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Thread: Relactaion after 9 months, exclusively pumping

  1. #1

    Default Relactaion after 9 months, exclusively pumping

    Hi all! When i had my son 9 months ago I was able to pump and feed him approximately half the time for about 3 weeks. i was very sick after having him (pulmonary embolism) and did not respond well to the medication that was safe for him to have, so I stopped. I have regretted it the whole time and now that I'm no longer taking this medicaiton I would like to relactate.

    My son will not latch, (he never really did) so I will have to do this trhough exclusively pumping. I dont think I can take Domperidone because of the blood clotting issues I have, I'm not sure it it's safe, and honestly I would rather do it without drugs.

    I have started taking fenugreek and plan on pumping 8 times per day. I have been pumping for 1 day and have already been seeing small drops of what seems like colustrum.

    My question is - is this possible without medicaitons and without getting my son to latch? I also worry that because I breastfed for such a short time only half the time I really idndt have an established milk supply. Is it really colustrum that I am seeing? Should I be encouraged by seeing something so soon or is this normal right away? I kknow myself and I tend to be impatient so I kind of need some encouragement that this can actually happen. If I pump more than 8 times per day is it more likely?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,287

    Default Re: Relactaion after 9 months, exclusively pumping

    Welcome to the forum!

    What you want to do is definitely possible. All you need is the proper stimulation to the breast combined with time, patience, and determination.

    As far as proper stimuation goes, it would probably be ideal if you had a nursing baby. But if you don't- and plenty of moms don't!- then you're lucky to live in an era in which such terrific pumps are available. The ideal pump for a mom who is exclusively pumping and pursuing relactation is going to be a hospital grade rental pump with correctly sized shields. If that is not attainable, you will want to use a very good double electric pump with correctly sized shields.

    When it comes to drugs and herbs, it's really important to know that while they are nice, and can provide a boost for some moms, neither drugs nor herbs typically work as well as more pumping. So if you don't want to take Domperidone or are not convinced of its safety in your case, you can definitely compensate for not taking it by pumping. That being said, I suggest contacting Infant Risk and asking if Domperidone or Reglan (more widely available in the US) is safe given your medical history. (JUst google Infant Risk and it comes right up.)

    You also don't have to worry about your milk supply not getting "established" in those early weeks. "Established" is a rather nebulous concept that simply means "less likely to fluctuate widely for little or no reason". It's not going to be a particularly important aspect of your journey at this point.

    The droplets you are seeing are not colostrum, which is produced during pregnancy and immediately after childbirth. What you're seeing is milk, the rather thick, salty, milk that is produced by the breast in the final stages of lactation. There are three great things about what you're seeing. First, you still have milk! Second, the process of drying up is completely reversible, given the proper stimulation. And third, the milk you are seeing can be fed to the baby. As the breast dries up, the concentration of immunological support factors in the milk increases. So while what you are seeing is not technically colostrum, it is actually much like colostrum in terms of what is in it!

    If you can pump 8x per day, that is awesome. If you can slip a few more pump sessions in, that is even more awesome. But don't get discouraged if there are days when you can't make it to 8 pumps per day. Strive for perfection, but don't beat yourself up on the days when you don't achieve it. Anything you can do is better than nothing!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Relactaion after 9 months, exclusively pumping

    Thank you so much for such a comprehensive answer! It really helps alot.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,287

    Default Re: Relactaion after 9 months, exclusively pumping

    Let us know how it goes, okay? I know that relactation can be a difficult, time-consuming process. And it can be really hard to believe that it can work if the results aren't immediate. So if you can, focus on every little success. If you even get one drop, you're doing a great job!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Relactaion after 9 months, exclusively pumping

    Will do! I will try to stick with is as long as I can.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Relactaion after 9 months, exclusively pumping

    I have another question. I am using a medela pump in style pump. Is this adequate for relactation?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,287

    Default Re: Relactaion after 9 months, exclusively pumping

    Probably adequate, but possibly not ideal. Ideal- for most moms, anyway- is a hospital-grade rental. But the PIS is a good pump and should get good results. Maybe not the absolute best results, but still very good.

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