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Thread: Trying to relactate

  1. #1

    Default Trying to relactate

    Hello everyone. I just had my little boy 7 weeks ago. At his 2 week check up his doctor advised me to switch to soy formula and to not breastfeed, my son was having very bad tummy problems since he was in the hospital. The doctor blamed it on a lactose intolarence. Now at 7 weeks and on soy nothing has changed, other then he has been constantly sick since i have stopped breastfeeding. The wic office has adviced me to start breastfeeding again, and says that my sons doctor is notorious for blaming tummy problems on allergys and going straight to soy.

    I started trying to relactate 2 days ago. I am taking 2 fenugreek vitamins 3 times a day and 1 fennel vitamin 3 times a day. It has worked wonders, i have gone from nothing to at least a few drops every time i try to express milk. I was advised to pump 10-12 tines a day since my son wont latch on for long with no milk. I seem to be having problems using the pump though. Its a wic hand pump, i get nothing from using the pump. I can only express milk by hand. Could i be using the pump wrong? Or the glands not full enough for the pump to express milk yet? I have an appointment with a LC but not for a month.

    I would just rather use the pump instead of my hand as it has been painfull doing it by hand.

    Any ideas and advice is very welcome! Also any advice on relactating is also welcone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Trying to relactate

    Can you report this doctor to someone? I mean really. This is plain malpractice as even the AAP tells doctors to not switch babies to formula for tummy issues. I would love to tell you to call this doctor up and insist they provide you with a proper pump and get you an appointment with an IBCLC immediately or you are going to sue them. But I doubt that would do any good.

    Before pumps, mothers relactated by nursing their babies. Will your baby latch and nurse? Of course you would need to give baby as much formula as needed until your milk production increases enough, but your baby nursing will bring in your milk production as well and that is in many ways easier than pumping or hand expressing. Also it is important to have baby nurse as much as possible so you can try to avoid (or fix) any bottle preference that might be going on.

    Even if it was working for you, a hand pump is not going to do the trick for what you have to do now and WIC should know that. That is nuts. Can't they get you a hospital grade pump?

    Do you have medical insurance or a medical provider of any kind, even public assistance? Insurance should pay for you to buy or rent a double sided electric pump-hospital grade if possible, but any decent double sided electric pump is going to be way better than a hand pump.
    If those options are not available, what about borrowing a used pump from someone? You would need to buy a new 'kit' (the tubing and flanges etc, - everything that comes into contact with you and your milk) but while it is not the best option just because an older pump might not be functioning properly, a used pump motor should be safe although you will want to look at the possible risks that are mostly theoretical. Some pump companies sell refurbished pumps but I am not sure how great the savings are.

    Meanwhile keep hand expressing as often as possible but watch that pain especially if you mean it is hurting your breasts. If it helps to keep hand expression sessions short, then do that but hand express often, the number to aim for with both pumping and hand expression is at least 8 times per 24 hours if baby is not nursing at all. Also encouraging baby to latch and nurse as much as possible. Feeding baby small bottles (1-3 ounces) more frequently rather than large bottles less frequently will be more like breastfeeding and may even help with tummy issues.

    Why is it going to take a month to see an IBCLC? That is odd.

    Contact local LLL, local breastfeeding coalition or other breastfeeding support, they may well know more about local resources than WIC does. There may be a breastfeeding clinic or pump providing entity or something.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; November 10th, 2016 at 06:19 PM.

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Trying to relactate

    with MaddieB. Also, can you go back to WIC and ask for help with a pump? Some WIC offices have better pumps available for moms who need them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Trying to relactate

    Yes and I want to reiterate that sometimes you have to act as a strong advocate for yourself and your baby and keep asking questions and insisting that you get the proper help. I am positive the people at WIC mean well but not all WIC offices or personnel are going to have the knowledge about what local resources there are or what equipment and assistance moms really need in order to relactate. Where I live the local WIC office offered a wonderful lactation support program but many of the WIC personnel knew nothing about it- even when the IBCLC worked in the same location! They also were unaware that this program was open to all nursing mothers even those who were registered for WIC in another county and moms not even on WIC! So there may be more WIC can do and there may be other programs.

    Relactating IS possible and your chances are especially good because you nursed baby for 2 weeks.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Trying to relactate

    Thank you all for the responses. I feel that the fenugreek and fennel are helping alot more then i thought thwy would. My brest feel the same as when they started to fill up while i was pregnent. Very tender and heavy. The wic office where i live told me they only give hand pumps, i would need ro rent an electric pump from the hospital. My medicaid ends this month. I have a feeling that i have a good chance that i will relactat, but i have yet to be able to get more then a few drops a day, and only by hand. The pump does nothing so far. I just worry since my son now seems to dislike latching on and crys so much when i try.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Trying to relactate

    Have you asked the hospital what it costs to rent the pump? You many only need to pump for a couple weeks or a month.

    Were you able to find out whether Medicaid will or will not help you buy or rent a pump? You may only need to rent a pump for a few weeks. If they will buy a pump, if you buy it now, then you will still have the pump even after your coverage ends.

    If Medicaid will not help you get a pump, what about the other options I suggested?

    It is very possible the herbs are helping. Some moms respond quite well to herbal galactagogues. But what increases milk production is regular and effective milk removal. That is key, it cannot be done without that. Hand expression can work for this, in fact when breasts are still very soft and the milk is still just a small amount, hand expression may well work better than a pump. So, keep doing that as you can, but since it hurting you I really think a better pump is needed.

    I wonder if the hand pump flange may not be the right size for you. You can look up online about what to look for as far as sizing pump flanges. Unfortunately a hand pump may not offer different sized flanges.

    Again I suggest look locally to see if there are more resources.

    Latching and sucking is deeply instinctual so a baby cannot dislike latching, but they certainly may have trouble latching and become frustrated, which is different. This is where an in person helper (LC or LLL Leader or similar) would be very important and why it is so important this happens sooner rather than later.

    Also your baby has been bottle fed for a month and may simply have forgotten that breasts are for nursing and does not understand what you want him to do. You can remind baby why he should try to nurse with some of the techniques in this article: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...ack-to-breast/

  7. #7

    Default Re: Trying to relactate

    Medicaid does not cover it unless its through a breastfeeding program here in florida. The program will get a prescription from your doctor to pay a qualifying store ( target and toys r us where i live) dor a pump. I ended up buying a small evenflo electeic pump. Not very strong and doesnt remove any milk yet. I use it at the moment to help let down and stimulation for 15- 20 minutes then i hand express after till i get no more drops and a dew minutes after, i switch to the other breast and do the same. Then repeat hand expressing on both sides in case any extra milk has let down. Im now taking 12 fenugreek, 3 fennel, and 6 brewers yeast capsules a day. Im constantly messaging and stimulating throughout the day. Im just starting on week 2 and it has had a alight incress but nothing major. I now fet a few drops everytime i express rather rhen only a drop or 2 a day. I know i have a long road aheas of me. Its a bit discouraging since sone days i wake up and they just dont feel full or heavy but im still getting the drops. I was told that it can take atleast a month to see any major diffrence in supply. Im hoping that in a few more weeks i will be making enough that my son will want to latch on, since he is the best pump of them all. Thank you for your suggestions and i hope the long road ahead isnt to bumpy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Trying to relactate

    I hope you will soon see the results you are hoping for, mama! Let us know how it goes.

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