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Thread: Restarting breastfeeding

  1. #1

    Default Restarting breastfeeding

    I have decided to give breastfeeding another shot. My baby just turned 3 months recently. I breastfed him and supplemented with formula for the first 3 weeks of his life (mostly formula). I have had this urge to give breastfeeding another try and it is not going away. I rented a hospital grade pump, the medela lactina and met with my lactation consultant. I have had the pump for 7 days now and have been pumping every 3 hours for 20 minutes. I have missed a few late night feedings because I missed my alarm. Before starting my milk had completely dried up. I am now getting maybe a teaspoon a day, which doesn't seem like much. I am taking fenugreek and eating oatmeal daily, plus drinking lots of water. I do not want to take any type of prescription drug to increase my milk supply. My baby will sometimes latch on to nurse, but it doesn't last for more than a few moments. I just ordered the medela SNS and I am hoping that speeds things up. Am I on the right track? How much milk can I expect to make in the future and how long does it take to increase milk supply? I have two older children who need my attention too and want to ensure it is possible for me to re-lactate and that this is not a lost cause. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Restarting breastfeeding

    Welcome! It's terrific that you want to relactate, and it sounds like you have really gotten a good start on the process. I know a teaspoon a day doesn't seem like much, but that's huge!

    How much milk you make in the future and how long it will take to get to a certain point depends on how your individual body responds to your pump, your pumping frequency, your baby's nursing activity, any supplements you choose to take, and how willing you are to be persistent even when it may seem like you are treading water. In other words, it's really hard to say how much or how long! But if you are persistent, I think there is every reason to think that you can meet your goal.

    Is there any particular reason why you want to avoid Rx drugs? I know they are not the right choice for every mom, but IMO they can be very helpful and are sometimes a reasonable risk to take. I am certainly not pushing you to take drugs- but if you have any particular concerns maybe we can either put them to rest or make you feel more certain in your choice?

    This link on getting a baby to the breast may help: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

  3. #3

    Default Re: Restarting breastfeeding

    Thanks for getting back with me and for the advice. I am trying to stay motivated and just didn't know what to expect. Like whether this will take 1 month or 5 months. I understand that it is difficult to estimate what each person's body will do. I have the hospital grade pump for 1 month and plan on getting a pump after that if needed, but I do not have the option of purchasing a very expensive model.

    I live in the USA and was under the impression that the drugs were not available here. I wasn't sure what the side effects were, but heard mixed reviews on taking Rx drugs to increase supply. My lactation consultant didn't even mention it as an option. I wouldn't even know how to get any if I choose too.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Restarting breastfeeding

    Do you think it is possible that I might be able to eventually breastfeed my baby exclusively?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: Restarting breastfeeding

    I think it is possible, though it is a LONG journey.

    I completely rebuilt my supply from about 4 oz to 32 oz and it took six months. And I am exclusively pumping, though other factors come into play there and you might have better luck getting him back on the breast. Also I am a single student mom so that also made it take longer for me to get a full supply.

    The key here is not the ounces. Sure, that is a GREAT goal. But start at "ok, I want to get to the point where I can give him 1 bottle of breastmilk every day". . .and then 2 and so on. . .Don't psych yourself out. You can do this. You are getting a teaspoon a day? Guess what?! You are a breastfeeding mother. Tell yourself that everyday.

    I used to get panic attacks I was so upset about him not nursing and me not having enough milk. What helped for me was to make a list of non breastfeeding related things I did with my son that made me feel special- taking long baths with him, singing to him, anything and everything.

    I think the psychological aspect is a big part of this. Just remember we are here and we believe you can do this!!!

    Also, domperidone is very helpful. I probably wouldn't have been able to rebuild my supply without it. Consider it. I get mine in Canada, but then again I live very close to Canada. E-mail Dr Jack Newman about it and he will personally talk to your OB. You will need to get it filled at a compounding pharmacy. Reglan is also and option, though I didn't get any positive results from that (you might though!)

    You CAN do this!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Restarting breastfeeding

    Katia, that was a great post! It's so true that you are a breastfeeding mom no matter how much milk you provide. A gallon is good, a teaspoon is good- breastfeeding isn't all or nothing.

    Just an additional note on the drug situation: the two drugs used for increasing supply are Domperidone and Reglan. Neither one is FDA-approved for use as a galactogogue (milk increaser). Dom is not FDA-approved at all, even for its intended purpose (treating gastric issues) though it is approved in Canada and countries in the EU. This makes it difficult to obtain it in the US without finding a compounding pharmacy and a doctor or midwife who is willing prescribe it even though it's not an approved drug. In my opinion, this is unfortunate because Domperidone seems to be well-tolerated, and also does not cross the blood-brain barrier, something which Reglan does, and something which may explain why Reglan is associated with an in creed risk for depression, particularly in people who are already at risk for that condition. Reglan is FDA- approved. However, off-label use of Reglan has recently lost favor due to recent findings that it can sometimes cause tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements of the face), and that the risk of having such an adverse side-effect increases the longer you use the drug. If you choose to use either Domperidone or Reglan, please discuss these and other relevant medical issues very thoroughly with your midwife or physician.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Restarting breastfeeding

    Thanks for all of the information ladies!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Restarting breastfeeding

    That's such a great story, you should be totally proud of yourself for doing this. I used herbs when I was breastfeeding to keep the milk going. All those drugs freak me out, I have had 3 kids with not even an aspirin so no point putting drugs in the milk supply. I used Nursing Mom Support Tea and Mamatini to keep my milk supply strong and it really worked. Good luck with it!

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