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Thread: I had no idea this was possible

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default I had no idea this was possible

    I am still amazed by the fact that it is possible to relactate. I had my baby exactly 3 months ago and I quit breastfeeding the first week because he wouldn't latch on and I was not sure I could exclusively pump because I also have a 3 year old to take care of. Well, my 3 month old is a very easy baby and my 3 year old is growing fast too. So yesterday, I don't remember how I came across information on breastfeeding adoptive babies and from that point I ended up reading about relactating. If I had known this sooner...

    I have a few questions:

    - I already got my period back. Is this something that could affect my success of getting the milk back?
    - If I get the milk back, will my period go away again?
    - Is relactating something "natural". For some reason I am afraid of doing sometehing that might not be good for my body. It seems to me a little bit "unnatural" to induce milk production without being pregnant right before breastfeeding. From a physiological point of view, I'm afraid of hurting my body, screw up my hormones, etc.
    - For those that decided to relactate after more than 3 months, how did you explain this to friends and family. I mean, I made a comment to DH, saying that it was possible to relactate and he thought it was interesting but if I tell him that I am considering it, he will definitely think that I lost my mind. Needless to say I don't know how I will tell the rest of the family or friends. I think that they will think that I went nuts. I would even be embarrased of telling my OB. Why do I feel this way??
    - Can I produce milk just by pumping full time? I would be happy with just pumping. I have flat nipples so I don't think breastfeeding would work. (I tried with my two kids, ended up exclusively pumping with the first one and bottle feeding with the second one, the one that is three month old right now).

    Those are my questions for now. Thank you so much!
    Last edited by Cristina2007; October 12th, 2007 at 11:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    44

    Default Re: I had no idea this was possible

    I'm no expert but I don't think getting your period back will effect you relactating and I don't think your period will go away if you do start reproducing milk. I wish it would! In regards to it being "unnatural", I don't think our body would allow us to do something it wasn't intended to do. Have you ever heard of natural disasters and mothers relactate in an attempt to feed their offspring? Its our body's way of providing for our children. I think its more natural to nurse your baby then it is to give formula.

    My lo is 6 1/2 mo and I stopped breastfeeding when she was 4 1/2 mo. I just started the process of relactating and I had similar concerns. My dh noticed that I hadn't been myself and asked what was wrong. That was when I broke down and told him that I wished I had never stopped nursing the baby. After reexplaining the benefits of breastfeeding and expressing how much I missed it, he was extremely supportive. My family on the other hand, was mixed. My mother's answer was to nurse our next baby longer. I just told her that I missed the closeness my lo and I had while nursing and left it at that. As far as your family is concerned, I would tell them that you are attempting to give your baby the best that you can, and that's breastmilk. Some will understand and others won't, but that is going to happen no matter what the subject. If you don't have your family's support you can always find it here.

    It would be great to have another person join our relactating group. I hope the information helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,847

    Default Re: I had no idea this was possible

    It's great that you're thinking of relactating!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina2007 View Post
    - I already got my period back. Is this something that could affect my success of getting the milk back?
    - If I get the milk back, will my period go away again?
    I don't think that getting your period back will affect your chances of relactating. Some women notice a dip in supply during menstruation (or while they're sick, or stressed, or tired, etc.), but that's temporary. I think it's possible that your period could go away while you're nursing, but I wouldn't count on it. The more frequently you nurse/pump, the more likely it is that your period will be suppressed, especially if you don't go more than 6 hours without nursing/pumping.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina2007 View Post
    - Is relactating something "natural".
    Yes! Totally natural! If it wasn't natural, we wouldn't be able to do it. Breastfeeding is great for baby, but also for mom- if you nurse for a year, you lower your chances of getting diseases of diabetes and breast cancer. So when you weaned early, that was actually the less natural route, IYKWIM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina2007 View Post
    - For those that decided to relactate after more than 3 months, how did you explain this to friends and family.
    I haven't personally relactated (though my Mom did after a 3 month hiatus), but if I were in your situation, I would just be upfront and proud of my desire to try. "Our doctor says breastmilk is best for the baby" can shut down a lot of criticism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina2007 View Post
    - Can I produce milk just by pumping full time? I would be happy with just pumping. I have flat nipples so I don't think breastfeeding would work.
    Yes! A lot of moms pump exclusively. A visit with a Lactation Consultant and a really good pump will make things much, much easier. My LC was able to rent me a hospital-grade pump, which was just what I needed to boost my supply. Little off-the-shelf pumps often don't have enough power. A LC might also be able to help you get your baby back on the breast- you never know until you try! Some women do manage to nurse with flat nipples- it's more challenging, but it can be done!

