it would when the milk came in after birth. I was able to breastfeed for the first few days after that I could barely get anything out. I have a very good double electric pump and I tried using that for about 6 weeks and I never got more than an ounce or two for the whole day. My question is would it be possible for me to start breastfeeding this late? I don't want to get my hopes up and think that I'll be able to just to fail again. I do have PCOS which I think had a lot to do with why I wasn't successful. TIA.
Re: Possible to start breastfeeding?
Welcome to the forum!
Not all women experience engorgement, fullness, heaviness, leaking, etc. when their milk comes in. It's much more informative to watchtower he baby than to judge supply by how your breasts feel or how much milk you can pump. If the baby is peeing/pooping/gaining enough, then milk supply is adequate. Which I'm mentioning not because I want you to feel bad about your experience with this baby, but because you might someday have another, and it's information you should have at that time.
It is definitely not too late to produce milk- the leaking indicates that your breasts are still in production mode, which will make it easier to increase supply as you will not be starting from scratch. First, make sure you have the right pump for the job. A hospital-grade rental would be best, but a good double electric (e.g. Medela Pump in Style or Hygeia Enjoye) would be acceptable. Make sure that you have correctly sized shields. Then start pumping, aiming for as many sessions as possible over the course of the day. 8-12 would be ideal, but do what you can- you have a 9 month old baby and that means you're a busy mama! Meanwhile, see your endocrinologist and discuss what's going on with your body- maybe there's a way to get your hormones in better order. And offer the breast to your baby in a low-pressure way- if she will nurse, that would be a terrific way to build supply. But don't get your hopes up too much- as time goes on, it gets harder and harder to get a baby back to the breast. It can happen, but there are no guarantees.
How much milk you can expect, and how rapidly you see it, depends on how diligent you are with pumping and also on your body, particularly in light of the PCOS. Don't expect much at first. It's going to take a lot of patience and persistence to get milk back. So keep your expectations realistic- you may not be able to nix all the formula in your baby's diet. But even an ounce of breastmilk per day would be significant!