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Thread: Pumping to relactate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Pumping to relactate

    I posted in another forum but didn't realize there was this one devoted to relactation. So I'll ask some questions here too:

    My baby will be 6 months old tomorrow. From the day he was born he would fuss at regular intervals after feedings, then developed mucusy stools (sometimes with a bit of blood) and silent reflux symptoms. I did the elimination dieting but it didn't help. We went through this with one of our other children, and he was diagnosed with "allergic colitis"- a generalized sensitivity that he would outgrow whether he was exposed to "problem foods" or not. And the doctor said that elimination dieting does not usually help in this condition. I weaned that baby at 7 months old and put him on Neocate and never regretted it. He did great. And sure enough, at 12 months old when we tried to give him cow's milk, he was fine. He never had a problem with ANY food. Well, after trying some dieting this time, and seeing that it wasn't helping, I put this baby on Neocate at 4 1/2 months. He's doing fine but still cries a lot for other reasons (teething, constipation from the formula, etc). I just can't help but think that I made a mistake weaning him. Yes, he was miserable a LOT of the time. I felt bad for making him be in pain just so I could nurse him. But since we know that he should outgrow this, why did I let my milk dry up? I know families with reflux babies who were just as miserable as my child, and yet they weren't doing crazy diets and weaning to super expensive formula. They put up with it and eventually the babies got better. Why did my husband and I think that we had to FIX this, instead of just being patient? Ok, because I was stressed and having trouble spending time with the other kids because I was always holding a crying baby! But he's old enough to play now and seems to cope with discomfort better.

    Anyway, I guess I should get to the point. Because of ds's history of SCREAMING after nursing, I can't use nursing as a way to get my supply back. I have to use just the pump (and Fenugreek and Alfalfa). My husband does not want me going back to nursing yet. He is supportive of my trying to relactate just in case ds can tolerate my milk later, but he does not want me just switching back at this point.

    So, since I can ONLY use the pump, will I be successful? I've nursed 4 children and have always had an abundant supply (though it does adjust quickly to their needs, and I've never had a problem with low supply). I weaned ds on March 15th, and pumped occasionally when I was uncomfortable, and the last pumping was March 26th. I started pumping again yesterday April 26th. I got a teaspoon total for the day. A while ago I pumped both sides for 20 minutes and got about a teaspoon I think. So maybe it's starting to increase? But that's a far cry from what it used to be. I just want my milk back! And i want my baby to tolerate it.

    Considering my baby does not have a disease or illness that REQUIRES special formula for his survival, was it wrong for me to wean him? We did it because he was hurting, and I know that's not healthy either.

    I'm going to talk to the pediatrician more about this on Monday and see what he thinks. He's pro-breastfeeding, so maybe if I can get his approval/recommendation he'll say that this is something we should do, and maybe my husband will let me try to actually latch the baby on... We'll see. But in the meantime it's just the pump!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Pumping to relactate

    If your getting only a very small amount right now, would it be such a bad Idea to put your baby back on the breast? It might be nice for both of you.
    How often can you pump? Are you at home? Start pumping every two hours for at least a total of ten minutes. Warm showers with plenty of vigorous massage will help you too. If you place your baby's mouth on your nipple ( when asleep?) it will help you start producing more progesterone.
    I think the main thing you might consider doing is cutting yourself some slack. you did what you thought was best, you are obviously a caring parent. None of us is perfect and we all start out with trial and error. I think its wonderful you are trying to relactate, and I wish you much luck.

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