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Thread: Gladular tissue/milk ducts the same size when relactating?

  1. #1

    Default Gladular tissue/milk ducts the same size when relactating?

    I'm about to being relactating 2 and a half years after breastfeeding my son stopped. I will be donating my milk to a friend of mine who is pregnant and was unable to breastfeed her first child.

    A little background on my milk making system:
    While I was pregnant, my breasts went from a small B cup to a small D, and after birth when my milk came in, they grew to a DD, if not more. I don't know the exact size because I lived in nursing bras. No herbs were taken. I gained 30 lbs or so while pregnant, just for reference. It took several days, but I had a full milk supply and then some and it kept building.

    My question is regarding milk production with relactation. When I relactate, I'm assuming I won't have the same amount of or same size alveoli, ducts, ect that I had from being pregnant- is this correct? I plan on somewhat following the relactation protocol and using bioidentical hormones and Shatavari (instead of birth control and Domperidone), as well as using goats rue- all for about 6 months. Then I will drop the bioidentical hormones and add fenugreek, blessed thistle, alfalfa, oats, lactation cookies, ect while beginning pumping (I already have the hospital grade Medela Symphony) and also doing hand expressions. I won't be putting a baby to breast.

    Is this all I can do to ensure the best milk duct system growth for optimum milk supply?

    Would it be possible to get somewhat close to what my supply was with my son?

    Does anyone have experience using the bioidentical hormones and/or shatavari in leui of Domperidone? Will applying the progesterone cream directly to Breasts have a better impact than to apply it on other thin skinned areas?

    And will the hormones for 6 months help more than just skipping ahead & starting to pump? (Meaning, if I just begin pumping, will my glandular tissue end up being the same after 6 months as it would if I did the protocol & used hormones for 6 months before beginning pumping)

    That was a ton of questions! I'm sorry.
    Thank you so much for any help
    Last edited by @llli*linsgirlj; September 10th, 2015 at 04:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Gladular tissue/milk ducts the same size when relactatin

    Before you devote yourself to relactating, which is not light work, can you tell us more about why your friend wasn't able to breastfeed? I totally understand wanting to help a friend, and I think that pursuing relactation represents an amazing act of generosity on your part! But- and please don't take this the wrong way!- sometimes milk donations can function as permission to fail at breastfeeding instead of help to succeed. It might be better to push your friend to see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, or to get her to a LLL meeting, or to help her with her older child so that she has more time to focus on nursing her newborn, than to just supply her with bottles.

    That being said, I think you can expect that relactation is going to result in a different pattern of breast changes than those that result from pregnancy and childbirth. I doubt you'll see the B to DD inflation, and it's unlikely that you will experience a rapid change in breast size as is typical when milk "comes in" following childbirth. I think you can expect some breast growth, but it's likely to be slower and more modest than you experienced after the birth of your own child.

    If you are really committed to relactating, I would actually start pumping now rather than in 6 months. I think you can combine that with hormone treatments. And starting now might give you a sense of how easy this is likely to be for you. If you're rapidly building supply, then maybe you don't have to work so hard with the pump right now, and can simply ramp up your pumping closer to the time when you would need the milk. If you're not seeing much results, then you probably want to keel slaving away with the pump for as long as possible.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Gladular tissue/milk ducts the same size when relactatin

    I guess I should have initially added that I've relactated before for my son. However, that was 2 months after my supply came to a hault. I assumed starting up again after almost 3 years would be a whole different ballgame, that's why I'm asking. I am aware of what needs to go into relactation to be successful, but I do appreciate you're wanting to help me see the amount of commitment it is. Because it is a commitment! Thank you so much for looking out for me though!

    My friend is unable to breastfeed because she has no breast tissue remaining. So, there's nothing that can be done. I'm not worried about size of Breasts, the only reason I brought that up was for some kind of reference, but I don't know if it does any good. I'm concerned with amount of supply, which is related to glandular tissue and what your body can produce and hold.

    From the research and speaking with lactation consultants during my first relactation journey, I learned that I can't simoutaneously pump and do hormones. The hormones progesterone, estrogen and prolactin are raised during pregnancy (and the relactation protocol) and all of them help to create a milk making system and both progesterone & estrogen stop breasts from lactating. It's at birth when those 2 hormones drop and prolactin raises drastically when your body is triggered to produce and release breast milk. Pumping while using hormones is counter productive in creating Breastmilk since the hormones are blocking the action of its creation and secretion. That's why the protocol calls for no pumping until you're ready to begin the lactation, at that point you stop the hormones, begin pumping and taking galactagogues.

    The purpose of the hormones is to somewhat mimic what happens to your Breasts during pregnancy & to build glandular tissue/ducts/ect to create the best environment for supplying the most milk that you can.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Gladular tissue/milk ducts the same size when relactatin

    I'm just assuming (because there is this method/protocol that gets suggested so much with seemingly pretty good results) that it's the best way to create the biggest supply. It makes sense, to build more additions onto the house before trying to get as many guests as you can into it. Weird analogy, it's all I could think of at the drop of a hat. Lol. Build up your milk housing and production machines before requesting that the milk be made, like in pregnancy. But I don't know. The idea makes sense though

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