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Thread: Thinking about relactating..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    26

    Default Thinking about relactating..

    Hi, I haven't been on the message boards for about 2 weeks since I decided to stop breastfeeding. My DD and I had been struggling with OALD and over supply and I finally just decided that it might be easier to go to the bottle. She isn't doing that well with the bottle and now is not sleeping well at all. So I'm beginning to regret my decision and I miss the breastfeeding relationship we had. I'd like to try relactation but need some help and support. I have a doula coming tomorrow and I'm hoping that she'll be able to help. I'm also planning on putting in a call to the LCs at the hospital where I delivered. So I guess I'm just looking for some encouraging words and ideas of where to start. My DD is 11 weeks old tomorrow and I hope since I had such a big supply of milk before it won't be too difficult to get some sort of supply. I'm thinking that after the next feeding today I'll put her to the breast and see what happens. Thanks in advance for the support!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    923

    Default Re: Thinking about relactating..

    Welcome to the board! You'll find lots of support and advice here! You are among many relactating mothers!

    First, congratulations on the birth of your baby! Enjoy those baby moments while they last! What an awesome mama you are to relactate for your baby!

    A few questions to get things started...

    How long has it been since you last nursed (even comfort sucking counts)?
    Are you pumping? If so, what kind of pump are you using?
    Are you taking any meds that may hinder your milk supply (birth control included)?

    If you're not already, offer the breast to the baby as often as possible. If you don't own a sling or wrap, I recommend getting one (you can make a wrap for cheap with $1/yard fabric at walmart) and having lots of skin to skin time with DD. Baths are an excellent way to bond with baby and some babies find the warm water similar to their home in utero and may naturally latch then. Co-sleeping is a great way to offer unlimited access to the breast for nurouishment or comfort. If DD is taking a paci, try offering the breast instead. Lots of babies comfort suck.

    For relactation you should use a hospital grade pump. Your doula or LC should be able to help you rent one. You should pump as often as baby eats (every 2-3 hours) and after baby nurses. Pumping time should last 15-20 min through at least one let-down. Remember that the amount pumped does not yield how much milk you have... Baby is always better at removing milk! So, don't get discouraged if you can't pump alot.

    Consider an SNS if the baby will latch. This will allow DD to get the formula (or expressed milk) while stimulating the breast to create more milk. This setup is a bottle that hangs around your neck with a tube that runs down the breast to the nipple. If you do go with an SNS, I recommend taping the tube to the UNDERSIDE of the breast vs the top like the directions will tell you. Taping it on the underside makes the latching process more natural with the tube and makes it harder for the baby to learn how to suck on just the tube.

    You may want to consider herbs if you don't see an increase in supply in about 2 weeks (assuming that's how long you've been without nursing). The idea of thumb is that it can take as long as you haven't nursed to regain full supply. So, if it's been 2 weeks, it should ideally only take 2 weeks to regain full supply. Also, oatmeal is a natural lactation aid. Eating 3 cups a day (you can break this up into 1 cup portions) of the old fashioned oats (The ones you have to cook, the instant works but not as well) can really help!

    So basically, pumping, nursing, skin to skin, co-sleeping (if you're comfortable with that), herbs and oatmeal. Nursing should always be first and foremost and given your DD's age, it shouldn't be too hard to convert back to the breast.

    Best of luck and way to go mama for deciding to offer your baby the best!

    <HUGS>

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Thinking about relactating..

    Thanks so much for the quick reply. In answer to your questions..

    It has been 2 weeks since DD has nursed, even comfort nursing (which she didn't do too much of when she was nursing).

    It has also been 2 weeks since I last pumped. I have a Medela pump in style which I'm going to pull out and set up tonight.

    I'm not taking any medication or birth control right now.

    DD woke up from a nap awhile ago and wanted to eat so after finishing the bottle I put her to my breast instead of giving her the paci and she did take a few sucks. I think she was kind of confused why nothing was coming out, but at least it was a good sign that she wanted to try to latch on.

    I'll talk with my doula or LC tomorrow about the SNS. I think that may be very helpful. And I'll start eating my oatmeal!

    Thanks so much!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    923

    Default Re: Thinking about relactating..

    I just anted to check up and see how you're doing/feeling? I hope all is going well!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Thinking about relactating..

    Thanks for thinking of me. After long discussions with my DH and the doula I decided that I just can't emotionally handle relactating now. DD is much happier with the bottle than the breast and I just can't take her refusing me and all the fussy feedings again. Thanks for your input and help, I appreciate it!

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