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Thread: Trying to relactate... am I getting there?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    54

    Default Trying to relactate... am I getting there?

    First, a quick background. My son was born 2/10/06 so he's just barely 5 months old. For the first 3 weeks he was on just breast milk but then I had to have surgery and due to meds and pain wasn't able to nurse or pump as often as he needed me to - roughly half the time, for about a week. We had some EBM to feed him at first then switched to formula to supplement.

    Well, my supply never got back to being enough to not supplement at all. From about one month to three months old we gave him 1 or 2 bottles of formula per day.

    Then my supply dwindled even more and by mid-June it was at the point where if I nursed him, he would take all he could get out of me and STILL be starving and take 6 ounces of formula! When I pumped with my PIS a few hours after a feeding I was only getting about 1/2 ounce total. So I decided I'd just stop because it was so frustrating and I didn't want to be a slave to my pump to re-establish supply.

    Well, I stopped nursing almost 3 weeks ago. I was down to 2x a day for the last week of it anyway.

    Then a week ago I started to feel very strongly that I needed to try again. So I went and rented a Lactina (I have a hard time getting milk out with the PIS even when supply was good - have to use max suction the whole time) and have been pumping every 1.5 - 2 hrs during the day and twice at night. I have gone in the past four days from getting only 2 drops out to getting 5 or 6. So that's double. : But it's still not even enough to pour out of the bottle to give to him!

    I tried taking fenugreek capsules but they made me very sick, and after my surgery in March I'd tried Mother's Milk tea but that made my son get horrible gas. So I'm leery to try anything else.

    For anyone who has successfully relactated, does it sound like I'm on the right track? I doubt I'll ever be able to get rid of the formula altogether but I'd like to make enough milk to nurse him a few times a day, esp. before naptimes and bedtime.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: Trying to relactate... am I getting there?

    Hi Lumo,

    I am sorry you are having such a terrible time! It sounds frustrating! I have never had to relactate, but I have heard of women who had to, and I found it VERY admirable! Could you put the baby to breast at all? I know it may sound sily, but some women cannot get a thing from pumping, the only thing that works is the baby. Would it be possible for you to put the baby at the breast for each feeding and use an SNS?

    Just some ideas!

    Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Trying to relactate... am I getting there?

    He will still latch on fairly easily, unless he's *starving* of course.
    But he sucks for about thirty seconds then pulls away and looks at me angrily and starts fussing. Nothing is coming out, or just a drop or two. I still try to get him on about 3x a day but he gets so angry about it that I don't want to frustrate him you know?

    I can't even think about dealing with a SNS right now. I'm overwhelmed enough with the 12x a day pumping and caring for two children! I hope I don't end up needing to use that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Trying to relactate... am I getting there?

    I second the sns, also, sleep with your baby, let him nurse on you all night, for several nights. you can also take domperidone, which is sold in canada, but you can get it in the states. www.asklenore.info is a great web site/forum that has lots of info on relactating!! as does this site as well here are some links that might help!

    http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeed...faq/intro.html
    http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeed...mfaq/when.html
    http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeed...ion/herbs.html

    see if these help, this and pump, pump, pump and latch(works better than a pump!) the baby on as much as possible should have you producing more! let us know how it is working!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: Trying to relactate... am I getting there?

    Hi you said you are unable to get anything out with the pump. I have the same problem. I have to hand express it. sometimes i have to massage and (this may sound weird) tickle my breast to stimulate a let down. sometimes it takes 10 -20 minutes but once i get a let down i get more milk out.
    maybe you could see if that works?

    I find it easier then pumping because I can wear a tank top, take one breast and out express it into a bottle then put it in the fridge. no parts to clean or anything.

    i still pump a few times for stimulation but it's the removal of the milk that will really help your supply jump

    the SNS works well once you get comfrotable with it!

    goodluck!

    oh i forgot to add. i started with just drops. after a month i believe I am up to 3 oz a day. it can be a slow process but once you start seeing a change it motivates you to keep going (at least for me it has)
    Last edited by tiffanyjewel; July 16th, 2006 at 02:51 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,813

    Default Re: Trying to relactate... am I getting there?