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    291

    Default Re: I had no idea this was possible

    - I already got my period back. Is this something that could affect my success of getting the milk back?

    It can effect your supply a little but a lot of women nursing with their period!

    - If I get the milk back, will my period go away again?

    I relactated and YES for ME my period didn't come back until the day after his 1st birthday!! even though when I quit BF my period was back for 1 month.

    - Is relactating something "natural". For some reason I am afraid of doing sometehing that might not be good for my body. It seems to me a little bit "unnatural" to induce milk production without being pregnant right before breastfeeding. From a physiological point of view, I'm afraid of hurting my body, screw up my hormones, etc.

    it's not unnatrual ! and there are good things about BF! It really relaxes me at least and can lower chances of getting breast cancer and such. it's really good for baby too!

    - For those that decided to relactate after more than 3 months, how did you explain this to friends and family. I mean, I made a comment to DH, saying that it was possible to relactate and he thought it was interesting but if I tell him that I am considering it, he will definitely think that I lost my mind. Needless to say I don't know how I will tell the rest of the family or friends. I think that they will think that I went nuts. I would even be embarrased of telling my OB. Why do I feel this way??

    my OB was very supportive. still is. My husband wasn't as much at all. BUT i started relactating closer to 2 months. I just didn't tell anyone, they really didn't need to know. When DHs family made comments I just told them we were doing both at the time, and never really said i quit completely in the first place. my family was very supportive.

    - Can I produce milk just by pumping full time? I would be happy with just pumping. I have flat nipples so I don't think breastfeeding would work. (I tried with my two kids, ended up exclusively pumping with the first one and bottle feeding with the second one, the one that is three month old right now).

    I'm not sure but I know women relactate and can never get the little one to take it from the breast and so they do exclusively pump. Goodluck to you!
    ~*TiffanyJewel*~
    Happily Married !
    SAHM to my two beautiful boys
    Ethan my sweet big boy! born 9-9-04
    Aidan my little nursling! (relactation) born
    5-2-06!
    Natalie Jewel Our Valentine! Born
    2-14-08
    *Relactation- a labor or Love*

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,399

    Default Re: I had no idea this was possible

    [quote]I would even be embarrased of telling my OB. Why do I feel this way??
    [/qquote]

    Because you don't trust your body's abilities to relactate. You don't need to tell anyone (besides us), IMO. Just do it. You will be proud, feel renewed and confident.

    If your husband thinks you're crazy, tell him about MEN who relactate. Yep. Then suggest he do it. Suddenly your desire to relactate will be a lot less weird.

    Here's a link. http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/...s/milkmen.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: I had no idea this was possible

    wow, i had no idea THAT was possible, male lactation. and here i thought that everyone had nipple bc when the baby's body was being built nipples were "put on" before the hormones for male/female were present... i heard that somewhere on tv, discovery channel i think.
    this is so amazing, now if only dh would think that more than 15 - 20 min in a whole day isnt enough time with ds. - the men of the aka tribe amaze me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: I had no idea this was possible

    I'm not re-lactating, but I have a period every month... ;(

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: I had no idea this was possible

    I have one more question. What are my chances or being successful without taking medications? I'm happy to take oatmeal and maybe fenugreek but I don't want any artificial medication.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: I had no idea this was possible

    There have been mothers who have successfully relactated without prescription medications. Frequent breast stimulation is key--ideally, baby nursing directly from the breast, but at least pumping, preferably with a hospital grade pump. Have you discussed Fenugreek with an IBCLC? Fenugreek has been effective for many relactating mothers, but it is important to talk to an IBCLC or other healthcare provider before using herbs, to make sure they are right for you. Oatmeal has also helped many mothers increase their milk supply.

    HTH. Best wishes to you!!

    Tiana

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: I had no idea this was possible

    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina2007 View Post
    I have one more question. What are my chances or being successful without taking medications? I'm happy to take oatmeal and maybe fenugreek but I don't want any artificial medication.
    i relactated without the use of meds, just hand expression and my sons comfort nursing! HTH!
    ~*TiffanyJewel*~
    Happily Married !
    SAHM to my two beautiful boys
    Ethan my sweet big boy! born 9-9-04
    Aidan my little nursling! (relactation) born
    5-2-06!
    Natalie Jewel Our Valentine! Born
    2-14-08
    *Relactation- a labor or Love*

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