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Thread: Relactation possible after milk has dried up?!

  1. #1

    Default Relactation possible after milk has dried up?!

    I have a beautiful 3 month old baby girl, she did great breastfeeding ( latched on and nursed on the 1st try!), I even had a great milk supply! After a couple of weeks she wasn't gaining weight so her pediatrician wanted me to put her on formula only. Now that she is a healthy weight, I want to start breastfeeding again. Only problem is, my milk has completely dried up . Is relactation possible since it only been a couple of months? My OBGYN ( whom I've never really cared for, very rude to me) said there is no pill to help and it's not possible so I should just give up. I have a breast pump I can use and I've started fenugreek, also baby girl has latched on a couple of times to help. Has anyone had luck with relactation after milk has dried up?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Relactation possible after milk has dried up?!

    Welcome to the forum!

    What you want to do is absolutely possible. Milk supply is created by demand, so the more you demand from your body (by nursing the baby or pumping with a high-quality pump), the more milk you will make. Just be aware that relactation doesn't happen overnight. You've been weaned for a couple of months, so you should expect that it will take at least that long to regain a full supply.

    This link covers relactation: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/relactation, and I strongly suggest reading through all of it and clicking through the links in the page. Here's a short version of what you want to do:
    - See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC.
    - Nurse the baby as often as possible.
    - While you are rebuilding supply, feed the baby in a breastfeeding-supportive way. Feed the baby appropriate amounts- usually about 2-4 oz at a time. Feed the baby frequently, day and night. Offer the breast at the conclusion of a bottle, so that baby associates the feelings of satiation and relaxation with the breast, rather than the bottle. Give bottles at the breast, so that baby associates the breast with eating.
    - Pump frequently using a high-quality double electric pump with correctly sized shields. A hospital-grade pump is ideal. A good double electric like the Hygeia Enjoye or Medela Pump in Style is your second choice.
    - Pump at least 8 times a day, making sure that some pump sessions happen at night, for at least 10-20 minutes at a time. If you can get more pumping sessions in, that is better. A newborn baby typically nurses at least 10-12 times a day, and pumping that frequently would be awesome if you could manage it.
    - Don't worry if you don't always achieve the ideal pumping frequency. All pumping is good.
    - Use the herbal supplements but please be aware that there is no herb or drug which will help you half as much as more pumping.
    - Find an ob/gyn or midwife who is more familiar with breastfeeding. There actually are pills you can take which can increase serum prolactin and thereby increase milk supply- again, these are not as good as more pumping but they do exist! The 2 drugs are Reglan and Domperidone, and they are prescription drugs which are used off-label for women in your situation. They are not right for all moms, so they should be taken only with a doctor or midwife's supervision.
    - Find a breastfeeding-supportive pediatrician. It sounds like your current pediatrician is not particularly familiar with how to deal with low weight gain in a breastfed baby- the advice you got, to switch to formula, is very poor advice as you can supplement without having to stop nursing.

    Again, what you want is totally possible and lots of women do it. My mom did it without pumping, drugs, or herbs, simply by putting my sister to the breast and allowing her unrestricted nursing time.

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