    Must of the advise I was going to give has already been given, but I have something small to add.

    He will still latch on fairly easily, unless he's *starving* of course.
    But he sucks for about thirty seconds then pulls away and looks at me angrily and starts fussing.
    Try putting him before he's going to take a nap or sleep, that way he would be sucking for comfort and no so much to fill himself so he won't get so frustrated by no milk coming out but you still get that needed suckling. Co-sleeping with him would help a lot.

    I successfully re-lactated with my first baby after been separated from her for over a month. Pumping (although I didn't pump as much as I should it), taking herbs supplements, and the SNS helped me a lot. A few months later I weaned but for other reasons than supply issues. Spend some quite and relax time with baby, a lot of skin to skin contact, that will help him re-connect more with you making the latching and nursing time more comfortable and easier.

    Don't expect an overnight or quick cure, that will depress you even more. It could take a few weeks or even a few months, but it can be done, and any amount of BM he can get it would be great even if you've to supplement.

    Good luck!

    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/increase.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Trying to relactate... am I getting there?

    Quote Originally Posted by LuMo
    Then a week ago I started to feel very strongly that I needed to try again. So I went and rented a Lactina (I have a hard time getting milk out with the PIS even when supply was good - have to use max suction the whole time) and have been pumping every 1.5 - 2 hrs during the day and twice at night. I have gone in the past four days from getting only 2 drops out to getting 5 or 6. So that's double. : But it's still not even enough to pour out of the bottle to give to him!
    What is a Lactina? I have the PIS and I am also trying to relactate. Is the Lactina better?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,813

    Default Re: Trying to relactate... am I getting there?

    Lactina is a near-hospital-grade pump and you're only able to rent them. I don't know if it's better than the PIS, since they follow n the same category. An hospital grade pump would be Medela Symphony, but they're more expensive to rent.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Trying to relactate... am I getting there?

    You can only rent the Lactina... well, you could BUY it but it's like $900. : The only difference in the Lactina and the Symphony (besides an extra $20 a month rental) is the Symphony automatically shifts from an initial letdown phase to a milk-flowing stage.

    I had a Pump In Style but got rid of it. For me the Lactina works quite a bit better. I need super strong suction (even when I had plenty of milk and was exclusively breastfeeding, I needed the PIS on max suction) and the Lactina provides that.

    But for a lot of women the PIS works just fine too. Everybody's different I guess.

    Thanks to all who took time to post responses. I will look into the SNS. I'm not sure yet. I am still pumping all the time (it feels like ) and only getting a few drops each time. My son just will not stay latched for any length of time, even when he's not all that hungry. He sucks for about 30 seconds, then thrashes around and gets angry. Cosleeping is out for us - tried that in the beginning but everyone in our family sleeps better in their own beds (wish I could even get my own twin sized bed away from DH sometimes ). I did wake him up at 3 a.m. because he'd been alseep six hours and rather than pump AGAIN I wanted to try to get him to nurse, but he only did for maybe 20-30 seconds on each side. Ah, well. I'm sure it will get better. Heck I may even produce an entire OUNCE per day! :

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Trying to relactate... am I getting there?

    Well, I am going to give the PIS a couple more weeks. A pediatrician told me I should pump every 4 hours. I end up not pumping that often so I think I should pick it up a bit. I keep reading on here 8-12 times a day. I usually only get about 5 or 6 in. During the night I tell myself I will pump when she wakes up to eat and the ironic thing is since I have been telling myself that she has been sleeping through the night. Plus it is hard for me cause of the lack of support I am getting trying to relactate. My DH thinks me doing this is ridiculous and just keepds telling me I shouldnt have stopped in the first place.He gets frustrated with me when I try to put her on the breat and she gets all fussy. Everytime I spend more money for my relactation "project" he gets upset which I can understand since with me not working temporarily I am not getting paid. Anyway, I too am only geting drops out (which is actually an improvment). I ordered the SNS and maybe I wil try that Lactaid in a few weeks.

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